“DayZ” was introduced to players as a mod (modification) of the “ARMA2: Combined Ops” military simulation game. The premise is simplistic in theory, but extremely addictive in practice. Players who have the modification installed on their PC’s, with the base ARMA2 game installed, are able to connect via servers and play what is currently known as the greatest zombie game ever made. Yes, dear readers, DayZ is about zombies, but not your run of the mill “Left For Dead” and “Dead Island” zombie fare, no; DayZ is a deeply strategic and simulated game of what humanity will be like in a post-apocalyptic zombie setting. You have to survive, scavenge and exist in a world where the only objective is to live another day. It is an unforgiving world. During the opening few weeks of the game, the average survival period was less than five days. Wounds kill you, hunger ravages you and thirst wipes away any chance of existing for longer than a few hours. It is the most realistic survival game ever made.
The tag-line of DayZ reads, “This is Day Z. This is your story.” The basic description sums up the game in one swift paragraph, “The mod places the player in the fictional post-Soviet state of Chernarus, where an unknown virus has turned the population into zombies. As a survivor with limited supplies, the player must scavenge the world for supplies such as food, water, weapons and medicine, while killing or avoiding both zombies and other players – in an effort to survive the zombie apocalypse.”
Dean Hall, who was a soldier in the New Zealand Army, created the DayZ mod. He has since the mod’s implementation spoken out about Dayz and called it an “anti-game”. According to the DayZ Wikipedia page, “Hall has stated that his experiences in the New Zealand Army directly affected the development of the DayZ mod, and the creation of immersion through forcing the player to experience emotion and tension as part of gameplay.”
Luckily for the average player, DayZ will be released as a stand-alone game before the end of the year. Hall broke the news during the Eurogamer expo and said that a standalone version had to be released before the end of the year to “stop clones” like “World War Z” from overtaking in sales. The game will be extremely cheap and players won’t be required to run a base game to play the mod. The release is touted as the most important game release in the history of modern day PC gaming.
For those of you who have never heard about DayZ, here is a little description of the immersive and critically lauded game play, “The game attempts to portray an authentic scenario, with the environment having many different effects on the player. A player may receive bone fractures from repeated damage to the legs, go into shock from unexpected ambushes, receive infections from both the zombies or diseased players, or even spontaneously faint due to a low blood pressure. Thirst and hunger must be regularly dealt with by finding sustenance in either cities or in the wilderness, with body temperature playing another key part in the character’s survival. It focuses on survival and the human element of a zombie apocalypse by forcing the player to acknowledge basic human needs like thirst, hunger and shelter; elements that force the player to focus on immediate goals before they can consider longer term strategies.”
Strap on your guns, kick a zombie in the face and survive, survive, survive! Let’s go, shall we?