To be honest with you the thought of another zombie game didn’t really sit well. Why? Because most zombie games aren’t “zombie” games but rather action games, with random zombies everywhere to destroy. These games are great and all, don’t get me wrong but they all miss the mark when it comes to the environment and what a realistic zombie apocalypse would actually be like!
So I buckled down and tried out DayZ, the new zombie survival mod for ArmA II, which in itself is a military simulator that is about as realistic as actual combat gets on the PC. An awesome game if you haven’t checked it out already.
(Running from hordes, of zombies. Get used to it, they are everywhere.)
Anyways, ArmA II, is a “sandbox” style shooter. Where your character can do whatever he/she wants to. You can shoot guns, drive tanks, fly planes, you name it you can do it. Heres the kicker, all these things I described all handle and react as they would in real life!
Ok so now that you know where the game is going, DayZ is a multi-player environment that has you playing as a zombie apocalypse survivor. You are stranded on an island (oh yippie) that is populated with hundreds of zombies, and other “real life” players. Some that are willing to work together and help you. Others that are there to simply kill and loot your corpse.
At a glimps it’s a brutal, kill or be killed game. Like a weird mixup of Left 4 Dead and Fallout. Most items in the game you have to find to use. For instance you don’t have a map until you find one. There are no sign or prompts of where other players are at. You just hear the enviroment. Because of it’s ArmA II nature, you want to go somewhere? Better start walking. Want to pick up stuff? You better keep in mind that you can only carry so much at any given time.
(Houston, we have a problem.)
The fact that you have hundreds of zombies, and potentially other players trying to kill you. You have minimal items and no clue where anybody else or where you are makes this already difficult. But thats not all, the mod developers have added MORE survival elements you have to endure. For instance the fact that you need to Eat and Drink!
Because of how the game is set up, your character keeps all it’s items and it saves your location throughout all the servers! So for instance if you leave the game and your still alive, you will come back in the same spot you logged out in, same gear, same everything.
If you happen to die in DayZ, and yes it will happen. Probably more frequently than you think. That’s it! You lose all your gear, food and supplies you worked so hard for are now gone.
Granted there is no map, or global chat functions. Group chatting is still avaliable. Meaning that basic directions can be established and or transmitted via chat. Of coarse this means that survivors will be pinging their locations so others can join them!
But you have to be careful, because not everyone in this game is out to “help” you, but more so to help themselves to your stuff.
(Some people have your back, while others just want to watch you die.)
In my first game I found a survivor that needed help fending off zombies, I helped him out and was returned with some supplies for helping out, we parted ways and I was killed an hour or so later being baited by another “bandit” player. But this was my own foolishness and learning about the game. Pro Tip: stay away from bigger cities they tend to be where more “geared” players accumulate and patrol.
My second game I was baited out again (*sigh* yes I know im to trusting) But this time it was a normal survivor that I saw, only to be killed by an enemy sniper bandit and losing what little gear I had already.
Yes these are very frustrating aspects of the game, but you have to think about it. If this were a real situation there would be people out there sticking together to help out. And others that want power and to take what you have to benefit themselves. That’s what makes this game so interesting, it’s more the interaction with other survivors than killing zombies.
In this game there aren’t sides to pick. You just play how you would act in the game. It’s a very simple concept that what transforms an interesting yet bland mod and makes it something compelling and adventurous. It’s so addicting I have been playing it non-stop lately. I actually can’t wait to log back in and see where my adventures take me tonight!
I would highly recommend playing and getting the DayZ Mod. Or as I like to call it, The Best Zombie Game Ever!