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The War Z (Video Game Review)

The War Z is a new massively multiplayer online zombie game that carries over many features from the highly popular Arma II mod known as Day Z. In fact, the game tries to shamelessly clone the mod down to the core mechanics of surviving in a zombie apocalypse while scavenging supplies, avoiding other players and keeping quiet to avoid being swarmed by zombies. While Day Z has a decent size following, it's definitely a flawed experience that only a select few gamers can really appreciate. The War Z presents an even more flawed product that tries to rip off its consumers in every way imaginable. The developers couldn't even get the name trademarked due to its striking similarities to the upcoming Paramount Pictures film World War Z with the game having no relationship to the upcoming film or the novel it based around. Maybe the developers should've tried renaming this snore of a game The War ZZZzzz... instead.

The War Z
's storyline is said to revolve around the concept of survivors five years after the zombie apocalypse. Just before the beginning of the game, a rare mutation of the zombie virus was found that could lead to the cure of the infected population, and it will be your job to try and create the vaccine to fight off hordes of zombies, or not. The War Z will have you quickly armed with a gun in its current build, and you'll be given the main options of firing rounds into zombies for a quick kill or bashing their heads in with makeshift melee weapons you find scattered about. You'll create a new character when starting up the game, but the promised character customization options are very limited as of now and will usually only let you purchase the best items with real currency from the in-game store. You can also purchase weapons and additional ammunition from the store that will make you think the game is almost pay to win, but you lose all items when killed in the game meaning someone would need an unlimited budget designated specifically for The War Z purchases in order to continue remaining more powerful than other players. No matter which way you're looking at it, in-game purchases for The War Z sucks, unless you're the developer getting a fat paycheck for each microtransaction.

What's the point to The War Z? Well, we found ourselves asking that several times while playing the game. In it's current state, The War Z offers no missions for players to complete and no special game modes such as player versus player deathmatch or the like. You essentially have to make your own fun in the game, and by the first time you've found your first gun, killed a few zombied and managed to blow away another player before they can do the same to you, you've seen all the game has to offer. The promised progression system and skill trees are non-existent, and there aren't enough weapons, equipment and rare lootable items to make the game worth playing for long. You could invite some buddies into the game and try to play out your own tale of The Walking Dead or some other zombie fiction, but you'll quickly realize you'd really be better off playing any other game when a hacker or camper takes you down before you even realize what is happening. Worse yet if you or your buddy dies, you'll have to wait hours to be allowed to respawn in the game again, and although there are ways around this, it's all a bit too tedious to justify playing the game any longer than necessary.

With a nonexistent storyline, no objective reasons to play the game and plenty of design flaws, there's little The War Z could do to make the game a better alternative to Day Z. Where the graphics featured in Day Z aren't very good and have plenty of issues such as color pop-ins, they're even worse in The War Z. The game features some of the most generic looking characters in modern gaming, and the animations of your character and the zombies you're battling against are horrendous. You can also forget playing the game at night with the poor lighting design making it near impossible to see anything even when you're equipped with a flashlight. Lots of server crashes and other unexpected interruptions plague the game as well making is a disaster on the presentation front and a game that shouldn't have been released yet. If you're desperate for a zombie apocalypse MMO, pick up Arma II with the Day Z mod, but if you're looking for a fun zombie game, try Left 4 Dead 2 or any of a number of other games before picking up a copy of The War Z. If you need any other encouragement not to pick up the game, just know Steam took it off of its distribution platform only days after its release due to an incredible amount of customer complaints. Yeah, this game is that terrible.

The War Z is now available exclusively for PC and can be purchased for $15. The War Z is not yet rated. For more information on the game check out the official The War Z website.

Game Features:
  • Massively Multiplayer Online
  • Public and Private Servers
  • Purchase Items In-Game Store
  • Scavenge Supplies and Ammo
  • Player vs. Player Interactions

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Hammerpoint Interactive
    Publisher: Arktos Entertainment
    Available exclusively for PC (reviewed)
    Release Date: December 17, 2012

    Score: 1 out of 10
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