Without any association with the book or that other zombie game, The War Z looks to make it’s own mark on the genre by putting players in an open world filled with danger and the undead. Don’t worry about how they got there; just keep an eye out for of those blood-thirsty creatures wandering around, or even worse yet, your fellow man.
The War Z puts you out into the wilderness to create your own adventure of exploration, discovery, and mainly try to stay alive. Even from the beginning, you can tell instantly how well you can be spotted or if anyone else can hear you with convenient bars located at the top right. As I quickly found out, taking a shot in this open-world game can be almost as deadly as going in without a weapon at all. About a dozen zombies started running towards us after hearing the single shot.
Next time, I’m sticking with a good baseball bat to the head.
In this world of woody desolation, you’ll need to contend with your own needs as well as the zombie menace. Running, jumping, or just exploring increases your need for water and food. Special areas located around the world spawn items you can use to feed your hunger, but you’ll often need to fortify the area with portable walls just to get a moment’s rest.
But if you are looking for a little more time to go through your backpack or talk with another person, you can find safe areas throughout the world as well that look more like encampments. Here, you don’t need to keep looking over your shoulder just in case a zombie sneaks up on you. These safe settlements won’t stop another human from killing you, but the sentries set up around the base will make sure that they don’t make off with your loot.
Besides getting to put down your weapon for a couple of seconds, you’ll find general stores as well as pubs to check out missions. The general store sells everything that you can find out in the real world, but you don’t have to worry about the undead getting in between you and that new pistol. Outside of the general store, there’s also an in-game marketplace where you buy different skins for the same items. That bat with nails swings just as hard as the wooden one you find on the ground.
Pubs give players a place to converse and take on missions. You have to understand, The War Z doesn’t create any of its own missions. It’s a player-driven world where if you want something done, you sometimes need to pay someone else to do it. Those escort missions make sense when it’s you playing as the escort. Or if you find yourself in a bad situation and need a hero, that becomes it’s very own mission.
And here’s the catch. Only one person can get the reward for any mission. The person who gets you across that field gets the reward that you create. Also, it might not be a wise idea to notify people of where you are at any given time. While one person might see you as an ally, another could easily see you as a walking loot bag just ready to get picked.
The characters you use raise their level of proficiency with a weapon the more you use it. If you happen to favor the pistol or the bat, you can look forward to aiming a little better or swinging a little faster. You never increase the amount of damage through these proficiencies, just the way you use the item.
If you want to hit the open world of zombies and hunters, you can look forward to The War Z opening up the beta gates this October and getting you ready for the full game to hit later this year. After launch, the developers are looking to continue releasing new content to support the game. With a massive world filled with zombies and guns, you better believe that everyone will want to enlist for this war as soon as it’s available.