This is a tricky situation. I firmly believe that the ideas for The War Z put forth by Hammerpoint (the features they aspire to on their official website) are interesting and solid on paper. But the fact of the matter is that the game is simply nowhere near what it presents itself as being in that feature list. Normally, in alpha/beta stages, we can turn a blind eye towards some of a game’s faults because we know it’s in the testing phase and all we are seeing is a preview of things to come. In The War Z’ case, the preview of things to come, when all that’s happened is considered, is not a promising harbinger of any sort. And what’s more than that? Hammerpoint is considering their game now released in its “foundation” state. The company that makes the zombie shooter MMO itself claims the game is “launched” but not final. What does that mean? Well, for us her at MMORPG.com, it means we’re obligated to put it through its paces and review the thing.
I want to make it clear and be rather honest that I do not expect this review to take a lot of time, as TWZ is not the kind of MMO that takes weeks to comb through, experiencing every system and sort of content. Hammerpoint’s game is essentially an open world map where players strive to survive against zombies, each other, and the onslaught of hunger and thirst. There is very little in the way of systems, progression, or anything else other than the Wild West nature of survival in Colorado. However, though I’ve been playing the game since the Alpha Launched, I plan on diving into the recently released Foundation Patch to see how things are coming along.
The first thing that I noticed is that my press account (similar to the founders accounts from the alpha stages) was given a Kruger .22 pistol and a clip of ammo to start the game. If I lose it, it’ll be gone forever. But considering it’s the first gun I’ve had in TWZ in months, I have to say that was a welcome boon. Of course, ammo goes fast when you take out the game’s zombies with headshots to earn experience points that do absolutely nothing at this stage.
There’s a lot that I’d like to say about The War Z right now, but I’ll reserve quite a bit of it until our review in the next week or two. I just want to say that if I were Hammerpoint, I might have held back on calling the game “launched” for a while. Aside from everything else that’s been brewing around this developer in recent weeks, the paid beta pre-purchase program was no reason for them to rush their title through Alpha and into launch in just a few short months. Any criticism the game itself now receives in the “foundation” release, is just as irreversible as the impression the company’s woes have made on players in recent weeks.
Let me close this brief column this week by stating once more: The War Z’s ideas are solid. Its execution is what has proven sorely lacking. We could surely go into the fact that TWZ may be little more than a cash-grab towards DayZ from Dean Hall, but there have been clones of games before. If The War Z was a good game, no one would care that it’s a clone. But the fact is that Hammerpoint’s zombie survival game is not ready for prime time, and that’s the truth. I don’t like reviewing and assigning scores to games that are clearly still in development. But then, it wasn’t my decision to mark the game as launched and out of beta.
Stay tuned in the next week or two for our official The War Z review. Have you been playing the game? Do you think it was ready for “launch”?
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