Happy holidays everyone! Hope things went well!
I've come bearing a New Year's gift. And it's this: Don't play The War Z.
Don't think about The War Z.
Don't, even if you haven't yet, even look it up.
And don't, by the gods, buy The War Z.
I know advice is a shitty gift, worse than the scratchiest wool socks. But you'll thank me. It's possibly one of the worst games I've played in years. And yet it had so much promise. Or, perhaps, it merely promised so much. Hammer Point tagged it as "The world's first zombie survival MMOFPS," which sounded pretty awesome. The graphics in the promo screenshots looked pretty good. There are shots of groups of survivors opening up on huge zombie hoards, or running down zombies in busted-up cars. The features they advertised included massive (400 square kilometers) maps, interactive worlds, NPCs protecting safezones, a skill-tree, friends list, clans, player owned strongholds, in-game VOIP, a karma system, private servers, so on and so forth. They said their anti-cheat was revolutionary, smart, and foolproof.
So what did we actually get? A cheap cash-in. Despite being "released," "live" and such, almost none of the advertised features are actually in the game, or close to being completed. It's buggy as all heck. It's simply not fun, because there's nothing to do. It's an empty, boring world. Hacking runs rampant, and duping has become such an issue that everyone's inventories were wiped. The cheat protection (which is based of stats, like K/D ratios) is flawed and bans both hackers and innocents in equal measure. The developers swing between offering players silence, outright lies, platitudes, and insults. The servers are unstable, and we've lost the ability to log in and play for days at a time, with comments from the devs along the lines "Servers are down," Or "We've fixed the issue, but it will take up to 24 hours to take affect." That doesn't sound terrible. But after we were told this, the servers remained down for a few more days with no further word. The only feature that has been completed since release is the micro-transaction shop. Oh and clans, I guess. Right now the only functionality of the clan system is whether or not you're in one, and you have to pay to have more than a few members.
Accusations of false advertising have been leveled against Hammer Point, and for good reason. Of the 12 listed features on the product page in Steam, only 3 of them actually existed. Steam pulled the game from their catalog after only a day, due to the sudden flood of people asking for refunds. When confronted with these allegations, Sergey Titov, the man behind Hammer Point, claimed that customers misread or misunderstood these features, defending, for instance, that the claim that the game could handle up to 100 people per server, because 50 slot servers (the max the game offered at the time) was, technically, a number between 0-100. These sorts of half truths and lies are frequent from Sergey and Hammer Point.
Likewise, the awesome screen shots they still use to advertize the game have been shown to be staged and/or posed. The graphics they showcase aren't possible, the hordes of zombies don't exists, vehicles don't exist, many of the models, animations, and customization options seen in them aren't in the game. Hell, the locations they show don't actually exist. They're concept art passed off as in-game footage, and nothing more.
So why did this happen? It all comes down to the fact that The War Z is a cheap rip-off and quick cash-in on DayZ. Shortly after the DayZ standalone was announced, news of WarZ started popping up. Sergey said that Hammer Point wasn't copying DayZ, but had in fact been working on the game for about 2 years. (That's true, in a way. Before The War Z, Sergey made War Inc. And, if you play both, you realize that The War Z is pretty much War Inc with some texture changes and and simply zombies with lackluster AI. Indeed, the only mechanics and features that War Z really has already existed in War Inc. It's a quick mod of their own game.) Shortly after news came out that the DayZ standalone would be releasing around Christmas, Sergey decided to surprise us all by declaring The War Z "live" and fully releasing it on the website and through steam, despite the community's understanding that the game was still in an alpha state.
Oh, and funny little icing on the cake? The game's trademark has been suspended thanks to the similarity between its title and the movie/book/rumored game World War Z.
As you have no doubt guessed by now, I'm not a fan. And most people aren't. Don't be tempted to try it. I have more to say. I have much more to say. But that's enough for now.
Edit:: I'd also like to point out that The War Z is currently amongst metacritic,s worst 10 games, with an 18/100. THE worst game on metacritics? Big Rigs, with 8/100, generally considered to be one of the worst games ever made, and infamous for claiming it had features and content that didn't actually exist. Guess who made Big Rigs? That's right, Sergey Titov.