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The WarZ

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By Merc06-11-2012
Bis18marck70 (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)
The WarZ

The Defence

Developer:
Hammerpoint Interactive
Publisher:
Hammerpoint Interactive
Genre:
Shooter, Adventure, MMO
Release Date:
Fall 2012

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 GHz
AMD equivalent
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 570
AMD equivalent
RAM:
4 GB
HDD:
2 GB
DirectX:
9.0c

Creeping through the forest on a moonlit night I find myself terrified of an unknown threat. Zombie? Human? It could be anything. Taking out my map to get my bearings, I realize that a town is just ahead. Damn, this could get rough. My heart starts to pound in anticipation of what could be my life's tragic ending. Spotting a few zombies, but no other person which could have be an even greater threat, I sneak up to a house and manage to evade the sight of the undead. Shedding stealth aside, I crash out of the front door and a zombie sees me and begins to run straight for me. With only seconds to react, my instincts take over and the trusty hammer somehow connects with the vile monsters head. With its brains smashed, in and he it falls to the ground. Man that was close. There! A gunshot! Dashing across the street to a grocery store hoping for some kind of cover, the adrenalin once again flows through my veins. A few more feet and I will be safe. Too late. Thrown violently to the ground with a sniper bullet in my head, I can only stare in disbelief as the bandit goes through my pockets scavenging any items I had. Life in The WarZ is harsh and unforgiving. It only takes one mistake to end a life.

The WarZ is in development by Hammerpoint Interactive, who have previously been working on War Inc. Taking elements from the popular Day Z mod, this is the ultimate survival horror game. It may not be as much of a simulation as Day Z, but it takes many of the important elements and adds its own flavor. The game has been in Alpha since October 15th and if you bought the games pioneer or legend packages you could of be one of the “testers”. Since October 31st it is in a beta phase, and has been updated on a regular basis.

Not a great idea to run out into the open, hope this helmet works!

Not a great idea to run out into the open, hope this helmet works!

The WarZ has many similar elements to DayZ, but Hammerpoint Interactive wants to add different aspects to the experience that will make it stand out. In the current build of the game the only objective for your character is to survive. You can choose to play normal mode where your character will respawn after a cooldown time but will lose any gear found. For those that enjoy a challenge, there is also a harcore mode where if you die your character is gone completely. Hammerpoint is hoping to create a more robust game world than the one they have now, with more places to visit and activites to do once the game is released. There will be clan support and option to rent your own server. Hammerpoint Interactive is also going to implement a feature called “stronghold”. These are private servers that anyone can rent and use it for whatever they choose. It can be a safe haven for trade, or a trap to lure players in and violently murder them.

Even though zombies are a focus, PVP combat is also a huge aspect of the game world. The hordes of zombies in the promotional material is still to be seen but its getting better with every update. The zombies themselves are few and far in between to be a real threat if you don’t want them to be. The zombie A.I has been improved throughout testing, but they still leave something to be desired. The animations are bugged, sound queues are deceiving, and when you finally hit them it is hard to understand if you are landing any of those blows. The shooting feels more like a Battlefield game than a simulation like Arma. Guns can be rare, and if you find any attachments (or buy them in the marketplace) you can equip them in a view straight from Crysis. PVP during the Alpha/Beta has been too prominent for some tastes, but the developer promises a solution. Only about 60% of the world is playable in the current build, leading to some serious spawn camping. If your character dies in normal mode you have an hour cooldown before you can play with them again. When one of your character die she/she goes on a “cooldown” period which is 60 minutes. The problem is there are only so many characters you can have at any given time and if they are all on cooldown you have to delete some of them to create a new ones to be able to play. Hammerpoint has also discussed making it more attractive to be in a group but have not given the details how that will happen.

The beautiful scenery is misleading.

The beautiful scenery is misleading.

Another feature not yet implemented in the game will be missions and quests. These will be given out by NPC characters at safe zones, or by other players. Hammerpoint has not revealed what these missions will be but this concept promises to make the game more than just a survival game. They have also teased that there will be special zombies that only spawn at night and take multiple players to kill. They will drop stem cells which can be turned into a vaccine for the zombie virus and sold for a large amount of cash.

The game also features a marketplace where you can buy various items for in game or real world currency. At the moment you cannot buy any guns or items that can give you a significant advantage. What you can buy is different sorts of food, drinks, cosmetic items, or some melee weapons. If you buy any items and your character dies you will lose them permanently. Hammerpoint has tried to be clear that this will not be a “pay to win” but it is unclear how this will evolve, or why someone would want to buy certain items when you can lose them as soon as you spawn.

Shoot first ask questions later.

Shoot first ask questions later.

The WarZ uses the same engine that War Inc. did, and they even share a large amount of the same assets. The game is not incredibly detailed like some other PC games, but it does not look terrible. The lighting effects are wonderful especially at night. They create a creepy atmosphere, and you never know what you will stumble upon. The audio in the game is also a mixed bag. The guns sound loud and intimidating, but there are no consistent sounds for footsteps. But its still being developed and these issues shouldn't be too surprising as they are easy to fix. The WarZ has similar sound and sight mechanics as DayZ to alert the player on the zombies awareness. Like other aspects of the game the sight/sound mechanics do not feel like they are complete. There have been a number of times where a zombie noticed me seemingly for no reason. Same goes for survival survival mechanics - just like in DayZ, where you have to eat and drink in order to stay alive. What differs though is that nor food, nor drink heals you and you have to use special items like bandages or antibiotics to regain your health. There seems to be a bleeding mechanics in place but that doesn't work yet either.

The WarZ has been a roller coaster ride since October 15th. The concepts that Hammerpoint said they were going to create left me excited to get my hands on the game. The game is certainly not perfect, but I did not expect it to be. There are missing textures, sounds, animations, features, etc. Despite these issues there is fun to be had when it is working properly. Grouping with friends, and remaining on high alert is just plain fun.

I think they see me...

I think they see me...

Hammerpoints timeliness in regards to patches is impressive, but they still have some work to do. Hopefully the development team can successfully implement the features they have talked about because just surviving starts to lose its appeal. If they can strike a balance between PVP and PVE combat it will make the game more engaging in the long run. I would like to be able to create a clan, have a stronghold, earn money, hunt down bandits, give out missions, and be scared to death the whole time. If Hammerpoint can deliver and continuously listen to their community they may be able to create an immersive experience that will keep me playing for a long time.

Comments (3)
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Posts: 5

I was so close to buying this game. Glad i waited to hear what people have to say. Guess they needed peoples money to finish the game.

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Posts: 350

Yeah it is really rough at this point. I have not played it for awhile, but who knows.

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Posts: 241

I was also in the Alpha/Beta and can say that, in my opinion, the game is absolutely terrible.