One to Watch #03 Day Z
Some of the best, and most influential games can come from mods, Day Z seems to be one of them.
Day Z is an open-world-third/first person-multi player-survival-horror-mod (how’s that for a mouthful) for Arma 2. On hearing “multi player survival horror” may conjure thoughts of Left 4 Dead but that’s not quite what DayZ is. PCGamer regards it as “one of the most important things to happen to PC Gaming in 2012” and so do I and here why.
Why you should check it out
Day Z does what developers have been too unwilling to do so far when it comes to survival games of the horror and non horror variety, and that is really up the stakes and make you work for every, single, moment you manage to stay alive.
Not only does it do that but it also instills a sense of real fear and danger, as while much of a game play session can be spent trying to keep out of sight and scavenging danger can come from many sources at any moment including other players. This is one of the games unique aspects and has proven to be one of the major causes of in game death, though players can work together or not interact should they choose to.
in Day Z you start out with very basic items. zombies can turn up at any moment if you should make you presence known to them which can be very easy to do (such as noise from non silenced firearms) or run into them.
You are required to acquire the means by which to survive further in the game as you go along the game (rather then be given them). Other players will often attack or back stab you in order to get your loot in this unforgiving environment.
There really is no “winning” in the game, but rather experiencing a survival horror sand box - one where every moment alive is savoured.
Being a mod for Arma 2, a hyper realistic military shooter, Day Z also hosts high degrees of complexity in its game mechanics. This can be from how, what and which objects and types of objects you can interact with as well as a multitude of categories affecting your characters condition. It doesn’t just mod Arma 2 however but also adds a whole plethora of objects, all in persistent servers allowing you to keep your progress and raise the stakes at the same time.
Despite some of the bugs, server stability issues and slow pace of the game it is still possibly the very first meaningful multi player computer game representation of a survival horror situation or zombie apocalypse, a unique experience every session and could be sign of things to come.
This sort of game play could translate well into other genres such as MMO’s like the upcoming Class3, and Guild Wars 2 end of beta “corruption” events would suggest this with the highly positive player response to those events. The game itself also has alot of potential to be developed further so we could very well see more from this game in the future.
Visuals, Sound & Setting
While the visuals may not be jaw dropping the game is far more about the game play which the Arma 2 supports well by making much of the environment interactive should you acquire the means to do so.
The setting is lends itself well to the gameplay by being in sparsley populated areas in a massive rural map though it does have its larger urban areas also.
DayZ requires Arma 2 which can be found via multiple outlets such as Steam and retail stores.
Platform - Windows PC
Pricing - One Time Fee for Arma 2
Release Date - Released/Beta
Developer - Dean Hall / Bohemia Interactive
Publisher - 505 Games (EU) / Got Game Entertainment (NA)
Website - http://dayzmod.com/