World War Z

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
World War Z Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Decent shooter struggles to stand out from zombie hordes.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While there are some themes of teamwork baked in to the game, it’s more out of necessity. Survival is the key focus of the game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players can pick their characters, but there’s no real difference between them. Whichever class you choose is independent of the character, so players have more connection with the role they play as opposed to the character. 

Ease of Play

The controls are intuitive and should be familiar to anyone that’s played shooter games in the past. Depending on how well your team works together, the difficulty can spike considerably as players get overwhelmed by the massive hordes of fast-moving zombies.


This is a violent and gory game. Players attack the undead and other humans with realistic guns, explosives, and melee attacks, with plenty of blood and gore left in their wake. There are also the zombie swarms, which are already rotting corpses, that can overwhelm players and literally rip them apart onscreen.


The in-game dialogue includes lots of profanity, including “s--t” and “f--k.” The game’s online play also potentially opens up players to offensive language from other players via party chat.


The game's marketed as based on Universal’s World War Z movie, which in turn was based on the Max Brooks novel of the same name. That said, the game seems to just exist in that universe, with no real ties other than being a zombie apocalypse. While there's a big focus on online play, the game doesn't have any sort of “microtransactions.”

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that World War Z is a horror-based third-person shooter available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. The World War Z game is set within the same zombie apocalypse world established in the Universal feature film and Max Brooks novel of the same name. Players team up and fight against swarms of zombies using a variety of firearms, explosives, and melee weapons. Violence is constant and graphic, with lots of blood and gore shown onscreen. There’s a fair amount of profanity in the dialogue, including "f--k" and "s--t," and its online multiplayer component also could expose players to offensive language from other players in online chat.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJ.Trix January 11, 2020

Overall, not half bad. But it is on the edge for younger players.

This is for the parents,
typically we don't see games like this a lot, which means they're usually pretty bad, for example, DOOM. But in this case, t... Continue reading
Adult Written byGooglygx hidden... April 17, 2021

Great game, awesome price

This is a great game which is good for kids 11 and older because while their is a fair bit of gore it is very undersized and fast paced making the player really... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byImo578a April 12, 2021

Great for tweens

If your kid is bored during quarantine, this is perfect. Although it is a bit graphic go younger players, this game is amazing for mature kids. It is also not s... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old February 19, 2021

A very good game

It has blood, but nothing an older kid can’t handle. Although, it does have a lot of swearing.

What's it about?

In WORLD WAR Z, society is on the brink of collapse after a worldwide epidemic has given rise to a true zombie apocalypse. It’s a world in which the undead outnumber the living, and each day is a struggle just to survive to see the next sunrise. Take part in the global fight against extinction as you and your fellow survivors battle against zombie armies from the streets and subways of New York and through a harsh and snowy Moscow winter. Players will help rescue and evacuate civilians from Tokyo, and work with the military in Jerusalem to activate a weapon that might raise the odds in humanity’s favor. After these locations, you can pit your skills against human opponents as you take on other players in intense four-on-four combat in online battles where the undead can break in at any time and quickly turn the tide of battle.

Is it any good?

While there are moments of absolute chaos and terror that break out on levels, there are also moments in this shooter that are mediocre and shamble along like the monsters you try to kill. World War Z recognizes that zombies have long been a terrifying staple of the horror genre, not because of their diabolical cunning or how they stealthily stalk their prey. It’s usually their sheer numbers and dogged determination that chill the spine. The game takes this to an extreme, pitting players against undead swarms that quickly flood in like a tsunami of death. Watching these masses of corpses scrambling towards you in such a fluid motion is almost hypnotizing … until you remember that these things are looking at you like a tasty snack and you should probably start running. It’s in these moments when World War Z is at its adrenaline-fueled best. Unfortunately, when it’s not at its best, the game sort of lumbers in its own zombie-like state of mediocrity.

The bulk of World War Z’s co-op campaigns involve straightforward missions, moving from point to point and collecting supplies, setting up traps to fend off the approaching hordes, escorting civilians to safety, or simply running and gunning your way to the next sanctuary. It’s relatively cut and dried, and doesn’t do much to stand out from just about the pack. While a few of the enemy zombies seem unique, there’s an odd sense of déjà vu with them, until you realize they’re carbon copies of foes from other zombie shooters. The competitive 4v4 multiplayer seems a bit more creative, courtesy of the zombie swarms’ invasions during matches. It’s actually quite a bit of fun to see a team’s best laid ambush plans fall apart unexpectedly because a wave of undead decided to crash the party. This extra factor can swing a match wildly in different directions, adding that little extra touch of the unexpected to an otherwise generic zombie shooter experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Is the impact of the violence in World War Z affected by the fact that you're destroying hundreds of undead monsters instead of people? How does the type and style of violence in games affect people in different ways? Does the suspense of a horror with lingering threats have more or less impact than a constant swarm of creatures? Does a more grounded and realistic presentation make a bigger impact than a more cartoonish or fantasy/sci-fi setting?

  • While the odds of an actual zombie outbreak are slim, is your family prepared in the event of some other cataclysmic event? What are some ways to best be prepared for emergencies and what plans should you have in place for the aftermath of a disaster?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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