World Warz

I’ve been playing World War Z for just shy of a week. I was pretty excited to jump into another zombie shooter game, attempting to wash the bad taste out of my mouth left by Starbreeze’s The Walking Dead. Both games rely heavily on consistent online connections, each having their own set of problems come launch. The one thing that has plagued me most about World War Z has been the consistency of when these problems arise.

You Are Now…Waiting

The first signs that there were problems within World War Z came during some of the Jerusalem missions. I noticed squadmates sliding across the floor, moving without picking up their feet. I thought, “Okay, that’s odd. But, it’s a mostly online-based game.” Then, the doctor which we were escorting started to do the same. Before long, I was disconnected from the match and found myself back at the mission screen.

I would have been able to look past something like this if the connection and server issues didn’t plague practically every other part to the game. For instance, when jumping into Swarm Deathmatch (their version of Team Deathmatch), I was placed into the matchmaking screen and able to select my character. It seemed like the level was going to load thereafter. Instead, I was stuck in an endless loop of matchmaking and loading screens. There was also no button to leave the game, with the esc key prompting nothing more than a booming sound effect.

Online Letdowns

As previously mentioned, the majority of World War Z plays primarily online. You can complete even the co-op story campaign offline. However, the focus is primarily on squad-based interactions. During one of the final missions of the Tokyo level, I was disconnected from the match not once, not twice, but three times. This also doesn’t include getting stuck in a seemingly endless loop where waves of enemies kept spawning. As my teammates and I reached the 20-minute mark or so, many in the chat contemplated backing out and commenting “Broke?” numerous times in the chat bar.

Considering the amount of the game that was played prior to this happening, and that the Tokyo maps are the end portion to the game, I was more than frustrated at the lack of consistency for simply connecting to a map, let alone attempting to finish the game.

Developer Response

Initially, I was unaware that these connection and server problems weren’t isolated to wittle old me. But, after reaching out for an official remark from the developer in regards to some of the issues I was facing, it turns out the problem is a bit more widespread than I’d previously thought. In a response on behalf of Saber Interactive, I was told that “The team is definitely aware of the server issues that have been going on and are currently working on the case to get fixes out daily.” I was also pointed to their official Twitter page in order to “follow along” with updates from the team behind the game.

I must say, I do commend the team for being responsive to the questions regarding server connectivity issues and daily fixes. On the other hand, this is a game that has officially launched and is being sold at full price. When the latter portion of the game, matchmaking, and connectivity issues plague the entire experience, then it might have been wise to delay the launch and leave it in incubation for a few more months. The Epic Store is still in its infancy, sure, but that does not give any game a pass for being riddled with issues come launch.

At this point, the last update via Twitter for World War Z came about 20 hours ago. Many times, I’ve resorted to force-quitting the game and heading back in for another go. If you’ve been contemplating purchasing this zed filled game, I’d probably keep a close watch on the official Twitter page, hoping for the connection and server issues to become fixed. Especially if you want to, ya know, play the game.

World War Z is currently available on the Epic Store for US $34.99.

Disclaimer: A code was provided by the publisher for review purposes. 

Greg Bargas
A console gamer gone rogue. Collector of retro games, lover of hardware. Part of the Class vs. Crass gaming podcast. Rocket League, anyone?

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