When is the Gray Zone Warfare Steam release date? Everything you need to know

When is the Gray Zone Warfare Steam release date? Everything you need to know
Talal Musa Updated on by

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✓ at a glance
  • Gray Zone Warfare released on PC Early Access today.
  • It promises hyper-realistic, team-based gameplay with authentic bullet mechanics and enemy behavior
  • Gray Zone Warfare is powered by the Unreal 5 Engine and will support Nvidia DLSS 3 and Reflex

Gray Zone Warfare is shaping up to be one of the year’s most anticipated tactical FPS titles. Blending hyper-realistic visuals, sophisticated bullet mechanics and a cutting-edge damage system, Gray Zone Warfare is not for the faint of heart – more akin to Insurgency and Escape From Tarkov than Call of Duty. Here’s everything you need to know about Madfinger Games’ tactical first-person combat sim.

What is the Gray Zone Warfare release date?

Gray Zone Warfare released today on 30th April 2024, in early access via Steam. Previously on Steam, there were talks that there was a tentative release planned for April 1st, however this passed and early access released at the end of April.

Is there Gray Zone Warfare early access?

Yes, there is PC early access for Gray Zone Warfare, via Steam. Previously a select number of creators have had hands on with the game as part of a preview ‘Creator Campaign’ to gather feedback. The event, which was promoted on the official Gray Zone Warfare X account, ran from April 18th, gave a handful of influencers and fans of the Gray Zone to test it out and explore the fictional Democratic Republic of Lamang. There’s no word yet as to whether there will be a public beta, although we think this could be likely ahead of the full early access release.

There will be tons of content and ‘regular updates’, Madfinger confirmed. These include the usual bug fixes as well as new content in the form of quests. Here’s what will be included:

  • Three distinct PMC factions. These support up to 48 players, with 16 players per faction
  • A huge 42 km² open world of Lamang
  • Realistic ai-controlled enemies
  • An authentic ballistic system and recoil
  • Realistic health system that simulates real-world damage
  • 150 quests
  • Eight weapons with over 400 interchangeable parts as well as more than 80 gear items
  • A Player progression system and character creation tool
  • Squads supporting up to four players, supported by social features including Friends, VOIP, and Messenger

The full version, when it does eventually launch, adds even more features. Expect a larger map with more diverse biomes, faction-based AI with unique behaviours and a dynamic weather system. There’s even a trading system planned for players and fully customizable gear.

What is Gray Zone Warfare plot and setting?

GZW is a tactical, team-based shooter that supports both PVE and PVP gameplay, fast appearing on many Steam members’ wishlists. Set in the fictional Democratic Republic of Lamang, the main selling point is the level of realism offered to the player. While the full release will offer a huge world to explore, complete with a varied selection of biomes with a day and night cycle, the early access version will launch with a 42 km² open world housing 150 missions. Gameplay supports squads of four, and will see teams undertake a series of missions across the map. As we’ll explore later, MadFinger Games has put a ton of effort into creating one of the most authentic combat simulations, all the way down to how bullet wounds affect the player depending on where they’re shot. There’s also tons of customisation available, with weapons boasting up to 400 interchangeable parts, which affect how the weapon behaves.

One of the biggest selling points of Gray Zone is the bullet behaviour model the team has created. According to the devs, ‘The simulation considers factors like kinetic energy density, angle of obliquity, deformation, and the differences between full and partial penetration’. This puts a huge emphasis on the player to watch their surroundings and place trust in their squad.

First-person view of a hand holding a gun with a scope, aiming at a wooden target barrier in a desert simulation environment for Gray Zone Warfare.
Your bullets will have different levels of penetration depending on whether they are lead or tungsten. Image via MadFinger Games

But that’s not all. The team has successfully built a model to mimic a bullet’s energy transfer after impact. MadFinger explains: “This involves accounting for factors such as the bullet‘s rotation, deformation, tumbling, and alterations in behavior after penetrating a barrier. For instance, firing through a wooden wall may diminish penetration while increasing blunt force trauma.”

‘Firing through a wooden wall may diminish penetration while increasing blunt force trauma’

MadFinger Games

There’s also a sophisticated ricochet system that accounts for both the characteristics of the projectile and those of the obstacle. In other words, the ricochet angle will be different depending on the material. When you add to the mix a dynamic recoil system, influenced by factors including muzzle velocity and the weight of the gun, you have an incredibly realistic simulation.

A virtual simulation displaying various bullet impacts from different calibers on ballistic gel blocks, labeled with their respective sizes and types, showcasing platforms and everything we need to know.
Even elements such as bullet energy on impact have been taken into account. Image via MadFinger Games

This level of realism extends to the character models, where you’ll be susceptible to severe internal trauma or more superficial cuts and grazes. A bullet will cause varying levels of damage depending on where it hits – and what protection the player is wearing. As the devs explain: “This leads to diverse outcomes: a bullet might ricochet harmlessly off the armor, penetrate it to cause significant damage, or pierce through only to be stopped by the back plate.” Severe wounds will lead to bleeding and potential damage to the character’s internal organs. Minor injuries will affect aim, movement speed and even impaired hearing, making it easier for the enemy to pick you off.

What platforms is Gray Zone Warfare coming to?

Right now, Gray Zone Warfare is on PC – but we’re not sure whether or not it’s coming to console. Those on PC will be pleased to know that Nvidia will be supporting the game with DLSS 3 and Reflex. “Starting day one, DLSS 3 will accelerate performance, Reflex will reduce system latency by up to 50% for more responsive gameplay, and hardware-accelerated, ray-traced Unreal Engine 5 Lumen lighting will increase the game’s graphical fidelity even further,” the company confirmed in a statement. We’ll, of course, keep you updated as the development of the game progresses.