One to avoid
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.