In general, the zombie apocalypse genre is fairly crowded, with such titles as Left 4 Dead and The Walking Dead. However, one of its subgenre's, the survival shooter MMO, is even more crowded. With the ArmA 2 mod DayZ and the for an adaptation of World War Z, Hammerpoint Interactive has unveiled its own title, The War Z.
While it might seem that the developer is blatantly riding the coattails of DayZ and World War Z, the game has been in development since 2009, though the game was influenced by DayZ.
According to publisher Arktos' executive producer Sergey Titov, "When DayZ was released to the public we were really excited to see another game that was akin to what we were working on – we were like 'wow, that’s cool, we’re not the only ones making something like this.'" The success of the mod encouraged them that this sort of game would work, but also changed some of the mechanics of the game.
"We decided to abandon the idea of unlocking parts of the map as you progress – rather, the player will be able to freely roam the world and gather information and quests by exploring notes, diaries, etc left behind by both real players and NPCs," Titov described.
Players will be playing in real-world locations, too.
"We’ll launch with one world we call 'Colorado,'" Titov promised, "but we have more worlds designed, all of which are based on real world locales such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris, etc. We’ll be releasing new worlds/maps as we go and they’ll be available for free to all of our players."
Like DayZ, The War Z will focus on players creating their own identity, but The War Z will take it even further, and exploration is encouraged.
"While exploring the world, scavenging for supplies, weapons, ammo and gear, players will be able to find “notes” and “diaries” – text pieces left by other players or NPCs. For example, you can find a diary that tells the story of a family escaping their home and running from zombies - and dying one by one," related Hammerpoint senior designer Eric Mordin, "If you read carefully you can find clues that will point you to a place where you can find better equipment. Another scenario would be finding a note from another real player – this note could either help you or lure you into a trap – you never know what other players intentions are."
He added, "There are dozens of towns, villages, even large cities scattered across the world that players will explore looking for rare artifacts. You will be able to team up with other players to raid cities at night in order to find special zombie breeds or higher value gear. Players will also be able to form alliances against other clans."
The game is currently in internal alpha testing, but anyone who preorders the game will be automatically allowed to engage in the beta when it launches.