Preview: DayZ, Zombie survival sandbox

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Is this yet another Zombie game or a real innovative game recreated for the Zombie genre? Here’s a preview of what DayZ is about.

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DayZ is a multiplayer sandbox mod for a little older game named ARMA 2 that was published in 2009.

ARMA 2 is a military simulation game in the shooting (fps) genre with a graphically realistic setting.

The day of the Zombies, DayZ, puts up a setting where viruses have caused the whole world to turn into zombies. DayZ is a multiplayer online sandbox game in which you will have to survive.
You as part of the group survivors have the job of keeping the zombies at bay aswell as keeping yourself alive.

What this game or mod makes it so different from common zombie shooters is that you will have to think more in emotions and primary needs. Surviving in DayZ isn’t just about putting a lot of bullets into the zombies that approach you.

Zombies is actually the least of your concern. Wounds to your body can cause you to get infections, lack of food and water combined with the emotional state of your character can cause you to spontaniously faint, bulletwounds can cause you to break your bones, getting yourself ambushed can cause you to enter a state of shock and both zombies and diseased players can get you infected. about the primary need of safety (emotion) and food (hunger, blood pressure), generally about reallife survival, if it is comparible to anything real life that is.
DayZ is aswell a team sport as it can be played together online but you will also have the fear of betrayal among these players. Ofcourse, this game is also about finding your needed supply of guns and ammo and the shooting of zombies. But zombies are just generally not your only concern of survival. You might get infected with the same unknown virus, which means you will have to find your portion of medicine, as well as get shot in the knees which can cause you infections that are dangerous and need treatment immediatly. Survival has gotten a totally different meaning.

Dean Hall, the designer of the DayZ mod, has gotten the idea from the days he spent in the New Zealand Army. The concept of this game is that of to train people how to think, react and respond upon exposure to emotional survival situations.

The strange thing of this concept of gameplay is that it is consisting of several rather frustrating elements that would normally make a game bad.

But apparantly, just like in Minecraft where survival of zombies, hunger, drowning, lava and falling damage play part, does this new way of thinking in survival strategies appeal to players.
That automatically means though that it isn’t a game for everyone. You will have to like to think in a strategical survival manner, like to shoot zombies from time to time and be able to sleep peacefully after you’ve been playing this game for several hours in a dark room in your house.

One thing for sure: the creators of the original ARMA 2 game that this mod is built upon, are more than happy with this popular alpha mod release in August this year. The sales went sky high and reached the top seller chart on Steam for over seven weeks, reaching 300.000 unit sales within two months of its release.

Because of its popularity, the creators of the DayZ mod have stated that a standalone version of the game will be launched somewhere in 2012.

Thanks to ‘Nicky Kim’ for the tip and help on the DayZ preview.

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