World War Z is adding waves of 1,000 zombies, but I can't even handle one

survivor amid a pack of zombies
(Image credit: Saber Interactive)

What better way to start the new year than mowing down zombies left, right, and center? Thankfully, if that’s what you’re looking for, then Sabre Interactive has the update for you. 

World War Z is seeing a free update that will bring a ton of new content to the zombie-crushing game. But the real game changer lies in just how many zombies you’ll come across.

The deadly XL horde will be added to the game on January 24, 2023, as part of a free upgrade, along with new weapons and a revamped progression system. You’ll need a PS5, Xbox Series X|S, or PC to play with the new 1,000-strong zombie hordes, but the numerous deadly guns and progression system are coming to PS4 and Xbox One, too. These will come in handy if you happen to come across the new enemy, mutators, now being added to the standard Horde Mode Z. 

Big bites  

You may think that sounds brilliant and I’m all for chaotic zombie-slaying fights, but waves of 1,000 may be a bit much for the less synchronized teams out there. While World War Z is known for its rampaging zombies, if you're relying on strangers through online co-op to help you survive the onslaught, then you may be left behind. 

If you're relying on strangers through online co-op to help you survive the onslaught, then you may be left behind

I remember in Valve’s undead co-op shooter, Left 4 Dead 2, how my friends and I learned the need to actually cooperate in a co-op shooter. The four of us had been fighting up floor by floor through a skyscraper, racing toward a rooftop helipad. The first of our team went down on the stairwell. In a panic, we left them behind. 

We came across a floor of office cubicles and all scattered, desperately checking doors for medical supplies or a way out to the helipad. In hindsight, and I’m no expert, we should probably have been more coordinated than this. 

Over my headphones, I could hear one of my friends having an up close and personal conversation with a couple of particularly unpleasant undead office workers. I didn’t help, I didn’t even know where he was. No, I was searching for something much more important, medkits.

team fighting against a horde of zombies

(Image credit: Saber Interactive)

I gingerly opened a door only to see my entire life flash before my eyes as a top-heavy muscle-bound Tank ripped through the doorway straight into my face. Before I know it, he’s taken a swing at me, and I’m launched out of the window. As I fell to my death and stared at my screen, I wondered what it would be like to have a team that understands coordination. 

But if one zombie could mess us up so completely, what will 1,000 do?

The update isn’t even out yet, and one World War Z player shared how much work an uncoordinated team made for them. Over the mission, ThePositivePandemic was forced to rack  up around 2,000 kills as multiple players kept entering and leaving the game. “Probably the toughest carry I've ever had,” said ThePositivePandemic. “The game kept trying until the very end to have us fail, but we (me) squeezed by”.

While this new update is exciting, it will be interesting to see if the random internet lobbies will be up to fighting against these mass hordes. I, for one, may have to do some more practice with the rest of my team before heading into the front lines of this update. 

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.