The War Z: Ambitious Sandbox

I’m adding The War Z to my list of highly anticipated games.  This comes in the wake of my previous post about DayZ, and my growing continued interest in sandbox survival games.  There’s just something about the ambitious idea of a zombie survival MMO set in a completely open sandbox setting with the feel of Battlefield’s shooting mechanics meets DayZ’s realism.

It’s way, way too early to really start making any assumptions about gameplay.  The screenshots, if truly screenshots of gameplay (like the one above),  released recently are impressive visually.  Statements about the game’s gun-play and mechanics like those I alluded to above are appealing, but can’t be trusted just yet.

When asked by PC Gamer about whether or not this was more Shooter or MMO, the devs clearly emphasized the survival aspect.  I hope that means this will be less about killing the people you see to jack their stuff and be pimped out until someone does it to you, and more about actually trying to live in this sandbox.  The devs went on to emphasize the shooter aspect, which I feel is mandatory to the game’s sucess–DayZ wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it was a RPG.

Character progression will exist.  This is where I feel The War Z and DayZ divurge.  DayZ is all about seeing how far you can go before you die and start all over again.  The War Z will have skills to improve.  I’m not sure whether or not death is a permanent start over mechanic or if you respawn.  Perhaps someone can clarify that for me.

The War Z won’t have quests or structured gameplay at all.  In fact, that’s probably why this game has come out of nowhere with a release date of this fall.  The developers are creating the world, or the “toolset” as the devs call it, and it’s up to the players to make the game happen.   Is it even possible then to say that this idea is ambitious if they admit to just making a framework?  I’m still mulling over that one.

Keeping this one on my radar.  I have a good feeling about it, and this resurgence of the sandbox.

  • Fingers crossed!

    I’m with you all the way on sandbox being the happiest of states for PC gaming.

  • For a while, I had been under the assumption that War Z was the Kickstarter I saw a while back. Turns out, that’s another zombie survival sandbox called The Dead Linger. That one sounds more Minecraft than MMO, although I suppose it might be the same as this one.

    For some reason, I’m having WWII FPS flashbacks. 😛

  • Awesome, I had never heard of The Dead Linger. Looks like yet another zombie sandbox survival game. Bring’em on!

  • I hope TDL isn’t as comic-like as those pictures suggest it will be. Major turn off for me in a Zombie-Genre game. I need the blood, guts, and putrefaction to be realistic.

    Maybe there is something wrong with me 🙁

  • I too hope this game will be good. I’m just hoping they do what DayZ can’t, and that’s have a good engine to build the game on. The Arma2 engine is garbage, and I eventually got sick of the bugginess, the poor controls/UI and the general half assed nature of it. I also don’t like how Rocket (the lead guy of DayZ) is so devoted to using the Arma engine, and really doesn’t have a “plan” for the mod. It feels like he’s just guessing and testing at this point.

  • You know, it’s a wonder we’re still working so hard to squeeze the last drops of performance out of themepark MMOs.

    Sandbox games are cheaper, have a much shorter development time, have player-driven content and impact (by their nature), and heaps of replayability. Is this the next step for MMOs as a whole? They’re just so much easier to make!

  • Really looking forward to this title as well. I love the sandbox features or toolset thats been talked about as well.

    My only hope is there is just as much emphasis on killing as there is survival. I like DayZ, but I can only go so long before I start trying to kill my way through a town, which is not the way its meant to be done but it sure is something I enjoy more then stealthing around looking for supplies. I like combat to be just as much a part of the toolset as well. Im also looking forward to seeing how progression is handled. Hopefully, even though I didnt mind in DayZ, permadeath is not on the table.

  • “The resurgence of the sandbox”

    Here’s hoping. It’s a white boy’s version of the blues…and that sure did well for the Rolling Stones.

  • I wonder about the pricing model. If I hear it’s a pay to win game, I’m going to be so bummed!

  • My understanding is that there are two modes in War Z…hardcore and normal. Hardcore is permadeath. Normal allows the downed player to be revived or to respawn, however they are thinking about putting something like a 24 or 48 hr lockout on items in your inventory.

  • I think it’s a great idea, last week I was thinking about how a truly great sandbox would just be a well laid framework and the players take control of everything else. If this game manages to truly wtfswarm you with zombies than maybe it will be better to keep the stranger near you alive rather than take his handful of bullets and his sandwich. It’s all in the framework of the game and how it’s done.

  • Wow, this sounds very interesting. I haven’t even played an MMO in a year or two but this looks pretty cool.

  • There was an article I read a week or so ago talking about WarZ, the article said there would be your choice of servers for permadeath and other servers were you would respawn but the respawn server you had to wait a day or two for the respawn. They also said, unfortunately, that you could purchase a faster respawn.