World War Z: Aftermath, the manic zombie shooter, has finally made its way to PS5 alongside its long-awaited XL version of Horde Mode. This movie tie-in has become a real sleeper-hit after it launched to middling reviews back in 2019. But several updates later, and we have a solid third-person co-op experience that has outlived most of its competition.
For those unfamiliar with this title, you’ll face off against impressive waves of zombies across its globe-trotting campaign in teams of four. Springing off both the book and the 2013 blockbuster, World War Z features the ant-like zombie swarms that pile over each other to scale walls and fences. It was an impressive sight to behold when it launched on PS4, and it’s even more so now on PS5, thanks to Horde Mode XL.
The PS5 version, which is free to those that own the Aftermath edition of the game, arrived on 24th January and we’ve been testing it out since then. Sadly, the game's performance hasn’t seen the boost we hoped for, as we experienced consistent frame rate drops on both offline and online modes. There are no performance modes to switch between so until developer Saber Interactive finds a fix, you are stuck with a fluctuating frame rate. It's never gets bad enough to put us off playing, but it's disheartening to see performance get worse with what should be an upgrade.
Along with all of the post-launch content, though, WWZ also includes the newly beefed-up Horde Mode XL, which ups the zombies waves from 500 to 1,000 on screen at any one time. Horde Mode XL works the same as before, but with every fifth wave tagged as an XL wave. It’s super impressive to see it in action, despite the aforementioned frame rate issues. XL waves in the higher rounds are genuinely daunting, and playing with friends makes the zombie onslaughts all the more hectic and enjoyable.
The absurdity of World War Z's Horde Mode XL is certainly worth checking out, and for newcomers it has a fun campaign to shoot your way through, too. As a PS5 upgrade, it's supremely disappointing to experience worse performance than what came before, but it isn't quite enough to spoil the fun we had spraying bullets into piles of zombies.