Please Note: This opinion piece is based on an alpha version of the game, meaning anything listed here could be changed or fixed and render my opinions irrelevant at any time.
The WarZ is an upcoming zombie survival MMO by Hammerpoint Interactive that puts players in the shoes of a survivor trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Set in the open world map of Colorado, I have spent the past few weeks exploring the towns, cities, and remote locations that hold precious loot required to live another day in a cruel, and harsh world.
I’m a big fan of DayZ, so another zombie survival game is just what the doctor ordered – or so I thought. Although The WarZ is still heavily in development, from what I have seen from the developers and the game itself, I can’t help but say I am a little disappointed. It’s been enough time now for me to finally sit down and list out 10 things I hate about The WarZ.
#1 ZOMBIES AREN’T A REAL THREAT
I’ve always believed that in a zombie survival game, the zombies should always be the biggest threat – so overwhelming that players start to feel that fear of death just at the sight of them. Shooting a gun in the middle of a town should attract so many zombies that your chances of survival drop dramatically. Every zombie in the surrounding area should begin to move in the direction of the shot, making it a very risky decision to fire any shot.
I hate how low the zombie population is, zombies should be slow and stupid but in such great numbers that they can overwhelm any area with enough activity. Currently it’s too easy to almost completely ignore zombies and of course players have become the biggest threat in their place. The developers have been tweaking how much health the zombies have and how hard they hit, but nothing has been done to enhance the very basic AI.
Zombies are stupid, but it doesn’t mean the AI should be too – zombies are way too basic and follow a simple “run at any character who walks within a certain distance” system that leaves little to the imagination. There needs to be a more than a simple aggro system, zombies should behave properly, bashing on blockades, moving in herds, and realistic population counts. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done on our undead friends.
#2 TOWNS AND CITIES ARE TOO SMALL
Exploring the world to gather essential supplies and equipment plays a huge part in the WarZ experience. I was very disappointed to discover that towns and cities in Colorado are extremely small and even the larger cities are deceptively tiny. It doesn’t feel realistic or compelling at all, it’s like towns grew to the size of one street and then stopped.
It’s understandable that developers aren’t in a position yet to offer realistic sized cities, but The WarZ’s are pathetically tiny. It’s always really bothered me, and is actually almost game-breaking for me. I would love to see towns and cities doubling, if not tripling their current size before they are acceptable. Towns have more than one street and two houses!
#3 NOT ENOUGH ENTERABLE BUILDINGS
I always thought that DayZ didn’t have enough enterable buildings, and it wasn’t until I played The WarZ that I truly began to appreciate how many enterable buildings DayZ does actually support. It’s bad enough that the towns and cities in The WarZ are extremely small, they also are littered with buildings you can’t enter and only a small handful you can.
It’s depressing entering a town or city and finding that only 3 or 4 of the buildings surrounding you are enterable. With the size of the towns and cities, there is no excuse for not having every building enterable and I hope it’s something that the developers address before launch. It’s nice being able to find items outside for a change, but not as an excuse for not having enterable buildings – especially when scavenging is such a core feature.
#4 POOR MAP DESIGN
Colorado feels extremely rushed, and sometimes I think that the delays between unlocking segments of the map was because it wasn’t finished yet. Everywhere I explore I see that whoever has designed certain parts of the map have done a quick job and haven’t even bothered to look at it. Everywhere are floating objects, incorrectly placed buildings, and even at core areas like the airport half the objects in the area are floating quite visibly.
#5 CHARACTERS ARE POORLY DESIGNED
All character models in The WarZ were taken directly from War Inc, and I hate them. The first thing I noticed about these characters was that their torso appears to be longer than their legs and body proportions are way off scale – it’s an eyesore to look at and bugs me.
#6 TOO MANY BORROWED ASSETS
Just because you have a whole games worth of assets at your disposal doesn’t mean you should use them. Pretty much everything in The WarZ has been built using game assets from War Inc, a free-to-play FPS. The developers stated that to not use these resources would be a waste, but to me that’s just laziness by developers who want to build a game as quickly as possible in order to cash in while this new genre is still the hot topic on the internet.
It may just be me, but if I truly cared about a project and wanted to make a great game, I wouldn’t build it with someone elses resources. I would want that game to be as original as possible, the fact that they aren’t even making their own assets just tells me they have no passion. It’s a common problem in many industries, people care about the profit margin more than they do the quality of the product.
#7 REDICULOUS FEES
I’d like to believe that the developers aren’t just money-grabbing – but with every new day comes another reason to not believe them. The latest thing to really piss me off was the announcement that it would cost real-life money to form a clan, furthermore that clan only has a limited amount of slots and extra slots must be purchased with more real-life cash.
Let’s not get in to the fact that clans are a core-feature of any game that claims to be an MMO, I have never heard of something like this. It’s bad enough they charge you to start a clan, but for any decent sized clan it will cost them hundreds of dollars just to get everyone in, more if they want their alts in the clan as well, an absolutely disgusting feature.
#8 GUNS ARE COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC
I play a lot of shooters, so it didn’t take me long to realize that the guns in The WarZ behave completely unrealistically. It’s like someone who never picked up a gun in their life created these weapons with how they thought these guns should behave, rather than how they actually do in real life. As an example, shotguns have a range of just a few feet before the spread is so wide you couldn’t hit the side of a barn if you were standing next to it.
#9 THERE’S NOT ENOUGH TO DO
Oh great, I can sneak through towns and amass loot in to a bank endlessly. I have seen the development plan for the next 6 months and even at the end of those six months, if everything is achieved – The WarZ will still only offer a dumbed down DayZ that only has the core features that the mod currently offers. There’s simply just not enough to do.
There are a small handful of features that DayZ doesn’t (but will shortly) have, but even those are such basic concepts that they don’t give The WarZ an innovative edge. Even if everything listed on this article was fixed or changed, at the end of the day I would still be bored out of my mind wondering why I wasn’t playing DayZ instead.
#10 F&*KING HACKERS
The weight of this problem lies on the backs of both the developers and the community. It’s only alpha and already hackers are making the game a frustrating experience for everyone involved, stalling all development to deal with the issue. It’s something the developers should have been well aware of, but were nowhere near prepared for.
Besides the hackers flying through walls, going god mode, or running crazy with aimbots – it’s also created a mentality within the community that further enforces the kill on sight play style and whenever you are killed it must be a hacker. You can’t see someone die without them soon screaming they were killed by a hacker.
I even asked one guy why he thought the player was a hacker and he simply responded, “I said friendly and he killed me”. To everyone you meet, you’re just another hacking CoD kiddie – because of a small 1% group that drives everyone else insane.
So there we have it, the top 10 things I hate about The WarZ. Do you have a different opinion or agree with the points made in this article? Let us know in the comments below! To find out more about The WarZ, visit the game page or read the Alpha preview.