After the incredible popularity of the Arma 2 mod, Day Z, the appearance on the horizon of another game of the same genre comes with very little surprise. Developed by Hammerpoint Interactive and published under Arktos Entertainment Group, The War Z is being hyped as a hardcore PC take on survival in a zombie infested world.
And quite a world Hammerpoint is insisting it will be. The developer is boasting highly-interactive worlds that span from 200 to 400 kilometers, and each server being capable of housing up to 250 players.
As for the experience portrayed by intel recovered from the interwebs, the player is thrust into a role-play-heavy world and told to survive. Maps will offer wide expanses to explore as well as safe settlements where one may purchase goods and spend nights with a little more safety from the undead. However, even with zombies thirsting to eat your flesh, it’s to your fellow human players that you ought to cast your suspicions. The game offers many mechanics for player-to-player interaction, including local message boards on which to place messages for your fellow players. It ends up being both a way by which to locate allies, support and supplies, or to set traps for the unsuspecting do-gooder. Personally, I’m already conceiving a number of terrible psuedo-damsel-in-distress situations to sucker my fellow gamers into.
The game has some more nice options, such as the choice between 1st and 3rd person camera angles; yay, we’ll be able to shoot stuff up and then zoom out to explore the world. No, that’s not sarcasm. Clumsy camera angles can put a huge damper on an experience built to be a blend of combat and environmental immersion such as this.
Players will also be able to choose between to game modes: Normal and Hardcore. The major difference is that Hardcore sports a permadeath system, while Normal kicks you from the game for an as-of-yet-undetermined amount of time upon death. So, if you’re not the sort who digs spending hours on a character only to have them permanently die in a momentary lapse of judgement, don’t worry too much.
However, Arkov Executive Producer Mr. Titov, in a recent IGN interview, said “The ultimate goal is to survive as long as you can. Normal and Hardcore players will have their own separate leaderboards, plus we’ll have special servers where only hardcore players will be allowed, those servers will contain some rare items, not found on mixed servers.” So, maybe chancing the absolute destruction of your character will be worth it, hmm?
Though Hammerpoint insists the game was in development well before the mod’s release, Day Z players will notice a number of similarities. Not that we’re really complaining; if it’s a great experience that takes the idea even farther, kudos. Hammerpoint Senior Game Designer, Mr.Nordin, when questioned by IGN about the resemblance, offered this sucinct insight.
“Most of our team members are fans of DayZ. We love the way DayZ was able to capture the primal feel of being alone in a big hostile environment, where your biggest enemies are not necessarily zombies, but other players. And these other players are no different from you – they’re scared humans who are trying to survive – this is the same feel we want to capture in WarZ.
The major difference is that DayZ is a fantastic mod for a hardcore military simulation game, so it is all set in that type of environment. We are creating a standalone game, with the entire world designed around a zombie apocalypse, so that players feel completely immersed in that environment. We want players to see the signs of struggle and destruction from humans fighting with zombies and have that sense of fear and anxiety when they are exploring the world.”
For those of you digging the sound of this, open-betaing is set to start late this summer. Sign-up here at The War Z’s official website.
Otherwise, expect to pay a one-time fee of $30 to purchase the game and server access. That’s right; they won’t be slowly siphoning away your wallet’s life force by the month. Major plus.
In conclusion, the game is looking pretty great. Keep your eyes open for future updates.