I’m currently playing The War Z in what is either an Alpha or Beta version. Honestly, I have no idea. Given my experience with the game so far, and my history with Day Z, I thought it would be helpful for me to share my thoughts on the game so far.
The War Z is a much, much, much more polished game than Day Z. War Z is faster-paced, and slightly less realistic. The gun-play is excellent, the movement is smooth, and performance is great (although I have an issue where sometimes my computer locks up when I load into a new server). The War Z gives me a constant sense of imminent danger, and lots of anxiety when I see other players. With a few important additions and tweaks, this can be a fantastic game. More after the break.
Is The War Z really a MMO?
A topic which I have to address is whether or not The War Z is a MMO. It’s not. I have no idea why the developers are marketing it as a MMO, or why anyone would ever pretend to call it one after playing. It’s as MMO as League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Diablo 3. Servers function exactly like you would expect a FPS server in BF3 or CoD to function. They have caps at 40 right now — perhaps higher and lower later on — and are temporary sessions. Characters persist across servers, much like your Call of Duty upgrades do, and inventories are stored per character unless you transfer gear to a global inventory inside a safe zone. That segues nicely into my next topic.
Safe Zones are an interesting addition. There are three safe zones on the Colorado map. Entering one disables your weapons, makes you invulnerable (so no one can snipe you from the outside), and allows you to log out and access your inventory to store things globally. I think they provide a nice area to lower anxiety levels and relax for a second. They are all quite a distance from any notable areas, like big cities, and aren’t a place where players will duck into to avoid being killed.
The Map, Guns, Itemization
Colorado is the only map available right now. It’s big, but not Day Z big. I expect to see more maps in the future, and if they add even two more maps then I would think the playable area is plenty big. The worst part about all these games is running places. I love a big world, but Zombies are really only present in areas that would be populated with people. That’s realistic, I suppose, but makes a 15-20 minute run rather dull.
Itemization is coming along nicely. There are many weapons (I think more than Day Z has) and they all ‘feel’ good. Guns are more common than they are in Day Z, but the ammo is far more rare. Food and Drink are required to survive since you start to lose health without them, but drink is more common than food. Finding items is really only a matter of finding a town or city and hoping that someone hasn’t beat you there.
I would like to see vehicles added to the game, and more locations to find items. My general experience with the game thus far has been less about surviving against zombies and more about finding items. That feels backwards to me.
The marketplace is a little weird. You can buy in-game items like food, drink, hats/masks, scopes, ammo, and melee weapons. Thankfully you can’t buy a sniper rifle or anything like that.
Nothing in the cash shop is worth buying with real money, but there’s also an in-game $ currency to buy things. Nothing game breaking.
Since the game is a standard buy to play, I would think the items sold in the cash shop should be skins and other cosmetic items.
Bandits are King
The penalty for being a Bandit is … oh wait, there isn’t one. Players shoot first, and never ask questions. This is the biggest failing of both Day Z and War Z. There is absolutely no incentive for a player to not shoot someone and take their stuff. Like I mentioned before, the game is all about finding items. If Zombies were more of a threat, maybe people would cooperate. Right now the only cooperation is between those in voice coms working together to simply be better bandits.
There are a ton of features that can be added to The War Z to improve the game. Right now the bare bones are solid: Find guns, shoot other players, and take their stuff. Where Day Z lacks the basics, The War Z excels. This is why I’m optimistic that so much more can be done to make this a really great open-world survival game.
I’ll continue to play and update you guys as things change.