Thursday, October 18, 2012

The WarZ Alpha

Spent a few hours inside The WarZ last night.

That pause was a big long sigh while I gather my thoughts and organize my words carefully in my mind.

The good news is that it feels less like a scam and more like a game than I was expecting. Yes, it's DayZ done quickly... but perhaps not as quickly as some might think. There's been a lot of work done in the environments from what I can see, and that's not to be taken lightly.

Entering a populated area within the first hour it was clear there was a different aesthetic at play. A high-rise pair of apartment buildings rose from the trees about a mile or so in front of me, then the four-lane highway rose into an overpass as I got closer. I stayed low walking underneath it, among shipping containers and some vaguely military tents that looked like they had housed refugees for months on end. The big pieces of the environment were there, and they were very different from the semi-rural hamlets in Chernarus. Smaller outbuildings were themed, like a bank with a rusted ATM machine, a post office with abandoned safe deposit boxes. An empty supermarket. But for the most part they were empty... sterile... waiting to be filled in with... something. It felt more like a paintball park than a dilapidated former Soviet state. There was little emotion in the landscape.

The wilderness was disappointing. Trees loomed large and clumsy, and were tee few and too far apart. The terrain seemed to funnel you into roads instead of opening and allowing you to survey them from a distance via binocular. Whether that was intentional, or a way to limit draw distances I don't know. You'll need different tactics and more teamwork to survive here as there are likely fewer pathways between points of interest. 

The animations in the characters, as well as the zombies, were stiff and awkward. Nothing seemed to have weight, and zombies glitching out and moonwalking in the distance didn't help.

Also, sadly, the character screen looks very much to be a pay-to-win microtransaction portal. If there is a scam in this it's that anyone pre-ordered it. It will be free to play at some point soon. The intention is written all over the interface.

But this is alpha... this is alpha I need to keep telling myself. Still curious to see how this develops and how it makes itself its own property.


  1. Apparently it's f2p in the way Guild Wars 2 is. You'll need to pay for the base game, but no sub fees.

    If they don't draw in enough people I'm sure they'll flip the switch and go straight f2p.

  2. Agreed. Been following OshiSeven's Twitter today and apparently they're not being very open on their forums, deleting critical posts and the like. Also Gumbie tells me he got his money back already from the publisher.