One to avoid

Bray People - - LIFESTYLE - WITH CHRIS HAYES

WHEN THE War Z was an­nounced, many were hope­ful that the de­vel­op­ers, Ham­mer­point In­ter­ac­tive, would take the win­ning for­mula that DayZ had al­ready es­tab­lished and re-brand it in a much more pol­ished ex­pe­ri­ence. In­stead, we are left with a game that many ex­pected would be lit­tered with flaws and bugs, but few ex­pected would be so painfully aw­ful.

Af­ter in­stalling The War Z the first thing you need to do is cre­ate a sur­vivor. If you’ve bought the base game you’ll have one char­ac­ter skin op­tion, with the op­tion to un­lock more for ab­surdly high amounts of in-game ex­pe­ri­ence or all too con­ve­nient mi­cro-trans­ac­tions (in-game real money trans­ac­tions).

You pick if you want to play on Nor­mal (where you earn ex­pe­ri­ence and can re­vive with­out any gear an hour af­ter you die) or Hard­core (where you die per­ma­nently). How­ever, since there’s really noth­ing worth­while or cheap enough to spend the tiny in­cre­ments of ex­pe­ri­ence you earn af­ter ev­ery zom­bie kill, it doesn’t really mat­ter.

Hard­core or Nor­mal, your characters will die, and delet­ing them al­lows you to cir­cum­vent the respawn timer. Af­ter death you'll spawn into a random lo­ca­tion in The War Z's Colorado map. You'r first pri­or­ity is to find sup­plies, which only ap­pear around points of in­ter­est such as towns and farms.

Spawn­ing in the mid­dle of nowhere means you will have to en­dure a long and ar­du­ous treck through some of the most bor­ing land­scape ever to be shoe­horned into a game - only to be im­me­di­ately shot or eaten by zom­bies the moment you break from cover around a town or farm. Hardly any ses­sion of The War Z ever yielded player in­ter­ac­tions that didn’t end in sec­onds with cer­tain death.

Guns are just too com­mon­place, while melee weapons are a bit too scarce. It should be the other way around, that way play­ers would be en­cour­aged to form loose al­liances where they might kill one an­other over a gun, but they can’t sim­ply off one an­other from half a mile away with­out ever speak­ing to one an­other.

This con­stant dy­ing in The War Z in­evitably lead me to at­tempt play­ing on a less pop­u­lated server, which only made me re­alise how lit­tle there ac­tu­ally is to do in the game. At this point there are no ve­hi­cles you can fix, no in­ter­est­ing struc­tures to ex­plore (all the build­ings are gen­er­ally empty husks with sig­nage that tells you what it’s sup­posed to be), and no good use for the safe zones.

The safe zones in par­tic­u­lar are dis­ap­point­ing, since prior to re­lease they were touted as places you’d be able to cre­ate and give out quests, which could cre­ate vastly more ex­cit­ing player in­ter­ac­tions. For now they’re places you can make trans­ac­tions be­tween play­ers, or ac­cess your global in­ven­tory, only to be shot the sec­ond you leave them by play­ers just wait­ing to prey upon you.

The War Z is the most in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing and bor­ing game re­leased so far this year, or per­haps decade. It is clearly just a cash in the ter­rific Day Z. This is one to avoid.

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