The War Z Beta Iz Ztarting Zoon

By Nathan Grayson on October 5th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

And then, when we've finally defeated the zombies, the trees will make their move.

If The War Z were some form of night-walking terror creature that’s traditionally been slotted into either fast or slow categories – let’s say a gerbil – it’d definitely end up as the former. Hammerpoint’s permadeath-optional zombie MMO burst onto the scene earlier this year, and it’s kept up a rather unbelievable pace ever since. And now, both alpha and beta are right around the corner. I mean that, too. Go look around the corner. They’re right there. And hey, you can participate if you’d like.

There is, of course, a rather predictable catch. In short, you’ve got three pre-purchase packs to choose between, and each one gets you different sorts of pre-release goodies. $19.49 will scare up beta access starting October 31st, but that’s the whole of it. $29.99, meanwhile, lets you in early on October 15th and hands you $15 of in-game currency to play with and one month of “stronghold” map hosting. Last but certainly not least (because, you know, it’s mathematically the most) $49.99 does the same, but also includes $30 of in-game currency, the ability to host a stronghold map for six months, and a special name designation on leaderboards (!).

So those are your options. Meanwhile, to give you a beta better idea of what you’re in for, Hammerpoint also released a new clip of in-game footage that depicts two opportunistic survivalists slaying zombies and their fellow man alike in pursuit of a snazzy safehouse.

Personally, I still have mixed feelings after seeing that. Big guns didn’t seem particularly scarce – nor did ammo. Meanwhile, the zombies were just kind of… there. Even when sound effects seemed to suggest they were tenderly suckling on someone’s earlobe, the players were never really threatened. So I’m not sure how “bigger, better, more” elements of traditional MMO-dom will ultimately mesh with The War Z’s clear-as-day Day Z influence. I suppose, though, we’ll have a much better idea very, very soon. For now, though, are you interested? Obviously, Day Z – while incredible – isn’t perfect. Do you think The War Z’s shaping up to be a viable alternative? Or are you planning to just wait on Day Z’s standalone edition for the delicious fixes you crave?

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57 Comments »

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  1. cool4345 says:

    eh, looks too similar to day Z still for my liking. The zombies somehow look like they’ll be even less of a threat than the zombies in day Z, and they had no issues using that big sniper rifle. It’ll probably attract all of the “kill-on-sight” players too

    So much for the whole “in development long before day Z” thing :|

    • Torn says:

      Yeah that was pretty much proved to be a lie: http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/xvno9/war_z_is_a_ripoff_of_the_popular_game_dayz_the/

      They just took the engine (and models and textures and…) from their hilariously bad ‘War Inc’ game and are rushing to capitalise on the success of Day Z. Gallery: http://imgur.com/a/SvNg5/

      I’ll avoid comparing them to Zynga at this stage. Wait, whoops.

      They’ll need to do a hell of lot of work to pull this off and have a fun and engaging game. I find it pretty worrying they’re already taking money for alpha access a la Minecraft when it’s a far more ambitious undertaking. Thinking about their track record, I’m pretty skeptical they’ll be able to deliver.

      Also that PVP video seems as staged as hell, I’d love to see if that’s representative of the game as it is at the moment, or whether it’s more of a ‘concept’ of what they want to get to.

      • coldvvvave says:

        I hated War Inc but what is wrong with recycling art assets in a F2P game?

        Not to mention, “ripping off” is a norm in an “indie” market, it’s like every game is a rehash of some old platformer anyway. So whats wrong? They lied about developing WZ before DayZ? Ok, good. Who cares?

        • Premium User Badge

          nasKo says:

          It’s a blatant cash-in on a hype.
          Using the same engine doesn’t mean re-using the same textures and models. Theiy’re not recycling art assets “in a” F2P game. They’re recycling art assets FROM an F2P game in a 20-30 dollar game.

          • Premium User Badge

            Naum says:

            Why would they not? (That’s a half-genuine question at least.) As long as the assets look appropriate and I haven’t played the game they’re taken from, I don’t really care. And even if I had it’d be okay as long as the similarities aren’t extremely obvious. (In fact, I’d wish that more developers would recycle their assets and improve on the actual gameplay instead of doing it the other way around.)

            This implies no statement about the rest of their business practices, which sound shady.

          • Premium User Badge

            nasKo says:

            Yeah, well you’re probably right about re-using assets. Can make sense, as well.

            I already pre-ordered it because it’s cheap and I saw no reason not to give it a chance for the bargain price.

            I just have a bad feeling about it. Re-using stuff. Many placeholders and missing things. Staged gameplay (well of course…hope there’s gonna be more once the Alpha starts).

            I have no expectations. I hope the game will surprise me.

          • coldvvvave says:

            How much original content DayZ has?

            >I just have a bad feeling about it.

            Cancel the preorder then?

          • Premium User Badge

            nasKo says:

            I’d like to test the game and see for myself so I don’t see why I’d cancel the preorder. I’m just saying that I have a bad feeling about it. I don’t see what would be wrong with that.
            I don’t like to get into the originality discussion but DayZ is a mod. It’s free.

            The WarZ is CLEARLY trying to cash in on the hype that was caused more or less by DayZ.

          • Shralla says:

            Oh right, because Day Z isn’t any sort of hype cash-in. It’s not like zombies were popular before Day Z, after all!

          • Barnaby says:

            The problem isn’t “oh they are re-using assets” taken alone. The issue is they are re-using assets simply to expedite the release of their game so they can beat the Day-Z standalone to the market. They stole the concept to one of the most interesting games I’ve played in years, and are trying to cash in on it. I hope this game crash and burns. Hard.

            And to all the people saying “who cares if x, y, or z if it’s fun!”… well I fucking do. It’s the same reason I don’t buy Call of Duty. This hedonistic view that you get to be a thoughtless consumer just because you have fun in the process is fucked. This is the type of attitude that I hate, and it frustrates me to no end to see this argument used again and again.

      • derbefrier says:

        why give a shit where it came from as long as its fun? That is the only thing that matters. so they wanted to cash in on a “new” genre by trying to be the first to give Day Z some real competition. OMFG grab the pitchforks! whats the worst that can happen? we get another zombie game no one plays? boo fucking hoo at least there’s a chance something good might come out of it so for that reason until I get my hands on it I am not going to do something as silly as trash talking a game because it might not be entirely original. hell if its half as buggy as Day Z its all ready the winner in my book.

        The Dead Linger announced its Alpha is going to be released on Halloween too. are we gonna trash talk that game because Day Z beat them to the punch? I didn’t know making video games was a race to see who was first I thought it was the quality that mattered.

        • brulleks says:

          “why give a shit where it came from as long as its fun?”

          Hear hear. But if it isn’t fun we get to bring out the extra-sharp pitchforks.

        • Exuro says:

          I couldn’t agree more.

          • Colonel Mustard says:

            Your right Dayz isn’t being completely original (but that depends on your definition of original anyway) but that’s not the argument:

            The context of Day Z coming out/being developed around mumblings of potential concepts (which had not commercially proven) as a.. free mod.

            is different from:

            The context of War Z coming out directly after an unexpected success of a free mod and taking direct group of concepts, play-style and principles as a payed for product. Then they call it War Z? Its blatant!, they know it, we know it and then they have the cheek to imply that they couldn’t of copied it as it was in development before? = zero integrity.

        • Colonel Mustard says:

          Its a lack of integrity on War Z’s part I guess.

          There’s a difference between not being original and ripping something off, personally I don’t like that but its just on principle, perhaps being in a creative industry myself gives me a more personal perspective but yes, it pisses me off, the people that do it are liars and cheats but hey they make money so its justified?

          But its just principles, it matters to me but I have no doubt that most people don’t give a shit. I wont be giving them any of my money.

          Yay principles!

          • Exuro says:

            I would completely agree with you if DayZ had been in any way an original idea, but it wasn’t. If Rocket had been this genius innovator who came up with an incredible idea that someone else then ripped off, then it would be horrible. But he didn’t, it was an idea that many people had expressed a desire for, for many years prior, but nobody made. All rocket did was release it first.

            In fact, The Dead Linger kickstarter actually happened atleast a month before Day Z existed, so thats worth considering when discussing originality.

          • Colonel Mustard says:

            Your right Dayz isn’t being completely original (but that depends on your definition of original anyway) but that’s not the argument:

            The context of Day Z coming out/being developed around mumblings of potential concepts (which had not commercially proven) as a.. free mod.

            is different from:

            The context of War Z coming out directly after an unexpected success of a free mod and taking direct group of concepts, play-style and principles as a payed for product. Then they call it War Z? Its blatant!, they know it, we know it and then they have the cheek to imply that they couldn’t of copied it as it was in development before? = zero integrity

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        That reddit link is not exactly what you make it seem like. Not only is it proof (?) that War Z is just to cash in on DayZ popularity, but it accuses WarZ of being vaporware and this paying for beta to be a scam.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          So what’s the worst that can happen? Worst that can happen is you pre-order and the beta never starts.

          • The Random One says:

            You speak as if paying for something and getting nothing was no big deal. I mean, in the grand scheme of life it’s not as bad as, say, both your parents suddenly dying painfully of a genetic disease, but in the specific realm of retail paying for something and getting nothing is pretty much the worst thing that could happen after getting your credit card details stolen by hirsute mobsters.

    • Remer says:

      I can’t believe people are THIS skeptical still. Sure, everyone has to worry about a new release not being fun, that is perfectly understandable. But a scam? Come on people! This would have to be the most elaborate scam I’d heard of in a while. It’s a completely upgraded version of the engine, they’ve already built one of the worlds, and they would’ve had to pay off so many media outlets loads of money not to reveal such facts as “this is completely unfinished and unplayable”. If it were named absolutely anything else, no one would be this hesitant. I guarantee you.

      • pupsikaso says:

        Find me a single media outlet that has been given any kind of playable version of the game.

  2. VileThings says:

    I dare say that what we have seen so far from the game hasn’t really been actual gameplay, but the developers issuing the “testers” with items and tell them to “go nuts”. That PvP video above especially seems staged. So in reality these “big weapons” will probably be a rare sight compared to less powerful weaponry and equipment.

    • kyrieee says:

      It seems suuuper staged, especially the talking

    • sketchseven says:

      From the brief bits here and there that I’ve read, I think that people with big guns in WarZ are supposedly the player equivalent of millionaires; there was a playthrough article on a gaming blog that I read where the author spawned in with his basic kit, had a brief run around, and then one of the devs came up and basically spawned in rifles, sights, backpacks etc. so they weren’t just running about with nothing.

      It does mean most of the gameplay footage you see is sort of redundant because it’s all, essentially, endgame stuff – when you’ve managed to get the big gun and the cool backpack.

  3. Premium User Badge

    JB says:

    How did they persuade Ray Romano to play for that video?

  4. Artist says:

    For me its definatly “DayZ Standalone” instead of “War Z Pay2Win”. Also, a Bohemia title thats not dependent on vehicle AI can only become another win! *cough*Carrier Command*cough*

  5. Pryde says:

    Mindless gankfest, as expected. If that rifle’s shots sound attracted hordes of nearby zombies from all across the town – that might’ve been at least interesting, but as it is – no thanks, we don’t need more mindless shameless clones like this inferior game.

    • Dragon Master says:

      I actually love the setting and the lightning. Really gives off a proper vibe and the graphics are nice too, I’m thinking to myself…

      And then, POOF, the guy ruins everything with the sniper rifle sounds, the obvious stage-up, the oh-so-cute-and-cuddily-and-squishy zombies and how the “zombie” and “survival” part of the game is somehow not present.

  6. Miltrivd says:

    I was interested in the beginning, competition is always good (the name choice was weird tho), then all the dirty laundry started slowly building up, the “similarities” with DayZ and such. Now after that video my last bit of interest went out of the window.

    Even so, I’m glad that this game will be out and I truly hope they can deliver and their players are happy with it. DayZ was a huge phenomena but way too many people were riding the wrong wave, numbers were not the problem, but people having the wrong expectations. The WarZ may fill the gap people are looking for, a more forgiving, faster, playful approach to a fictional zombie apocalypse. Action game, not a survival one. I think is good that the choice will be around, let’s just hope they are not in “only” for the cash and make it a good experience.

    I’ll be waiting for DayZ Standalone, and I hope Rocket and his team can deliver. The mod right now is pretty dead, and if the standalone gets released exactly like the DayZ mod was before being abandoned I’m afraid it won’t be able to attract even half of its old playerbase.

  7. Dudeist says:

    Pay for win – thankz…………..
    70USD for package (regular price).
    Jokez…
    I have few better zombie gamez already

    • Spengbab says:

      I like how you replace the letter “s” with “z”. It’s really novel and will probably catch on. Great gimmick!

    • Cvnk says:

      I believe you meant to say “sombie gamez”

    • The Random One says:

      Thanks, WarZ. Thankz.

  8. SkittleDiddler says:

    I got an email pimping their goofy premium packages, yet strangely no word on whether I’ve been accepted for the beta. No big loss from what I’ve seen so far.

    EDIT: NM, I didn’t bother reading the first part of the article. Pay for beta access? Fuck that. I wonder why the email didn’t bother mentioning that.

  9. Kein says:

    But didn’t development of WarZ start much, much earlier than even DayZ?

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      That was actually misinfomation (lie?) on the part of the developer.

  10. Premium User Badge

    nasKo says:

    This video as well as the one of the annotation in the beginning is definately staged.

    I opted in for the beta for 20 USD. That’s about 15 EUR for me so meh.

    I fear that the weapon behaviour will lead to the ultimate deathmatch experience for all the kids.
    I can only hope they attract a ton of Zombies in the final game.
    On that note, I haven’t seen actual Zombie AI, yet.

    The videos I’ve seen didn’t include any Z. And I’ve read in their FAQ that AI was disabled or not finished in the videos with AI.

  11. DXN says:

    I want to dislike this for being a ripoff, and they’ll have to really crank up the danger and scarcity from what I see in that trailer for me to be interested, and ideally throw in some kind of indication of what (if anything) will keep players working together. But I do have to say, it’s refreshing to see “essentially-Day Z” in what I have to admit is a much less shonky-looking engine (much as I love Arma!).

  12. Exuro says:

    As somebody who for many years has been completely in love with the idea of DayZ, and has had many many hours of fun playing DayZ, I have to say I’m sick of it. It’s really not all that incredible. The only incredible thing about it is that it took this long for this game to be made, because I know it’s been the fantasy of a lot of gamers for a long time. I honestly am excited to see how the War Z turns out, because at this point, it could be identical in every respect to DayZ and still be nore fun purely because of the many core issues that plague DayZ. It’s a fun game that is no fun at all anymore because it’s a buggy mod in a buggy engine.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      I couldn’t play any of these games to be honest. It’s all instant PVP in the end, you just basically shoot everyone on sight to get better gear. It’s like a Diablo-Cod clone in disguise. Those games have absolutely nothing apocalyptic about themselves.

      “Oh yes, the world as we know it has come to an end. Let’s kill some dudes”

      Hillariously stupid in my opinion.

      • Exuro says:

        I don’t know, I don’t usally find that to be the case. It’s more of a psychological warfare thing in DayZ. Not everyone shoots on sight, but even if they don’t, they become convinced that you will. So everybody approaches every social encounter with an incredibly cautious mind. But even so, the world is big enough that it usually doesn’t become about shooting matches. I certainly don’t believe that people only shoot on site for better gear. It’s usually because they’re convinced that if they don’t, the other person will.

        • DarkFenix says:

          You either shoot on sight for better gear, or you shoot on sight to protect your better gear. That’s the sad side effect to there being so many rare ‘uber’ guns that it’s a huge pain in the arse to try getting normally. If DayZ tones down the loot incentive and introduce some kind of incentive not to shoot, it’d go a long way to making player interaction more ‘real’.

          I spent my latter days on DayZ wandering around with a pair of guns I’d stolen from hackers. If I lost those guns I’d likely not get them again, so you can bet your arse I didn’t let another survivor get within half a click of me if I could help it.

  13. Nic Clapper says:

    I was looking forward to this when I first heard of it…but the more I saw the more it started to fall apart. Unfortunately it just looks super cheap so far. I know its still in-dev…but I really don’t have high hopes for it. Probably doesn’t help that the ‘company’ behind this seems to be the definition of fly-by-night.

    I’m all for having more games of this type, and hopefully we’ll see more in the future, but I don’t expect this one to be more then a cheap cash-in.

  14. xcession says:

    I played Day Z for a few days and had some fun but I lost interest. The major stumbling blocks were basically ARMA-related. Netcode, interfaces, server access, movement. When part of the challenge is the game engine itself, you’re doing it wrong. I’m not sure a standalone version will solve enough of my gripes to bring it above the threshold where I might enjoy it.

    From an engine perspective at least, WarZ looks like it has firmer foundations. Time not spent face palming at engine idiosyncrasies is time spent enjoying playing. At least, I’d hope so. The fact that the zombies don’t seem that threatening or that the loot is so abundant strike me as balance issues that could be fixed.

    That’s not to say they’re the same game – clearly they’re not but comparison is evidently inevitable. This looks far more arcadey, so some of the fear of DayZ looks like its missing, but if WarZ is fun I simply won’t care. Ultimately i’m still optimistic.

    • Premium User Badge

      Chaz says:

      For me that’s pretty much been the problem with Arma. It’s not the more simmy aspects of it make it difficult to penetrate, it’s the clunky obtuse UI that adds the layer of impenetrability; that and the sometimes rather clumsy way you move about. Like you say, fighting the UI is half the battle with Arma, and sadly it’s been that way ever since OpFlash, more or less unchanged in over 10 years and several games. Hell it felt clunky and ham fisted even back in 2001. However when the games really shine, they offer moments that are unmatched by anything else out there. It’s just that they could be so much better with a decent control scheme.

      • Rugged Malone says:

        This has been my experience with both games as well. I really, really wanted to like Arma and DayZ — I’m kind of a sim old-timer — but the clunky implementation just made them feel too much like a chore.

  15. Wooly says:

    Looks like DayZ except FUN.

  16. Shooop says:

    This is not helping their case.

  17. Alehr says:

    Regardless of whatever flaws it may have, I put this in the same treasured category as left 4 dead: A remarkably fresh and avant garde experience that makes itself accessible to a wide audience largely by running on exceedingly familiar zombie genre conventions.

  18. Ganjatron says:

    Did anyone else get the feeling that the map was really small? I the feeling that each map is a small arena with a central point like we just saw. The dialog seemed to hint at that, and really it was just too setup to be believable.

    Think about this, you get the map stronghold for a month with one of the packages, and what did we just see and hear them mention several times, a stronghold. This seems to back up my theory of it being a small map centralized on a stronghold, which is exactly what the players said, even mentioning at one point “is it our turn to defend this stronghold?”.
    So if that is true (won’t know until we get better information), then this is nothing like dayz, and everything like War Inc. and Left4Dead. So while I hope it’s nothing like what I described, I have this sinking feeling it is.

  19. Bensam123 says:

    DayZ is the art of dicking over your fellow human being… I don’t even know why there are zombies in this or DayZ. They don’t really do anything except kill nubs and new players and function as a annoyance. You could remove them and they’d still pretty much be the same game.

    Honestly neither DayZ nor this seem like a zombie game besides having said zombies in them.

    • kyrieee says:

      Not true, zombies reveal players both directly (through the fact that they’ve spawned) and indirectly by forcing players to shoot the zombies and produce noise. They’re also something you really have to take into consideration whenever engaging another player. They’re quite important to the PvP side of things.

  20. Branthog says:

    I really want a zombie survival style of game. However, The War Z doesn’t seem to fit the bill. I am seeing WAY TOO MUCH FIGHTING ZOMBIES going on. Where is the acquiring goods? Where is the fortification? Where is the healing injuries? Where is the co-op and teamwork? Where is the creativity? All I have seen of this game is a variation on Left 4 Dead, with occasional placement of barricades. Meh.

  21. Atrak says:

    I also got the email but the packages don’t really seem like they are worth it.. I mean beta access $20 and a forum icon. $30 for alpha access, $15 of ingame currency and 1 month rental on a server. Sorry not really interested, At least give the people paying what they spent in ingame currency.

    You can definitely call this paying to beta test a product which is rather shoddy.

  22. Shodex says:

    It seems anytime you mention this game you’re going to start flame WarZ that will last for DayZ on end.