I’m betting many who read this have never heard of Arma II. It had a less than ostentatious release back in December 2011, and since it’s been on the market we’ve seen CODMW2, Skyrim, and Portal 2. Among blockbuster hits like those Arma II is truly a forgettable game. How is it then that as of right now Arma II is the highest selling game on Steam? A soon to be well known mod that’s still in alpha called Day Z is the reason why. I haven’t seen a mod drive game sales like this since the original Counter Strike! Day Z is an ultra-realistic zombie survival mod. Words cannot describe how great this game is, below is only a recount of what kept me up until 2am last night.
I spawned somewhere in the Russian wilderness close to a town named Komarovo. I had no map so the only way I knew the name of the town was because I happened upon a sign that that said Komarovo 1 mile with an arrow pointing forward. I knew my friend Tact was east of a place called Zelenogorsk and the goal was to hook up with him before being eaten alive by the undead, or shot to death by a player looking to loot my corpse. Finding Tact took about an hour, this mod only ships with one map which is 100km by 100km, so without a navigational map, or a compass, your guided solely by landmarks and word of mouth. Eventually Tact found a map in a deer blind which made it much easier for us to navigate, him telling me landmarks in Vent and me running around in circles until I found the “edge of the forested area that overlooks the cow pasture” or “the warehouse 200 yards on the other side of the light house.” It was tedious to say the least. Once we were together we set about the task of surviving. By the time I found him it was getting dark, and cold, my body temperature was lowering and my vision was getting blurry, Tact was shaking he was so cold and coughing. Coughing is decidedly bad, if you’re trying to creep around a corner in an attempt to subvert a horde of the undead, the last thing you want is someone in your group to start coughing out loud and thus drawing attention to you and your cohorts. We needed to warm up. I found some firewood and Tact had some matches….we started a fire. Our body temps rose back to a nice 98 degrees, but apparently we had not gone deep enough into the woods to conceal our whereabouts because someone far away spotted us and was trying to shoot us. We heard the gunshots, and the ricochets off the trees. We quickly put the fire out. Our would-be assassin was never spotted. Even though our temps were up and the shaking had subsided, both of us were coughing. A few players let us know through public chat that we needed some antibiotics, so Tact and I tore through the night on a mission to obtain medicine. And so goes the gameplay of Day Z. You and your friend running through a torrential downpour of rain in the darkness of night through the Russian hinterland across several kilometers of terrain hoping to find a city that has a Hospital that is hopefully not surrounded by armies of the undead, or camped by players wanting to steal everything you’ve worked for. If you die, you lose everything and start back at zero. The only objective is to survive. Survive a bullet to the leg with morphine and bandages. Survive starvation by killing a goat, cow, or rabbit, skinning it, cooking it and eating it. Survive hypothermia by building a fire. Survive hordes of the undead with any number of weapons, my favorite thus far being the Winchester 1866, it will blow a hole directly through the living…or the dead.
Day Z makes Left 4 Dead look like an 8yo school girl. Persistent servers and a 24 hour clock….oh yeah, it stays dark for real time 8 hours and follows lunar cycles. New moon…pitch black…full moon…you can somewhat make out a few shadows, and no, you don’t spawn with a flashlight. This game is epic, it is the evolution of fps and the pinnacle of zombie survivor games…and it’s only still in alpha. I have never seen anything like this game. Let me put it this way: Diablo 3 came out less than a week ago….everyone in my vent bought it….. and no one plays it.