One of the most successful mod-to-game conversions ever, DayZ is an open-world survival game. It features everyone’s favorite setting and video game trope: a post-apocalyptic world filled to the brim with zombies all hell bent on eating your face off. At times DayZ can be an intense, suspenseful game that blends first-person shooting games and survival games like rust.
To start playing DayZ you first need to download it. A good place to start is the Download button at the end of this review.
Developed by Bohemia Interactive and first released to early access on Steam back in December 2013, DayZ takes place in a post-Soviet republic called Chernarus. This is a fictional representation of a town in eastern Europe where a zombie plague has decimated the population and turned the area into a violent place to live. In addition to avoiding zombies, the player has to worry about finding food, water, weapons, and medicine.
Another ever-present force in the game are other players who you can either cooperate with or fight against, an element that, in some ways, makes other players more deadly than the common zombie.
The presence of a hunger and disease system also makes DayZ quite unique among the zombie survival genre. When initially developing the standalone DayZ game, one thing that the team at Bohemia Interactive had to add to the game were its complex inventory and survival systems.
Similar in setup to the currently darling of the game industry, battle royale games, the environment of Chernarus is absolutely gigantic and exploration is a huge part of the game. Of course, as in battle royale games, exploration also leaves the player open to attack from other players or zombies as well as consuming resources.
In the initial gold release of the game a lot of the combat is focused on melee weapons and this is largely to the player’s benefit as it is almost impossible to grief in this game. More powerful weapons are expected at a later date and should add an interesting element to the gameplay which is currently a style that relies heavily on suspense and tension. That could be ruined by the addition of ubiquitous rocket launchers.
Exploring the game world for supplies also yields surprises in terms of what the player will find while traipsing around Chernarus. There are medical supplies to obtain as well as clothing upgrades which not only add a new look but also possibly upgrade your inventory or grant other benefits. You can also find books that are fully readable – such as open-source works like Moby Dick – but we can’t really imagine a player setting out to read that tome in DayZ yet the game makes it possible.
In terms of planned future content additions, it seems that games like Fortnite have had an impact on DayZ’s course as the addition of base building and maintenance mechanics will be added in the future according to promises from Bohemia Interactive.
Other unique developments include the addition of in-game computers that can be programmed as well as player-run radio stations in the game. Sporting one of the oldest communities around, DayZ promises to continue to grow its core game for years to come.