I’ve been unfaithful. I vowed, I pledged I swore an oath to be a devote follower, nay, convert, but it has all become unraveled. This is my confession, the confession of a zombie game (man)whore.
It all started innocently enough back in May, how was I to know it would blossom and grow into a full-grown relationship? The countless hours waiting to connect, the black loading screen…it almost brings a tear to my eye now upon reflection.
But DayZ changed me. I was deep in the thralls of Battlefield 3, playing on a regular basis, it was quick instantaneous and addictive. But one night the servers were down, and a patch needed to be downloaded and updated and I figured I’d try out this new mod that everyone was talking about.
I do admit, that I was annoyed at first, with the various workarounds required to get the game up and running, but it was a mod, and in the early stages of development, so I poured myself a drink and sat back and waited…and waited and waited.
Maybe it was the build up, the hype from other players. Two Polish buddies of mine had been playing and when they started talking to me about DayZ their eyes just glazed over, as if they had crossed over, they had that thousand yard stare thing going on. It had moved them, and somehow I knew I was in for a treat.
The first time you ‘spawn’ into Chernarus and start trying to get your head around the quirky animation sequences and the awkward inventory mechanics, you realize that you are alone. You have no idea where you are. what you ‘have to do’, and how to survive.
Luckily no one actually told me about the various symbols on the right hand side of the screen, about hydration and hunger and blood loss etc. You definitely start paying more attention to those annoying flashing symbols once you pass out for the first time, that’s for sure. This game makes you pay attention, and be very, very cautious.
I have enjoyed the last few months on DayZ playing with friends, and even getting our own server, the game has become more and more involved. I can go on and on about how great DayZ is, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.
You see, in my moment of weakness, I bought a copy of The War Z, and regret I ever did. Now, I’m no fan of The War Z, and in fact, their whole approach has been so unsavory, so unlikable that over the course of the last few months, since I heard about the development of The War Z, an unconscious hate has been festering within me.
For starters, let’s take a look at their dev blog and their facebook fan page. It is clear that they are not native English speakers, which is fine, but they don’t really seem to give two shits about it. No excuses, just blatant misuse of the English language.
I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if Rocket wasn’t so eloquent. With eloquence, comes a higher level of understanding and in my opinion, depth. There are constant misspellings and grammar and punctuation mistakes throughout their site and fan page. It detracts from the actual information, and gives me the feeling someone is not that interested in taking the time to make it right.
Rocket is a man with a mission. He has purpose, and he is passionate about what he does. You can’t help but be inspired by his incessant need to build a better mouse trap. He is a man driven by something he loves. When you compare him to his The War Z counterpart, Sergei, there’s really not much to say. The War Z folks seem to be out for one thing: money. They don’t come across as developers, but more like ‘marketing dudes’, and they can’t even do that right! (see previous point).
I was luckily enough to meet up with Rocket face to face this past summer at gamescom (work related), and it was very difficult to be ‘all business-like’, and not play the fan boy role. It was great just having a laid back talk with him about the game. Back in the summer there was a video of a goat standing over a dead body, and it eerily looks over at the player, as if implying that the player is next on his shit list. Rocket couldn’t stop talking about it, and all of the other great DayZ user-generated videos. You could see his eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning just talking about these videos.
Creating a game that is so much like DayZ is uncanny. They say that they’ve been in development even before the DayZ mod was released, fair enough, but the mechanics and the game-play elements surely have been ‘borrowed’ and ‘inspired by’ DayZ to say the least. Basically it seems that they took The War Inc. added some new skins, and spruced it up and are trying to get rich off of Day Z.
As you’ll see there is no love lost between me and The War Z. I’ve been mulling it over for some time now, and I realized that the game, the concept just pissed me off, so much in fact that I thought that I was being unfair, and judgmental. I actually broke down and bought the game, to give it a chance to prove itself to me.
Was I being a bit too harsh?
Deep down, do these developers really care about the game?
These thoughts raced through my head as I tried to convince myself that by buying The War Z, I would somehow prove myself to be wrong; that this pent-up hatred and dislike would all be one great big misunderstanding.
Alas, it was not to be. I somehow parallel the situation with having cheated in a relationship that you were happy with in the first place.
Playing The War Z (Alpha) was a big disappointment. Maybe it will get better, who knows, but I”m not holding my breath. It just feels like something that has been thrown together, something that has just been given the ‘zombie look’ with the hope of piggybacking off the popularity and pop culture relevance of other titles.
Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to reformat my hard drive and act as if I never installed the game.