Sitting down to play The War Z for the first time feels like kicking the tires of an untrustworthy car. I feel the need to rattle the chassis, to jiggle handles, check for gum under the seat, listen for groans in the engine—to apply percussion with the expectation that some zombie muffler will fall loose.

Approaching a hands-on opportunity with this sort of diagnostic mindset is unusual. But The War Z is unusual; when the online survival game was suddenly announced in July, we reacted with mild hope and major skepticism.

Makers Hammerpoint Interactive were promising a fuller-featured PvP/PvZ world than DayZ while cribbing concepts and mechanics from it, and it was promising you’d be able to play it this autumn—before the final version of DayZ is ready.

Half an hour with The War Z isn’t long enough to suss every concern I have with the game, but my initial test drive of an alpha version was more encouraging than I thought it’d be.
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Willing to give the devs the benefit of the doubt, but my understanding is that War Inc. was horrendous.