News of 1.3 million players worldwide for Infestation: Survivor Stories should sadden most people. One can only assume that a big boost in these numbers were due to being on sale during the Steam summer sale that finished on July 22. With so much out there showing just how terrible both the game and the company behind it is, why are people still buying into this?
Everything started when The War Z was released in December 2012. It didn’t take long for the community to call out the straight up lies in the game’s profile on Steam. After Valve saw it fit to remove The War Z from Steam, only then did the game’s producer Sergey Titov issue a public apology for his actions regarding the matter.
It took months for The War Z to be allowed back on to Steam. Still, like the stench of rotting flesh from the living dead, trouble still seems to linger around everyone involved with this title. In April, publisher OP Productions announced that The War Z servers were hacked and a plethora of information was pilfered. Thankfully for everyone, none of the info was payment information since that is handled by a 3rd party.
This next issue could be considered a minor one since it doesn’t really affect purchasers of the game. A trademark issue with the title forced the hand of OP Productions to change the name from The War Z to Infestation: Survival Stories. I like name change since it looks less generic as well as sounding better when said aloud. This also gives OP Productions a chance to try to win over new people with the name change that are unaware.
Most of this could have been forgiven if Infestation: Survivor Stories was a good game. Trying to ape the core idea of Day Z, the highly successful mod for Arma II that is now becoming a full game, Infestation: Survivor Stories ends up cloning everything but the essence of why Day Z is fun.
Seeing is believing, so I dove into the post-apocalyptic open world to see if the all the complaints were coming from a valid place of concern. Punching the clock after a couple of hours was enough for me to say yes, all the complaints were indeed, valid. Multiple disconnects randomly every time I played, large open areas with nothing around to search for items to survive and no starting weapon are really frustrating for anyone who paid $14.99.
Ultimately, the most glaring issue is how the design of the gameplay is unfairly stacked against you that real money must be used in order to do anything useful at all. It’s like the existence of a new pay-to-play model has arisen with Infestation: Survivor Stories. Did you die? Wait one hour or buy back in with real money. Want to go exploring but have no items to do so, spend real money at the supply store. Lost all your items to another player waiting for you outside the safe zone? Pull out the credit card again. To pay for the game only to run into exorbitant micro-transactions implemented in such a way that forces your hand is real scummy to me.
“There’s a sucker born every minute”, and OP Productions is waiting outside the delivery room to hand you Infestation: Survivor Stories.