Wot I Like Best About The War Z!!

There’s been an awful lot of chatter about The War Z of late. Removed from Steam for not being in a state Valve deem suitable for sale, making false claims on their store page (then blaming the customers for it, somehow), banning people for criticising the game, stealing the League Of Legends Terms Of Service, and most recently adding an amazing line to their TOS that says agreeing to it voids your right to a refund! But what about the game?!

Creature Features

Some have accused the released version of The War Z of not being feature complete. In fact, Valve agree with this to the point where they’ve removed it from sale. But there’s a problem with this argument, and it’s on I think is important to address: being feature complete would imply that The War Z has any features at all. And that’s simply unfair on Hammerpoint.

Pay To Pay

The free-to-play movement has infuriated many gamers over the last couple of years, games pretending to be free, but then incentivising incremental payments at every opportunity. The War Z performs no such bait-and-switch. Instead it charges a minimum of $15 to buy the game, and then gauges you for cash throughout. Want more backpack space? Pay for it! Want new character skins? Pay for them! Want to have anything to do? Pay for it!

Rock Bottom

One of the key aspects of The War Z is respawn time. As of yesteday, it’s now four hours. Unless you pay of course. So life is precious! (Sure, respawning has no appreciable advantage, since there aren’t any skill points to spend your XP on, and respawning starts you off with an empty backpack, while just creating a new character provides you with some basics. But you know, you grow attached to that identically skinned character and his no discernible individual attributes.) So you’ll want to look after yourself. So don’t, you know, step down off a rock.

It’s an odd system, since jumping from a car roof is fine. But slide those last two inches from a rock and you’ll hit the ground with such impact that you’ll lose a good third of your health.

Rock Top

You know what’s wrong with most games? When you reach a slope you can’t climb. We’ve all been there in Skyrim and Far Cry 3 where we can’t quite scale a mountain because the surface is just too steep. Not here! Here through the magic of jumping any surface can be ascended. In fact, if you’re lucky you might find you just start sliding straight up the cliff! And it can afford you excellent places to hide!

Nailing The Sound

Definitely one of the game’s highlights is that footstep sounds on rocks, floorboards and cars all sound like someone hammering a nail into some wood.

Busy Doing Nothing

Survival games often get too bogged down in demanding you survive. Luckily with The War Z there’s little worry about that. Your food and water meters go down so slowly that you’ll inevitably have far too much liquid and granola bars to carry, and there’s rarely danger of getting killed by bandits. So instead, without anything else to actually do, and no impetus to fight for your life, the best course of action is usually to head into a town and annoy all the zombies. Sure, they can hit you when you’ve run far past them, and certainly three of those magic hits is enough to kill you, but still, it’s an event. Weapons are the game’s scarcest item, incredibly rare to find, which prevents you from getting bogged down in any sense of actually being involved in the game, or being able to legitimately consider surviving entering a town. Of course, if you’re going to be fussy about that, you could always buy weapons from the store!

The Long Dark Nights

Day/night cycles in games often go ludicrously quickly. Not in The War Z. Here it crawls around, ensuring you get to spend literally hours in the pitch black, not being able to see anything without turning on your KILL ME NOW flashlight, stumbling about and not being able to see that there’s absolutely nothing to do.

The Oh God I Can’t Carry On

The thing about The War Z is that it’s not immediately terrible. When it’s not night, it’s quite pretty in places, although trees are a mess, and there are some amazing glitches with the reflections. You have a character, a map to explore, and zombies to avoid. But you have no drive, no purpose, and no sense that putting up with the ludicrous volumes of bugs is worthwhile. My most recent death was achieved when my character failed to jump a small box, his legs freezing folded in half, hovering on the edge of the crate. Zombies wobbled near me and I was instantly dead.

It glitches constantly, almost achieving strobing effects at some points. Clipping is abysmal, then zombies can occupy the same space as each other, and indeed you. Attacking a zombie with a hammer can take upward of 30 blows to kill them, during which they don’t counter-attack at all. However, face two zombies and it’s instant death – unless you run away for a bit. They get bored after about 30 seconds. As do I. That’s the game’s biggest failing – it’s irredeemably dull.

There’s no drive to live, no impetus to survive. There’s no thrill in escaping, or fear in leaving the woods, certainly not helped by its clumsy third-person perspective. It’s so ludicrously unfair with weapons that the act of finding them is the most likely thing to get you immediately killed. Because of course they’re all for sale in the real-money shop. So it is that there’s the incessant sense of being gauged by a game that charged you to play it in the first place, despite its offering no motivation to carry on and pay.

An endless source of amusement while playing, however, is the global chat. It is always one of three subjects: DayZ is better; this game is shit; these people are using hacks. It seems it’s rife with cheaters, giving you further reason to not enjoy yourself. I’ve certainly seen other players with astonishing numbers of bullets in a game that offers almost none.

There’s clearly a lot of dubious stuff going on. Kotaku have spotted just how many pics they nicked for one of their promo screens. PCGN’s Steve Hogarty attempted to measure just how big the single map the game has really is, and found it to be a fraction of the size claimed, even after Hammerpoint scaled down their bullshit on the Steam page. More and more of such details seem likely to emerge. But there is a game here, and you can play it. It’s just… you won’t want to.


  1. Ryan Huggins says:

    The last screenshot is one of the best comedic screenshots I’ve seen. I definitely wasn’t expecting a satire when I saw this in my RSS. I actually though someone…liked The War Z. 0.0 I’m glad I read the article and set that straight.

    • Ryan Huggins says:

      The Day Z must be terribly upset about their fuck-up now that the Steam Sale has started. They just lost a good number of potential sales!

      • Jamie White says:

        Did you not get the moral of the story? Or the point at all?

        Don’t release when you’re not ready. Take your time.
        That’s what Dean is doing with Day Z.

        It’s easy to do half-arsed copy of someone else’s piece of art, but don’t expect bang-for-your-buck, stability or support.

        • altfuture says:

          I think he referred to The War Z and accidentally misnamed “War” to “Day”, which just makes the effect of plagiarism even worse.

          • erikagarver9 says:

            I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do..Read More

          • Smashbox says:

            Dear RPS, deputize me and I’ll delete these roboliars incredibly quickly.

          • captain nemo says:

            Yep – The man speaks the truth. We need deputies to quickly delete all the scam posts

          • nasbas1645 says:

            The two festivals to come! 30% discount! Apple iPhone, ipad, ipod Accessories! Many! Great! link to ick.li

          • El_Emmental says:

            +3, we need deputies.

            Set up a hiring process, ask the deputies to provide their real name (kept private of course)(to prevent abuses) and a photo of their face with a cowboy hat and cool shades.

            Any abuse of power = you get the boot, thank you for your services.

          • Groove says:

            Yeah, a few persistant commenters could sort the entire place out.

          • Steed says:

            +’some more’ for deputies, Bob Marley let the deputy live for a reason! If you let the deps ‘fold’ the spam, like on youtube, it gets rid of he spam while allowing the non deputised to check for power corruption.

          • Rumpel says:

            there are plenty of ways to reduce spam (without captcha), and while we’re at it, vastly improve the commenting section of rps. this is something Mr Willock really should take a look at.

      • Mctittles says:

        The actual DayZ devs can’t be too happy either. Some potential buyers will probably think twice when that hits steam. How many sales were from people who heard “DayZ” was good and mistakenly bought “WarZ” and now mistakenly think “DayZ” is a crap game.

        • Ryan Huggins says:

          Damn, I’m surprised I made that mistake. Haha. But yes, I meant The War Z.

          This was supposed to be a reply to the other comment. :P

  2. Revolving Ocelot says:

    I only read half of the review as my attention span is far too fleeting to spend reading stuff instead of playing games. It’s excellent to know that this is a valuable contributor to the zombie genre (because yes, zombies are a genre all by themselves, forget the actual setup of the game), and I shall eagerly await a discount in the Steam Christmas sale. When I checked it was #1 on the top sellers list so Hammerpoint will throw us loyal consumers a bone, absolutely no doubt about that.

    • Eclipse says:

      not sure if serious or zombie

      • Fede says:

        Zombie! It’s clear that it’s horrible much sooner than halfway ;)

        • a2843012 says:

          Here, we’ve got a bug-riddled cash-grab copycat borefest of a game.

          • enobayram says:

            I think you should avoid URL descriptions that look like other URLs. I can’t imagine any legitimate reason for its use.

    • serioussgtstu says:

      Yes, I’m sure Valve will happily put a game which is not being sold in their winter sale.

    • LazyAssMF says:

      Man, are ju fuckin serious?!?!? Did you read anything at all??? This so called “game” is total crap made to make money off DayZ fans and naive people. You must be really… You must be the HamperedPoint employee or even Sergej himself. Or maybe you’re just… …D-EVIL.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      I miss the days in which RPS commenters could recognize sarcasm.

      (I thought your comment was funny.)

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        There are … certain nations that culturally, erm, don’t get sarcasm. There needs to be a sarcasm emoticon.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        Or is “LazyAssMF” being sarcastic? With that name you have to hope so.

        And before anyone repeats lazy stereotypes about Americans not understanding sarcasm, remember, this is a country that calls it’s self the “Land of the Free” and has the highest prison population in the world. If that doesn’t demonstrate a healthy grasp of irony and self-deprecation I don’t know what does.

        • identiti_crisis says:

          You mis-spelled “ignorance” and “self-deception”.

          Oh, and :P

          • Premium User Badge

            phuzz says:

            I misspelled ignorance because I’m an idiot who doesn’t proof read his own posts properly, but I did mean self-deprecation* not deception.

            (ie taking the piss out of yourself, like wot I just done at the start of that sentence)

          • identiti_crisis says:

            I must’ve forgotten the sarcasm tags again…

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          I was totally talking about people from … errrm …. Lapland. Yep. Father Christmas. Always last to get the joke.


        • cairbre says:

          +1 to you sir for making me laugh before I head off to bed

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          Uncle Sam can suck my wonky molars

          Wisdom Teeth

          Just mind the fillings. I tend to get electric shocks as we still use mercury.

        • xzalander says:

          You just described hypocrisy not sarcasm.

  3. diamondmx says:

    Wot He Thinks: It’s a bit pants really.

  4. Network Crayon says:

    Worst launch ever.

    • Palindrome says:

      Can’t argue with that. This may be a good game eventually but it is far from a state where it is even worth buying. The fact that it managed to reach Steams No 1 spot though does mean that a lot of people were interested in it.

      Incidentally zombies don’t take a lot of hits to kill with melee weapons, you need to hit them in the head. Unfortunately the only way that I found to do this is to spam the mouse button while next to a zombie while looking at the sky above their head; not the best system in the world.

      • Shuck says:

        I can’t imagine this ever becoming a good game just because of some of the rather evil choices made by the developers. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until I read about the respawns, cash store and how they justified the discrepancy between the features and description. If this isn’t simply an outright scam, it’s being made by some of the most clueless, least thoughtful developers ever. (Probably both things are true.) Either way, that doesn’t say anything good about its future.

        • Baines says:

          Don’t forget reading about the disgruntled ex-employee saying that Hammerpoint has plans to abandon the game within as little as six months.

          • solidsquid says:

            In fairness, that guy apparently came back and said he’d lied about that. There’s enough problems with War Z without having to make up more

            (that said I suspect that his comments could well turn out to be accurate, since he said they’d abandon it if it didn’t make enough revenue after 6 months)

      • Premium User Badge

        geoffreyk says:

        The fact that it reached Steam’s No 1 spot could mean that a lot of people were legitimately interested in this specific title. It could also mean that a lot of people had heard about this phenomenal, mind-blowing game about zombies that ended in a Capital Z and got lots of positive press coverage this year, but that it was like a “mode” of Army Men 2 or something, but it was going to get its own release, and oooooo yay! It is finally on Steam, and what an attractive price…

        I’ve yet to see any indication that this game is anything but a cynical cash-grab, and cannot fathom a significant population being both fully aware of the context AND interested in this game.

        • Berzee says:

          Regardless of what you think of this software product, people who confuse it with other similarly-named games are simply inattentive chumps…

          …and will probably buy Mojang’s Scrolls because they liked Skyrim.

          • addam666 says:

            I loled and now there is coffee in my keybskaepord damn yoihu! :(

          • Berzee says:

            Though I weep for your keyboard, I hope you’re telling the truth and not using Internet Exaggeration, for I would feel a sort of grim pride in my work.

    • RakeShark says:

      Nah, I think Sword of the Stars 2 edges this out as far as fail-to-launch. This was actually cheaper than SotS2.

    • zbmott says:

      Wot about Magicka?

      I love the game, but its launch was pretty rough sailing.

      • Kitsuninc says:

        Well, Magicka may have been very poorly optimized and riddled with bugs at launch, but at least if you weren’t effected by them, there was a great game. failing to do proper bugfixing is understandable one you’ve got your game finished. Not acceptable, but at least something I could imagine doing whilst still being well-meaning.

        Here, we’ve got a bug-riddled cash-grab copycat borefest of a game.

        • Network Crayon says:

          I dont remember the developers treating their audience with complete disdain either. Problems are one thing, being callous is another.

          Also: ” bug-riddled cash-grab copycat borefest of a game” Super-Combo!

      • Discopanda says:

        Also, the developers of Magicka didn’t even know that their game was launching when it actually launched, if I remember correctly.

      • Moraven says:

        It was cheap enough and not as hyped.

        SotS2 while not hyped, cost $30-$40 with some expectations from the first game.

      • frightlever says:

        Anarchy Online.

        Go on. Try and name a worse launch.

        Re: War Z – If it had been a bad game or a greedy game I could forgive it. But a bad, greedy game? Nope.

        • Chaz says:

          Ryzom. I should know, I was there man, I was there!

        • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

          Well, Funcom did give free game-time to players until they got most of the gamebraking bugs out. Also, AO was not pay to win.

      • Ruffian says:

        Magicka was forgivable because if you got it working it was an extremely fun original game. This is a blatant cash-grab turdfest.

      • JohnnyMaverik says:

        At no point did the Magicka devs claim that the game contained features it didn’t, gamers can forgive bugs and performance issues from an indie dev who were very vocal about their acknowledged of the problems and the fact that they were working on fixing them. They didn’t for example claim that the game would take an average player 40 hours to complete (it won’t), or that it contained a branching story line (it doesn’t) or that it would offer up to 8 player co-op (nope, not that either). You got what was advertised, with a fair few bugs and performance glitches yes, but they did iron those out. Regardless of whether it was done purposefully or not, making such a huge mistake just doesn’t look good, which adds up to all the other things that have come out of the War Z story that don’t look good, and sum up to an interesting if very much borrowed idea run by a bunch of people I don’t personally trust to keep their servers running for much longer, let alone add more features to the game.

      • Zarunil says:

        +1 for Magicka having a terrible launch. However, the devs listened to the community and patched it daily for a long time after it’s release. They also managed PR pretty well, as opposed to these guys who probably could not do a worse job if they tried.

  5. diamondmx says:

    Also, typo: “then gauges you for cash throughout” should probably be gouges

    • LintMan says:

      Also probably should be “gouged” in the line “So it is that there’s the incessant sense of being gauged by a game that charged you to play it in the first place, despite its offering no motivation to carry on and pay.”

      • Lanfranc says:

        On the other hand, it’s only good sense to gauge someone before you gouge them.

      • belgand says:

        No, I think it was correct. I presume it’s a reference to the practice of slowly stretching out part of the body for various purposes, such as earlobes or the anus. We’re just being treated like Mr. goatse.cx here.

        • chargen says:

          If I had to fat finger it I’d say we’re at about a six-gauge.

    • scoopsy says:

      Thank you! By pointing out this typo you have rendered unto me an extremely valuable service. I originally read this article under the belief that John was saying that WarZ was gauging, or measuring, my money. I was just logging in to write “JOHN YOU BUNCH OF DUMMIES!! A GAME CAN’T NO THAT I DON’T HAVE ANY MONY IN MY WALLET TO MESURE”

      Thank goodness you caught that typo! I would have been terribly embarrassed to admit to John that my wallet has no monies.

      I’m so poor and lonely.

  6. Eclipse says:

    Wow, I knew this game was broken.. but a f2p model inside a game you have to pay for, and then on top of that there’s basically no game at all? This is “Big Rigs” level of ridiculousness

    • FCA says:

      Hmm… Big Rigs? I wonder who was the producer for that gem of a game?
      What? The very same Sergey Titov!
      You’re Winner!

      • Eclipse says:

        HOLY SHIT I swear I didn’t know that, now everything is clear. Damn.

      • Lanfranc says:

        The “start sliding straight up the cliff” approach to physics sounds awfully familiar to Big Rigs.

      • Moraven says:

        He also was the Technical Director at Riot for 21 months, leading up to the launch of LoL.

        Then he left for to make his holding company investing in games, Arkos. Seems investing into Online Warmongers LLC only thing good they have done releasing War Inc. (never played it but seems successful on its own)

        But he has not been a part of Riot for 4 years and and made Big Rigs.

        • Tiberion says:

          WarZ is basically a branch off of War Inc, if you google “WarZ War Inc comparison” you’ll find that a vast number of the assets in WarZ are 100% reused with few or no changes from War Inc, and almost all of the development since they started on “Z” are the ones that are so so broken or just plain not there.

          In short, they took a workable game and started taping things onto it to get it out the door for their cash grab. There’s a small core of gamers out there (the so-called DayZ fanboys) who saw this early on, but Hammerpoint was able to keep it quiet for a long time. Its almost admirable that it took this long for it to blow up in their faces.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            I haven’t played it, but I’ve heard from others that War Inc. is a pretty broken, unpolished, and unfinished game in its own right.

      • Sic says:


        That’s rather brilliant.

    • Mumrik says:

      Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. Expensive game, F2P model, but at least there was a game in there.

  7. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I somehow managed to avoid all the fuss this stirred up, then I got curious and watch TotalBiscuit’s video on it. Seems like a lot of hot air to me. I can understand people wanting a refund for a game that’s no good (isn’t it about bloody time we had that possibility anyway), but I think blaming Steam for not having a verification process like Apple is just wrong (Apple’s verification process is utterly flawed at worst, and at best there’s a delay of at least 30 days before a game can be published).

    But the other issue seems to be that people are just buying a game that they know nothing about. Surely that’s what kickstarter is for?

    • PacketOfCrisps says:

      They lied about features of their game and misrepresented other aspects. This is illegal, just so you know. They released the game on Steam when it was clearly unfinished–which is fine, as long as you inform people that is the case (see Don’t Starve). The problem is that Steam seems to have no verification of the information that developers/publishers put on the store page which allows for incidents like this to happen. If people see the game as a top seller on Steam then I think they have a right to believe that the game is solid (I would check out reviews or videos first but that is besides the point). The failure of the developers to provide the features they promised provides adequate reason for a refund, I don’t see why you have any sort of problem with the response to this incident.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        As far as I can tell, the game is finished in the developers eyes (they labelled it version 1.0), it’s just a load of crap. As for lying about the features, although that’s an extremely unsavoury practice, in this case for the gamers’ perspective it’s like:

        *the game has a 50 person map* “No thanks, I’ll pass!”
        *the game has a couple of 100 person maps* “sold! take my monies!”

        that’s really the difference between someone buying the game or not? More likely, they bought it without thinking, and then discovered it wasn’t what they expected in various ways.

        I’m not saying the developers are blameless in this, only that this is exactly what happens when:
        (a) People buy things without thinking
        (b) There’s no mechanism for refunds
        In my book, Steam are almost entirely to blame for this by not having a system where people are entitled to change their mind, as there is in every other retail system on the planet. I’m just amazed this sort of thing has happened sooner/more often.

        • PacketOfCrisps says:

          They were selling it as a large, open world, massively multiplayer, experience. What they got was a small map with hardly any features that could only support a maximum of 50 players (how on Earth 50 players counts as an MMO is beyond me). They’re also calling it an RPG but there are no RPG elements in the game. They aadvertised skill systems that didn’t actually exist, a hardcore mode that was no different from the normal mode, and private servers which weren’t actually supported. The list goes on and on.

          In answer to your question of whether “that’s really the difference between someone buying the game or not?” Well, it’s fairly clear there is enough misinformation for a reasonable person to think twice. Of course I think that people should take more care when buying things but that is besides the point in this case. The main point is that they shouldn’t have lied and misrepresented their game in the hopes that it would garner them sales. You could also talk about how the name is similar to Day Z, clearly an attempt to confuse potential customers (many people have already questioned whether it was the standalone Day Z game). However, this could have all been prevented if Steam actually checked to see if the store pages were actually accurate. You wouldn’t get away with that sort of stuff in a retail store, I’m not sure why it’s allowed in digital stores.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        This was a Greenlight game. It was “verified” by the community. Enjoy what you have wrought.

        • PacketOfCrisps says:

          The War Z wasn’t on Greenlight, at least according to the Steam store page.

          Edit: Towns was though, that’s a good example of how Greenlight doesn’t work.

          • The Random One says:

            Towns’ creator wasn’t shy about Towns being unfinished.

          • BurningPet says:

            How exactly is Towns an example of why greenlight doesn’t work?

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            The game was unfinished and was placed on the Steam store far too early. Valve should decide when they think that a product is fit for their store, not consumers. Other games have also been Greenlit even though they were only in the prototype stages. How you can determine that a game is fit for sale based purely on a pitch is beyond me.

          • BurningPet says:

            Yes, All (sadly for us and our costumers) true, but that doesnt say anything regarding greenlight.

            Greenlight isnt a process built to determine whether the product is ready for sale now on steam, its whether the product concept is something costumers would want to buy when its finished.

            Valve also accepted games (before greenlight) long before they were a finished product. obviously, for obscure titles, it was better to have a fully polished product if you wanted to pass valve gatekeepers, but there were cases where the game got accepted while in development.

          • Ninja Foodstuff says:

            Guns of Icarus Online was also released in an “unfinished” state. People didn’t complain about it though because it was a reasonably good game.

        • Narzhul says:

          Nice try, but it wasn’t. They had War Inc on Steam before so it’s a free pass to get War Z on Steam.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          As others have said, The War Z was NEVER approved via Steam’s Greenlight process.

          If you don’t know what you’re talking about, then just don’t say anything at all. Spreading misinformation and lies is far worse than simply being ignorant about something.

    • tyren says:

      The complaint isn’t necessarily that Steam SHOULD have a verification thing the way Apple does, but that they DO filter what games do and don’t go on their service, but their (not publicly known) criteria seem to make no sense whatsoever from the standpoint of the bystander that sees perfectly good games that have already been released elsewhere be refused a Steam release while something like this gets a pass.

      The point, I think, is that if they’re going to filter game releases at all, they should be thorough about examining games like this. That’s where the Apple comparison comes in.

      • The Random One says:

        Yeah, the point is, if Steam is going to try and curate the games it offers, then the least we can expect is that it can keep out games that are outright scams. If they didn’t catch this, then what grounds does it have to say that Randy Balmer: Municipal Abortionist does not fit their criteria, when it’s clearly a functioning game, unlike WarZ?

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          But wouldn’t that consume a significant amount of resources on Valve’s part? I mean they’d have to have someone play through the game for a fair bit before its failings became apparent.

          • addam666 says:

            I’ll do it!
            You hear me Valve? You can pay me minimum wage and I will play the shit out of as many games as I can fit into my waking days to make sure they are above the level of “bug-riddled cash-grab copycat borefest of a game” nfp!

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Most of the games people are complaining about have had issues that are readily obvious within a few minutes of playing. It would only take a minimal amount of QA on Valve’s part to catch them. Dead Island, RAGE, Sword of the Stars 2, Magicka, and The War Z all could have been handled preemptively if Valve had taken the developers to task for not properly testing their own damn games before Day One release.

  8. BrendanJB says:

    This game is what the Mayans were trying to warn us about.

  9. pressstart says:

    I never heard of this game prior to all the news about it being a spectacular crap fest. How the hell did it end up being #1 on Steam’s top seller list on release day anyway?

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      It was announced in the wake of the success of DayZ and for some reason a lot of people didn’t realize already that it was going to be a joke, and hyped it up.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      There’s a conspiracy theory floating around that the numbers were cooked up by Steam and Hammerpoint, but I’m willing to bet that a large chunk of those purchases were from fans of the game who already owned a copy of the non-Steam version. Both theories are crazy, but War Z is a crazy game that attracts craziness.

      • Moraven says:

        There was 5,000 + steam people playing it. Assuming they sold 10k+ copies over a few days I would imagine gets you up on the top of the list devoid of any other new releases or big game sales.

        • Unaco says:

          1,000+ of those people also “recommend this game to their friends”. Those monsters.

          • Llewyn says:

            I wonder how many of those 1000+ have any other games on their Steam accounts…

            I find myself wondering at this point whether the Steam sales charts track activations of ‘retail’ keys as sales. If so, an unscrupulous developer might use keys provided by Steam, combined with a lot of new accounts, to push themselves up the charts. Thank goodness Hammerpoint aren’t an unscrupulous developer, eh?

        • Vorphalack says:

          That’s pretty much all I can think of to explain it. Everything outside of it’s launch week sells sporadically, so all they needed to top the list was a quiet few days on Steam.

        • BurningPet says:

          5000 concurrent players? if so, forget about that 10k sales figure. more like 100k.

      • Eclipse says:

        or a shitty game that attracts shittiness?

    • allen says:

      you’d be surprised at how many people believed WarZ was the standalone version of DayZ

      • Berzee says:

        I have no sympathy for them.

        • El_Emmental says:

          You should.

          Not everyone is reading gaming news, especially during the final exams period, and Hammerpoint Interactive made everything to trick people into thinking this.

          • Berzee says:

            But I think that most people have had enough exposure to the concept of Generic Brands that they might possibly cop to being inept shoppers if they *really* saw a capital ‘Z’ and went “vshoom CLICK BUY!!!”

            I don’t know if I actually believe many such people exist though. I think there were probably a lot of people who knew it was a different dev but though “I like that kind of game, I’ll get this one because it’s a full game!”…and I do have sympathy for *those* people. =)

    • solidsquid says:

      One suggestion I’ve heard is just that there’s been no big releases on Steam this month so sales were slow, and combined with this selling reasonable numbers for a Steam game it ended up ranked higher than other games which were better, but already gone through their initial release sales spike

  10. Tom De Roeck says:

    ZOMBIES! What more can you want.

  11. DarksDaemon says:

    So it’s DayZ then?

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      I believe it’s the elder scrolls. I can’t be sure though.

    • Oranje says:

      “You have a character, a map to explore, and zombies to avoid. But you have no drive, no purpose, and no sense that putting up with the ludicrous volumes of bugs is worthwhile.”

      Sure sounds like DayZ…
      (I liked DayZ don’t hurt me)

      • DarksDaemon says:

        ” It’s so ludicrously unfair with weapons that the act of finding them is the most likely thing to get you immediately killed. ”

        DayZ’s classic weapon snipers…

        • shagohad says:

          to be fair, DayZ was a victim of its own success,

          DayZ, in May when I started playing was a completely different animal. No hacking, no saturation of gear, to those who had never played ARMA 2 like myself, it was all new and finding a map was amazing. Weapons were never hard to come by and usually fights were balanced.

          At this stage it is an absolute nightmare, although Im happy it got so popular because we will only get a better product.

          If youve played dayz this story will make sense: I have a charachter on the Public hive, hes in Elektro. Every time I logg in, there is 50.cal sniper fire, I Have seen Apache gunships hovering above, its always thick with flies. The game kind of self destructed. Really private hives are your best option, I think DayZ standalone will reach the same point in its life cycle, possibly slower if they can kill hacking and duplication which they seem to be working on

          heres hopin :) if you want to get back into some more “survival like” dayZ check out link to forums.dayzredux.com, its been quite refreshing

          • MrLebanon says:


            I adopted DayZ at the early point… when every server was full and it would take you 30+ minutes to get into one.

            It was new, hacker free, and tense.

            Now it’s a joke

          • Curry the Great says:

            We’re actually running a private hive with a bunch of guys from RPS, filter for Rock Paper Zombie and you’ll find it.

          • Berzee says:

            It seems like one good way to alleviate some of that overcrowding would be to have the option (the OPTION) on private servers to set up a time limit on how much post-apocalypse you play before it resets. Having a server that starts fresh every Saturday morning might be a good balance between the satisfaction of persistence and the thrill of being thrown defenseless into the world.

            I know not everyone would want it — and I wouldn’t always want it myself — but if there were certain servers I could play on, knowing that every week was a new chance to make a name for myself or carve out a place in the world, I think I’d like that sometimes.

    • Howard says:

      Certainly soundsexactly like DayZ too me.

  12. Clavus says:

    “The slow man with integrity will ultimately catch the swift one who has none.”
    – Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall’s subtle message on his Twitter

  13. SkittleDiddler says:


    -Typical Comment from a Hammerpoint Stooge at the Steam Discussion Forums

    • Mctittles says:

      Yea, I love how they sign up for fake accounts so they are free to rage and curse against their customers. Many fall for it unfortunately.
      I saw suspicious downvotes on comments on other news sites as well. There is no end…

  14. Solskin says:

    They stole the TOS from LoL? Hehe..

    Wait, so someone actually reads those?

    • Shuck says:

      No, which is why it’s actually standard practice to steal someone else’s TOS. In this case they left a link in to League of Legends, which rather gave them away.

  15. Inglourious Badger says:

    Well, that’s my brother’s christmas present sorted then. I won’t wait for the WIT.

  16. Lifebleeder says:

    I unfortunately got hosed into buying this when one of my mates talked me into it a long time ago. During some Pre-Beta sale or something. This piece sums up the game nicely. It’s basically one big cash shop with a “Game” sloppily bolted on to it. I played it for a total of 15 minutes before realizing that I had just been fleeced.

    • diamondmx says:

      You can get a refund now. Just contact valve and … well, struggle through it. But you can.

      • MrLebanon says:

        he said he bought it in pre-beta… e.g. not from valve.. e.g. valve has nothing to do with it.

        I’m in the same boat as the OP… you gotta fight with Hammerpoint/Xsollo directly to get a refund and they ain’t too helpful

  17. MOKKA says:

    Considering how many people still bought this mess I’m suprised there hasn’t been more attempts of developers ripping of their customers in such a blatant way.

    • Mctittles says:

      Yea, Towns, the train simulator clones and Wal-Mart bargain bin come to mind…

      • BurningPet says:

        We still work on Towns, Yes, its not finished yet, yes, the release was a disaster, but, we never promised anything that wasen’t in the game and while its far from an excuse, i personally seen highly praised AAA games with a team of dozens of people behind them that had buggier launches, games that cost triple than towns and provide 10th the playing hours, so please, say what you will about the game, but a rip of it is not.

        • Flavioli says:

          I enjoyed the bit I played of Towns but not mentioning it was still not even in beta in the store page was by far the silliest mistake you guys could have made. Sorry to beat the dead horse.

    • Moraven says:

      Lots moved onto mobile. Still some bad apples on steam. Have had 1-2 regretful purchases the past few years, giving the small title a chance. But they were bad.

  18. Dudeist says:

    I warned all my friends about this “game” weeks ago, even before alpha launch. It was just my fellings, now they can check other resources.

  19. junglist 69 says:

    Space Hulk….

  20. Brise Bonbons says:

    OK, first things first, John, you have to tell us whether this article is intended to be satire or not.


    Too soon?

  21. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Sounds like a 7/10 to me. I’ll ask Santa to give me it for crimbo.

  22. Commander Gun says:

    If i ever have to explain a student the definition of “irony”, this is where i will link them to!

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Then kick them into a sinkhole with a cinder block tied to their ankles

  23. jhng says:

    I hope John got danger money for putting himself through this.

  24. FurryLippedSquid says:

    You know something’s important when it hits the BBC News headlines…

    link to bbc.co.uk

  25. EBass says:

    Called this stuff as soon as it was announced.

  26. apa says:

    The first news about this was a lot more positive :) link to rockpapershotgun.com

    • Unaco says:

      I was reasonably optimistic about it myself, when it was first announced (and I was a big proponent of DayZ early on, and ArmA in general). Sure, it was a “cash-in” on the success of DayZ, and it did seem to be a retooling of War Inc. (their previous game, or their publisher/parent companies previous game)… but, it did seem to be taking those features of DayZ that everyone lauded it for… permadeath, survival, sandbox. These were the things that we wanted developers to copy from DayZ… we wanted people to take notice and take a page out of DayZ’s book. I thought that, with the War Inc. stuff they already had, and the lessons from Rocket, they could make a pretty decent game from it. It seemed like a bit of a quick cash-in, but it didn’t seem like a scam, and I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. At the time.

      Alas, the more I’m reading/hearing about it now, the more scammy it does seem, to the point that I wouldn’t argue now with anyone that called it a scam. And the more of a rush job it comes across as. Whether this was their intent all along (get something they can sell and sell it before people cotton on) or their development just failed, and so they’ve taken this route instead.

      Curse my optimism.

      • apa says:

        If the studio saw that they don’t have a half-decent game in their hands and the real DayZ standalone is coming out soon they might have made a “business decision”. Ie. release the steaming pile now and hope to get some money out of it…

  27. Blackcompany says:

    The key to making this work is making a co-op version of such a game. With npc bandits using good ai who move around the map trying to survive & who will also take your stuff. Permadeath option included.

    Failing that limit the number of bandit players per server. Otherwise the game becomes a pvp shooter with
    Zombies running about.

  28. Jraptor59 says:

    Well, Johnny Walker, you get a new achievement! “Internets Sarcasm +10 rep points”. The reward is a free copy of War Z! Congrats and enjoy.

  29. derbefrier says:

    haha well done sir, well done.

    This article made me realize this game is actually worse than I thought. I had no idea it was that bad. At least we got some funny articles from it though!

  30. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    A guy at work just bought this, thinking it was the standalone version of DayZ.
    He’s not stupid, he just doesn’t read much of the PC gaming centric press, and it is a pretty similar name.
    I think he regrets it…

  31. Eddy9000 says:

    John I think you just didn’t understand the clever and meaningful statements that the game is making by presenting itself as awful and trite. The clipping, monetisation, glitches, bugs and boredom are clearly ironic, included deliberately by the developers as a deeply intelligent statement on game design and the human condition, satirising other games that have awful bugs, monotonous gameplay and exploitative F2P mechanics by including them all in a single game and forcing the player to think “why am I playing this? why do I play games at all? What kind of person am I really?”. Actually “the war Z” is an anagram for ‘rtaehwz’ which in ancient Mayan means ‘satire’, I’m surprised you didn’t get that really, the clues are everywhere if you look for them.

    • All is Well says:

      Eddy, baby, I think you just didn’t understand the clever and meaningful statements John is trying to make by not “getting it”. The article is clearly about “games” criticism: the ridicule and irony littering the article are clearly ironic observations on how “games” writers and consumers do not understand the intricacies of The War Z – for instance, note how he discusses it purely in terms of mechanics/bugs and doesn’t at all remark on what the overall “purpose” or “meta-narrative” might be, thereby highlighting the “shallowness” of critics and “gamers” discussing The War Z. Also, note that despite the article being called “Wot I Like Best about TWZ”, John never really inserts himself as the subject, instead relying on objective statements such as “There is no impetus to survive”; in other words, describing what or how the game is rather than how he “feels” about it. This is a quite clever comment on how the majority of “games” “journalists” seem ignorant of the inherent problems in making objective value-judgments regarding “games”.

      What John is trying to do is make the reader ask “him”/”herself”, “What am I reading?”, “Why am I reading this? It’s clearly not ‘getting it’!”, “Wait, is he being ironic about, uh, irony?” et cetera, in order to jar the reader from “his” or “her” dogmatic slumber. It’s all fairly obvious once you notice the clues, for example, the fact that the player is looking at the sky in the last picture. Get it? “SKY”?

      • addam666 says:

        You guys are awesome!

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Ah I get it. John is delivering an ironically bad review with the subtext of praising a game for being good by being ironically bad.

        Anyway I’m going to go off into hackney now and challenge racial stereotypes by ironically asking black people if they can help me out with their ‘mystical witch doctor powers’. I’m sure they’ll appreciate how I’m actually subverting racism rather than condoning it.

        Well ironic yeah?

        • telpscorei says:

          I didn’t know you were one of the writers for Far Cry 3!

    • Colonel Mustard says:

      i like you.

  32. Exuro says:

    I’ve played this game a fair amount, and I agree a lot, but I also think that in some places you’re clearly just grasping at straws to capitalise on the general hatred surrounding this game at the moment. A few things here stood out to me:
    I’ve never found the game to be quite as buggy as you made out, though I do agree it needs fixing. But they already fixed the whole ‘climbing through glitching’ thing.
    Bandits are indeed quite threatening, and I (like most) find myself dying fairly frequently that way.
    If zombies took you upward of thirty hits to kill with a hammer, you were doing it wrong. You go first person and hit them in the head three times, they drop. It’s pretty efficient.

    I too, as any early backer, am getting pretty damned annoyed at the lack of integrity and general arrogance on behalf of the developers, and the increasing amount of ‘pay to win’ is pretty much ruining it for me as well. It certainly needs a lot of work, and they are less than honest. But viewed objectively, the game is nowhere near as bad as you are suggesting here. At worst, it’s a bit too arcade-y to feel like a survival game. But it’s not really bad, or even unenjoyable. It’s just not particularly amazing.

    • Rawrian says:

      How would it be even particularly amazing when it looks like a Day Z rip-off made with a sole purpose of cashing in?

    • MrLebanon says:

      the hitbox for hitting a zombie in the head with a hammer is attrocious… the animation and crosshairs often fully align with a zombie headshot but you still end up smacking the thing 10 times as it flopped around like a soft penis

      • El_Emmental says:

        Thank you for the mental image of Saint Rowest character dildo-slapping zombies around :V

  33. SickBrick says:

    The funniest thing is that War Z ads were all over RPS just yesterday. Reading about the game being shit with the ads from the same game in the background :D Positively hilarious.

    • caddyB says:

      Happened a few times and people still accuse RPS of being corrupt. Internet, eh.

    • El_Emmental says:

      Eurogamer is managing the ads, not RPS.

      That way, RPS has no control over the ads, and won’t be influenced by the content.

      ps: Eurogamer removed the game from its running ads after learning about the mess.

  34. Eukatheude says:

    “Not here! Here through the magic of jumping any surface can be ascended.”

    But that is actually a good thing!

  35. EE1213 says:

    Sergey actually DIDN’T develop Big Rigs!

    He created the engine, licensed it, and then the publishers released the pre-alpha builds for sale! I actually feel bad for the guy, he deserves plenty of flak for the War Z misdeeds, but NO ONE deserves undue slander at the feet of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing!

    link to yourewinner.com

    • Elmar Bijlsma says:

      Assuming he is telling the truth.
      Which is a benefit of the doubt this man is not exactly entitled to.

      • Lanfranc says:

        He’s credited as “Producer/Programmer”, which of course can mean different things depending on the company. But it sounds like a little more than “just licensed the engine”.

        In any case, Big Rigs is like a taint that afflicts anyone involved with it in equal measure. Distance offers no refuge from it.

  36. kalirion says:

    Weapons are sold in the store? At least from what I’ve read before, as well as TotalHalibut’s impressions – link to youtube.com – the guns at least are not to be found in the store, though ammo can be purchased there.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I just watched that video. Good god TB you can complain for Britain. Serious, serious headache now, even if it was interesting. On the upside, I actually thought the game looked quite pretty in a more-shit-graphics than STALKER kind of way. Bad textures but I liked the sky and undergrowth.

    • Dozer says:

      Guns on sale in stores?


  37. Zinthros says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, the latest hit game from the creator of Big Rigs!

  38. spectone says:

    I think the solution to the bugs in the game is to add an item to the shop that makes the bugs go away for a few hours. That is what F2P is all about right?

  39. ffordesoon says:

    Sergey Titov working at his day job, everybody!

  40. Yglorba says:

    What’s sad is to think of the huge list of worthwhile titles languishing on Greenlight while stuff like this makes it onto Steam.

  41. Spacewalk says:

    How does it compare with Soldner?

  42. AbuzzLizard says:

    Whoever wrote this article was lazy. Only third person? Try hitting “C” and see for yourself there is a first person view. 30 hits with a hammer to kill a zombie? Aim for the head goober it takes three to five hits in the head to kill them, they are zombies! Buy weapons from the store? Only melee weapons which you lose if you are killed can be bought at the store; which is useless since they can be found anywhere. Guns are not scare if you look around. Ninety percent of the time you will die from players murdering you. The only way to save your loot is to make it back to a safe settlement which is really difficult. I hope the guy who wrote this article is fired for not only lying about the features of the game but jumping on the hate band wagon to get an audience.

  43. Flavioli says:

    The really sad thing about this: Since I had heard the Day Z mod was getting released as a standalone, until now I thought War Z was the standalone version of Day Z that had finally been released as a beta, or something. Furthermore, I know people that think the same, and I’m sure many many other people do as well. That does *not* bode well for the actual Day Z release, which will get undoubtedly associated with this crapshoot.

  44. SoupDuJour says:

    “There’s no drive to live, no impetus to survive.”

    Nihilism Simulator 2012


  45. SonicTitan says:

    Someone on the Steam forums posted the last lines of Dear Esther in response to this game. I couldn’t agree more.

    Also, AbuzzLizard is about par for the course for the developer’s creepy, cultish fanbase. Terrifying.

  46. methodology says:

    While I definitely won’t defend the developers/producers of warz (cause they, and especially sergey have been very skeevy), there’s a ton of absolutely wrong information in this article. I’m not talking about just a couple things either but most of the article… John did you actually play this game for more than a few minutes or are you just posting second hand information you saw on forum flames?

    • Punchbowled says:

      Absolutely. For examples, this: “The thing about The War Z is that it’s not immediately terrible”. Is total hogwash. It really is immediately terrible.

    • Snoken says:

      You really got to be kidding or you might just have the most horrible taste in games any person ever had in the history of computer gaming. Why would any person with an ounce of good sense take a defensive position when it comes to that game? Then again you might just be part of a new breed of gamers I would call “gaming-masochist”.

    • Tirshek says:

      You are completely right, he must of played during alpha, because that is the only way he could find most of these things. Sounds like a great idea. Play a game in alpha full of bugs and glitches and review it two months later.

      I liked rock, paper, shotgun, but it seems you guys are all about day z. Not that I could care one way or the other but why review a game so poorly and advertise another game in the background. Sponsored by arma or something? This review is so biased and incorrect.

  47. Ephant says:

    “Attacking a zombie with a hammer can take upward of 30 blows to kill them” – or just 3 hits to the head.

    “However, face two zombies and it’s instant death” – fighting 3 zombies at a time is possible, but dangerous.

    I played the game with 2 guest passes so I know what I’m talking about (and no, I don’t intend to buy the game).

  48. Berious says:

    I hate to be a spelling nazi but you use it over and over. The word you’re looking for is gouged not gauged .

  49. Sayori says:

    “Want more backpack space? Pay for it! Want new character skins? Pay for them! ”
    I’m very sorry, sir, but this part is rubbish! A lot of, if not all, MMO have it.
    But yes, War Z sucks badly!

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Ironically those jabs could be levelled at VALVe’s own very successful games “Team Fortress 2” and “Defense of the Ancients 2”.

      • Berzee says:

        You don’t have to make an initial purchase to play those games though, is I think what the complaint about this game was.

  50. Snoken says:

    You did not mention the fact that there is no swimming and that your army veteran char is running out of breath in ten secs taking half a year to reload his stamina. Is that why U.S. soldiers fight their wars with jetfighters and drones these days? That would make sense to me…

    Fact is I played a couple hundred hours of DayZ and one hour of WarZ. I love DayZ even with all of it’s little flaws and I still play it every day. On the other hand I hated that other game so much I uninstalled it the same day I had purchased it. It’s a disgrace to it’s genre and it should never have been sold on steam or get the chance to get back in the steam store. Also I am pretty sure that they won’t ever really fix that crap. Their only intent was to get rich quickly and ride the DayZ wave before their miserable excuse for a survival game will be completely forgotten.