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S&S Review: The War Z

Title: The War Z
Format: PC
Release Date: October 31, 2012
Publisher: Arktos Entertainment
Developer: Hammerpoint Interactive
ESRB Rating: M

I know that a lot of people have had it up to here with The War Z, but I couldn't let the game seep through cracks without giving it it's fair shake.  The game has been ridiculed from day one, and for good measure.  A lot of people got ripped off from questionable bans, or they just received a random message saying they can't play the game anymore.  But I won't get too much more into that whole debacle. I actually thought the game had a great concept, it's execution was just too poor, and it turned out to be a huge mess.

Presentation and Core Gameplay:
Right from the get go, you get thrown into the game with little to no information regarding whats going on around you.  There really isn't any backstory in the game, after installing the game, you just start off with creating your survivor.  You can then choose your difficulty settings, Normal or Hardcore.  On Normal, you can respawn with your character.  If you select Hardcore, your character will die permanently, and you'll have to start with a brand new character.  The funny thing I found out about these choices is that, it really doesn't matter what setting you choose.  You don't really level up, if you do, you're not gaining anything significant that you would want to keep.  So right off the bat, the game didn't feel all that thought out.  Given, the developers have stated that this is the Foundation Release. They are planning on releasing a bevy of significant updates to make the game feel like a complete product.  As of right now, the game feels far from complete.  This really makes you think about the choice to release a game that's no where near finished.  Maybe it was to take some of the heat away from DayZ, or maybe it was just trying to cash out on DayZ's success and popularity.  You can make that call for yourself.  Visually, the game is really rough.  There are a lot of bland and muddy textured littered throughout the environment.  The forestry areas just doesn't look good at all, it doesn't even look like a previous generation game.  
When you trek into the city portion of the game, the graphics will improve a bit, but its nothing to drastic.  There are a lot of buildings you can freely walk in and out of, with tons of rooms to explore.  The weird thing is, there isn't anything in the houses and buildings.  You'll usually find items to scavenge, like bandages, water or food.  If you're lucky, you might even find a weapon or two.  Back to the buildings though, all of the walls and floors are grey and dull.  It felt like the developers just created the buildings, and didn't even bother to add any kind of detail to the indoor spaces.  The character models look okay, and so do the zombies.  The animations don't add anything either, it looks like your character is doing the robot when he or she is hacking away at a zombie with a blunt object.  I want to discuss a little more about the gameplay, if you log onto a server that's unpopulated, you'll soon realize how boring the game is.  There really isn't nothing to do.  You might scavenge a nearby building, find a hammer, kill a wandering zombie, then find another building, and repeat the process over again.  The game could have been interesting when you came upon other players, but almost always, that other player will put a bullet in your head. Firefights often occur a bit too often for my taste, and it just becomes frustrating when you're scavenging a building, only to have a stray player blast you in the back with their shotgun.  The extensive inventory system is one of the few components I didn't have a problem with, it made swapping out and using items simple.  There are a number of features will be "coming soon," and hopefully they will add enough to make me want to turn the game on again.  There's a severe lack of polish found in War Z, the game is ridden with technical bugs and graphical glitches. 
Final Thoughts:
The Foundation Release of the War Z is not a good one, it's a pretty shaky one at that.  The game is pretty barren, and just a bore to play.  Tons of graphical and technical hiccups can sometime make the game unplayable.  This isn't a good starting foundation for the game, it has a lot of room for improvement.  Hopefully Hammerpoint can capitalize on such a wonderful concept, we'll just have to wait and see.
S&S Rating:  4/10

5 comments: Leave Your Comments

  1. A good review, though personally, I'm kind of sick of all the Zombie stuff. But I don't think it will go away.

  2. Staff_Writer_SamK1/09/2013

    People are cashing in on the zombie market man, thanks to media empire everyone has built around the idea of the undead

  3. And I honestly don't think it will go away. I mean, we had the pirates and ninja phase, but zombies show no sign of dying(no pun intended).

  4. Staff_Writer_SamK1/10/2013

    Yea it won't go away anytime soon, at least for a while.

  5. MajorStarfish3/01/2013

    When did I miss the pirates phase?