Don’t be deterred by the whole Crotch Zombie Productions, this is actually a sophisticated- screw it. You already know that this game isn’t really going to take itself seriously because they decided to use a “z” instead of an “s” in the title. But, dey don’t be-leev dat htey R teh HAx0rZzZ!!!11!11 It’ll become clear in a minute.
What’s the Deal?
So, what is it about Forum Warz that separates itself from other Free to Play MMOs, and what types of games is it trying to separate? Please note, I am asking these questions rhetorically , and am not actually wondering those things. But to those of you who are, Form Warz’z(?) combat plays out a lot like a turn-based game. In fact, the similarities are so apparent, I am going to call it turn based. I don’t know what made me say “a lot like” before. Forgive me. When engaging in combat, you choose from a growing list of abilities which you can use, along with some items here and there. It’s a pretty standard affair.
Now, how it differs can pretty much be summed up in the word “everything”. In Form Warz, you play as a deplorable internet personality (starting as a Re-Re, but later “upgrading” to camwhore, emo, or troll) trying to piss off everyone they can via forums. You use your abilities (like bang head on keyboard) to increase your PWN. When forum members reply, it decreases your Ego (read “health). Once your PWN reaches max, the forum goes down, and you move on to the next. As you gain levels and abilities, strategy begins to open up a bit, at least in my Emo… class? personality? spammer? For instance, I have a power that gains in strength when my ego is low, but uses my tears (magic). So, I found myself constantly operating in this near-death danger zone, only healing little bits when necessary, but tearing through the forums. It’s an interesting and unique premise if nothing else.
It’s like he’s trying to tell me something…
The thing I find really interesting is that the creator of the game loaded style into absolutely every aspect of the game, and he (or she) makes it pretty obvious that he (or she) hates forum spammers. He (for the sake of ease, I’m going to pretend it’s a guy) constantly makes fun of them in quests, vendors, messages, everything. It’s like his personal joke, make people play a game where they all have to act like idiots to advance.
But if you take a step back, it actually does a fairly good job of conveying the message I think he was originally trying to get across. When you go from forum to forum, doing some of the same basic moves (as with most MMOs) you really start to see how completely meaningless the whole thing is. Not that I ever felt compelled to ruin forums anyways (nor should any of the fine folk here), but it really put things in perspective.
Dude, what was it like?
Excusing my philosophical tirade, having people play as intentionally lousy characters does have its drawbacks. The game is completely filled with immersion, in a way I wish other games would attempt. Since the game is based on the internet, and it is browser based, the game takes place is a pseudo internet. It comes complete with a google knock-off, instant messaging, bookmarks, etc. And with all this at work immersing the player, you really begin to feel like some attention deprived jack-off. Maybe it’s just me, but after a while I found it hard to want to progress. I mean, although you won’t admit it to your peers, in World of Warcraft (the eternal comparison) you really want to be that level 70 paladin. You want to feel cool, wearing the best armor, crushing weaklings, having spells of unimaginable strength. That desire is the driving force behind your play. In a game where you start as an “Emotionally Stable” Emo, and are trying to gain that treasured “unstable” rank, that drive is gone. Again, maybe it’s just me.
From a less personal standpoint, the game has all the bells and whistles coupled with its own unique twist. The tutorial is a robot that constantly insults you, but also wants your *cough* feces in his, uh, oral cavity. The shops are all websites, quests come in emails, everything has a little twist to it.There are a decent range of items, but this isn’t a lewt intensive game, lulz. Most items are cheap single-use boosts, but I wouldn’t have them any other way, from the way the game is set up.
Do People Pay for This?
(Just look at a picture of a forum, you’ll be fine.)
Really, from what I could tell, the game runs entirely off of donations. That is pretty impressive, considering the amount of work that seems to be put into it.
Now, Bring It On Home
So, what’s the deal on this game? It is simply so different, I have to recommend a simple run-through of the game. Sign-up was practically non-existent, so don’t let that be a deterrent. However, it will probably be either hit-or-miss for most people, and you should be able to tell by the first two levels or so. Just, don’t expect this to be your new favorite past-time, because the premise of the game in inherently inhibiting. By that I mean, if this becomes your new favorite game, you should go crawl in a hole because nobody likes a CamWhore/Emo/Troll.
((This review was made in the year 2009, and may not remain entirely faithful to the current game. Review by Andras.))