The War Z’s executive producer, Sergey Titov, has said above all else in the zombie MMO, the key gameplay is really just about survival – and that’s it.
Speaking in an interview with PC Gamer, Titov said the goal isn’t necessarily to hunt zombies, or unlock achievements, or go around shooting people; it’s about exploring the world and doing your best to survive with the resources you find.
“It’s up to you if you want to work to rebuild society or destroy it,” he said. “We really don’t set hardcore goals for you to achieve. As for the game controls and the game feel, it’s more of a shooter. The MMO aspect comes into play because the world will be persistent and populated with many other players besides you.
“There are no quests or missions in the traditional gaming industry sense of the word. We’re not building an objective based game, but instead building a sandbox with lots of tools that will allow players to create their own experiences.”
Titov said the team took “a basic theme that we love,” the zombie apocalypse/survival genre, and started brainstorming on what the world would look like, the means of interacting with it and other players, and how the world economy look after such a catastrophe.
“If you think about our feature set with that perspective it makes more sense,” he explained. “For example, we have what we call ‘safe settlements,’ that are really not completely safe at all. They are built by people that survived the infestation and are working to rebuild civilization, so they are taking precautions to make sure that their home remains safe. If you obey the rules, there’s no danger for you, but it’s not a place that you can go anytime and expect you’ll be 100% invincible.
“The same thing goes for currency. We’ve seen some comments that gold coins takes away from the realism. But, if you think about it—gold has been around for ages and, until very recently, it was the ultimate measure of wealth. In the game, Wall Street and other financial institutions have collapsed so we’ve reinstated gold’s value as a universal currency.
“That said, it is not the only currency in the world and, we’re not forcing it on the players. Nothing prevents you from taking ammo for guns and using it as currency when bartering with other players.”
As far as ammunition is concerned, Titov said it will work similar to War Inc. Battle Zone, where if you drop “a half emptied clip and put in a new one,” you’ll lose the bullets left inside the old clip.
Firing weapons will also have ballistic characteristics similar to those in Battlefield where when you shoot at longer distances, “you’ll have to take distance and bullet drop into account.”
The War Z has entered alpha testing and is expected before the end of the year, but that could changed depending on testing.
The closed beta is expected sometime in the fall, and you can resister for it here. We did.