If you’re a fan of huge open multiplayer worlds, hardcore survival and fending off hordes of infected, then DayZ is for you. Developed as the successor to the extremely popular mod for ARMA II, DayZ aims to test your wit and resolve as you fight for your life.
DayZ throws you, the player, into the fictional post-soviet state of Chernarus, where the majority of the population has fallen victim to an unknown disease inducing zombie-like effects. You must scavenge this desolate world for food, water, weapons, medicine, all the while killing or avoiding the infected. The games multiplayer feature means other players are also thrown into the mix, just as desperate and driven to survive. Will you unite with others against the infected, or will it be survival of the fittest?
DayZ presents one simple goal, to stay alive at all costs. Each player is given one life, once that has been expended it’s game over and time to start again. The player begins with the bare bones: a set of simple clothes and one road flare.
A key feature of DayZ is exploration; from the get go a player must traverse the vast yet beautiful post-apocalyptic landscape in search of loot locations such as houses, farms and apartments to acquire gear and supplies. Basic items like food and water are key to survival in this game and must be rationed carefully. Across the map players will also find clothing that allows a new level of character customisation, as well as improving storage space and providing more protection against damage and the elements. A variety of melee and ranged weapons can be scavenged, along with attachments such as bipods and sights, allowing players to protect themselves and teammates against the infected and opposing players.
Players are able to hunt wildlife and use the vegetation to their advantage; discovering and repairing vehicles also allows for the transportation of goods and the ability to get across the map swiftly and safely. However vehicles take some time to acquire.
The world of DayZ is volatile and poses a range of threats. It is essential that a player is constantly on the lookout for medical supplies that can really come in handy when an incident occurs. If a player is shot or hurt by infected, they will take damage along with items on their person. It is also possible to bleed, which can result in serious deterioration of vision and an eventual loss of consciousness unless treated promptly with bandages.
DayZ began development in 2012 when original mod creator, Dean Hall, joined Bohemia Interactive to work on the standalone version of the game. Recently the focus for the company has been altering the Take on Helicopter engine which is itself a branch of the ARMA II Operation Arrowhead engine, Real Virtuality. They wish to change their game engine to suit needs and the desires of the developers and gamers. Bohemia Interactive aims to surpass their mod predecessor by removing any unnecessary functions of the previous engine as well as adding more colour and flare to the world of Chernarus. Their goal is to make the game feel more realistic with the addition of new enter-able buildings and a more diverse landscape.
The game was released via early access on Steam in December 2013 and is currently in early alpha testing. With over 3 million copies already sold since its alpha release, Sony announced at Gamescom 2014 that DayZ would be coming to Playstation 4, and at E3 in 2015, it was announced for release on Xbox One.
Bohemia Interactive has many plans for future updates of DayZ that could change gameplay dramatically. This includes the ability to build bases to keep items safe and the possibility of security systems. Diseases such as dysentery, cholera and hepatitis can be caught by ingesting dirty water or rotten food and can only be cured with the appropriate medicine. It is exciting to see progress and we wait eagerly to see what DayZ will bring next.