Welcome to The WarZ Preview. The WarZ is an upcoming zombie MMO that puts players in the shoes of a survivor, thrown in to the middle of a zombie apocalypse with nothing more than the clothes on their back. With survival being the core objective, players must explore the world as they scavenge for supplies and weapons – avoiding the undead, and other desperate survivors.
The WarZ, much like other MMOs, begins with character creation and customization – players can choose between four different styles for the head, upper, and lower body. Each character comes from a different background, whether it be an ex-military man, or a female hunter – there’s someone that should suit each persons tastes.
When creating a character, besides choosing its style, players must also decide whether they will play a normal or hardcore character. Playing a hardcore character means that when it dies it will be gone forever, permadeath, but with the rewards of faster XP gains and better loot spawns on hardcore only servers.
Before heading in to the zombie infested world, there is another step players will regularly take, and that’s stocking up on supplies before a trip. Much like a bank in other MMOs, players are given a global inventory in which they can safely store their items and retrieve them before heading out. Anything outside of this bank isn’t safe, and could potentially be lost forever.
That’s the key thing about surviving in The WarZ, you are never safe and your possessions are almost never safe. Stockpiling all necessary supplies will quickly become your main focus, sometimes even more so than living, one of many things you will learn in this cruel new world; and a cruel world it is.
The Zombie MMO is a new breed of online gaming that allows gamers to live out those zombie apocalypse scenarios, putting those perfect plans to the test in order to see how well they really work out. The WarZ intends to give players a wide array of locations to live out these scenarios, with the first being a re-imagining of the state of Colorado.
Set five years after the initial breakout, the state of Colorado’s towns and cities are in ruins and no more wild animals roam the green forests, with only the undead stalking the streets. As a survivor, players awaken in a random location on the map of Colorado and must then begin their journey; however they choose.
That can be one of the most intimidating factors of the game, you are free to do what ever you want – therefore there is no string pulling you along. From the moment you enter the world you must prioritize what you need to do, whether it be finding a weapon or some food and drink, there’s plenty of decisions to be made.
Where you go and what you do will ultimately determine how long you live, do you venture in to the big city for more chance at loot, or do you take the less travelled road out to a rural farm? Cities, while often quite rewarding, are filled with more zombies and players than any other location – making it a serious trip to undertake.
Making this first step, players are already being pulled in to a web of emergent gameplay. From here on in there are a million different things that can happen, and your experience will differ every time as you meet new players who have their own goals and motivations, or run in to trouble with zombies that weren’t there before.
The world is pushed forward by the players that interact with it, and will always provide players with new experiences. Sometimes those experiences are good, players will make new friends to fight off zombies with and sometimes those players will turn out to be bandits who want nothing more than the contents of your backpack.
More than likely, most people are bad and want nothing to do with a stranger, but there’s a good reason for it. With the ending of civilization as the world knew it, supplies, weapons and ammo became very rare to find. In a world where zombies are an overwhelming force and supplies to fight them off with are limited, players begin to lose their values of team play.
This generally ends with most players finding small groups to play with and distancing themselves from strangers. As players explore the world they will meet other players, and when they do they must make a decision as to whether or not a fight will take place. Sometimes the opponent may be unarmed, but what if they pick up a weapon nearby?
It’s a game of if’s and maybe’s that keeps the finger on the trigger and eyes on the back of your head, all in the name of survival. It’s not all barbaric however, there are several safe locations in which survivors are unable to tear each other to pieces, safe settlements that allow the day’s loot to be stored away in the global inventory.
For anyone who has watched The Walking Dead, you’ll feel a lot like them making loot runs in to towns. It’s not all just mindless looting however, there is challenge to it for those who want to live long and prosper in the midst of a war zone. Those who wander aimlessly will quickly find themselves dead.
As survivor’s come up against zombies they will find that they can quickly become a deadly pain in the ass. Attracted by sight, sound, and even smell – zombies can quickly overwhelm a player if they aren’t careful. This means stealth plays a key role in any run in to town, or quick and silent takedowns – clearing out streets before they can amass.
Killing a zombie can only be done with a blow to the head, anything else will just be a waste of energy or ammo. Using loud weapons to kill a zombie will often attract more zombies, or even other players, meaning those who want to stay alive need to be careful about when and where they use guns over quieter weapons like bats and hammers.
There’s a wide variety of weapons to be found throughout the world, with everyday items such as baseball bats, pick axes, hammers, and military weapons such as assault rifles, and snipers rifles. While bats and hammers are quite common, guns are rare in the world, with ammo even rarer than all of the above.
Players won’t find every player they come across with a high-powered sniper rifle, more than likely they are just holding a hammer and some water. This creates some interesting scenarios when a player with a melee weapon comes across a player with a gun. With stealth and a quick takedown, the gun doesn’t always come out on top.
There are ways to protect yourself however, with barricades that can be placed in doorways and windows, giving players more time to loot buildings before other players or zombies start getting in. Some even decide to turn small parts of the world in to a temporary home, fortifying it and holding on for as long as possible – using it as a temporary spot to meet and exchange gear.
For the Alpha there has only really been looting and fighting to keep players busy, however the future will bring more to do for the average survivor. Strongholds are stretches of land that players can purchase, giving them enough room to build towns, farms, or a fortress to protect their fortunes – as long as they can defend it.
Using different building blocks, survivors will be able to shape their own little piece of the world to use how they see fit. Some examples have been farms and markets to sell food, while others have turned it in to a gladiator’s arena. Players can live in these Strongholds together, and a full friend system will support that.
Another trend from MMOs that has made the move is the cash shop, players can purchase convenience items such as food, hats and other supplies for either real currency or money found in-game. Many concerns of a pay-to-win cash shop were quickly put to rest, nothing can be bought that would give players an advantage and the only weapons in the store are melee weapons.
There are many ways that The WarZ could turn out, to be completely honest it’s still in heavy development and has a long way to go before it offers something truly special. While the game is still in its early stages, it’s definitely got something to interest most zombie fans out there.
Full release will also bring more maps than Colorado, allowing survivors to travel to other locations in the world to find supplies. The WarZ is an open world zombie MMO that features the arcade shooter action of Left 4 Dead, in the open world environment of an RPG – throwing a large handful of players in to the mix, and you shouldn’t miss it.Related: Preview, Survival, The WarZ, Zombies