Observations: DayZ

Let’s be honest here, Zombies are getting old and when I mean old, I mean we need to stop raping their value in the mouth. I’m not saying that I don’t like to shoot Zombies in the face every now and then, but the way games go about doing it is just getting ridiculous. I’ve always wanted a survival zombie game, where you get dropped into a massive map with barely anything to start off with and have to survive for as long as you can. I’m happy to say that my wish has come true…sort of.

I discovered DayZ about a week ago because I was craving something different and with the big move I’m about to make back home I wasn’t going to have time to play Black Ops 2’s Zombie mode. To my surprise it was a mod that used Arma 2 and its expansion Operation: Arrowhead, which I already had from a while ago. If you have never played Arma 2, then let me just say you will hate the controls and the commands with a passion. Doing simple tasks such as climbing down a ladder could mean sudden death. There is no jump button, but you instead get a vault button which is used to get over fences and sometimes through doorways that are wide open.  Falling more than 2 feet will break both of yours legs instantly and force you to crawl until properly healed. The game is a mess, control wise, but it’s very realistic which is something I kind of enjoy now and then. DayZ doesn’t really do anything to help with the controls, but what it adds instead is just plain awesome.












The mod adds Zombies, debris, broken vehicles, dead bodies, weapons, ammo, food, medical supplies, vehicle parts and a whole bunch of other random shit to the massive Arma 2 map. It’s pretty impressive at the amount of detail that went into the placement of all these things, but you will learn very quickly that just because they are on the map, that doesn’t mean your going to find these things. Without a doubt the hardest items to find in this game are food and weapons. You will look in your inventory after an hour of play to find yourself holding a million shotgun shells, chemlights, flares, pistol magazines and absolutely no weapon. Everyone else in the game seems to have no trouble finding weapons and then using said weapons to shoot you in the face for your flashlight battery’s and Coke cans. It seems as if no one in this game wants to work together and it’s just a free for all. I don’t really blame them though, every time I got a gun and ammo to spare I would find myself waiting in a large town for the next dumbass to come by, so I can shoot him and take his flashlight battery’s and Coke cans.

I discovered the pattern after a few play-through’s.

  • Zombies are retarded and will only catch you if you get stuck somewhere or they are blocking the only way out.
  • To equip the hatchet, which is the most common weapon, you have to remove it from your toolbar in the inventory which puts it in your weapon slot. You’d think you could just click and drag it over to the weapon slot, but that would be too simple.
  • Cities and large towns have the most stuff to collect, but have the most players who want to shoot your face, so there is risk and reward to going to those places.
  • You cannot go into every building and I’d say about 90% are locked, leaving you with only a handful of places to go inside.
  • Almost every player online will kill you on sight or gain your trust and then straight up murder you

I can sit here and tell you tit for tat what this game has in it, but I think it would be better for me to tell you about a few of my experiences to give you a better picture.

Game 1: The first time I spawned I had not a single fucking clue where to go or what I needed to do. I noticed that there was 6 little items on my HUD, an ear, an eye, a thermostat (Still not 100% on that one), a canteen, a tear drop and a can of food. The ear was for how much noise you were making, the eye was for how visible to Zombies you were, the thermostat was for…fuck if I know, the canteen was for hydration level, the tear drop was how much blood you have and the can of food was your hunger level. The HUD is pretty self explanatory, but the thermostat is still a mystery to me. After walking half way up a large hill, I took a look around to see if any towns or cities were near by. Off in the distance there seemed to be a dock of some kind and away I was to explore this dock to possibly find a weapon to defend myself and maybe some friendly players that could help me out. I found none of these things, what I did find was some chemlights, a dozen zombies and another player who had a gun and wasn’t in the sharing mood.

Game 10: At this point I had realized that the only thing to do as soon as you spawn is to run into every open building you can find and locate a hatchet or any weapon you can find first. Having a line of Zombies following me was normal and ditching them was a piece of cake. I came across what appeared to be a farming village of sorts. This village seemed pretty remote and small, but I had never been to it before and I decided to give it a look through. Upon entering what I think was a stable I found my first gun of the game, a double barreled shotgun with ammo on the side. Saying I was happy would be an understatement because now I had a gun in my hands and the next sorry bastard to come into my field of view, was going to get blown away. I’d say I got about 20 ft away from that stable before someone who had an automatic rifle shot me in the back about 100 times.

Game 49: I had mostly avoided the larger towns up until now, but I was tired of living off scraps from the smaller villages. As I made my usual approach to any new area, which is go to the top of the highest point and take a look around, I heard several gunshots as I got closer. A player was knee deep in Zombie shit trying to get away from his pursuers. I watched him run around the city, ringing the dinner bell (Shooting his rifle) every time a zombie would get too close. I was waiting for him to draw the Zombies away from the center of the town, but he was taking his sweet time and he kept on drawing more Zombies to him which only complicated matters further. All of a sudden the player who I was watching spotted me on the hill and decided to come up and say hello…with his revolver…to my face. He probably thought I was waiting for him to die so I could take his stuff, but I didn’t have time to tell him it was just a big misunderstanding. I ran into the center of town to try to escape my new friend and his buddies. Like I said earlier, most of the buildings in the game are locked and have no way inside, but a lot of the buildings in cities or larger towns have opened doors. After finding a three story building with open doors on all sides, I darted inside and started scavenging.

After finding some food, water and ammo I came across a dead player with a shotgun in his hands. I started looting his body when my new best friend decided he would come up and see what I was up to and also to put a couple of revolver rounds in my chest. We got into a small firefight which ended when I climbed up a ladder to the roof and sat there waiting for him to follow. After 30 minutes of waiting on that roof, I felt like it was time to move out, but I didn’t want to take any risks because I had a lot of good stuff finally. Before I could make a decision another player started firing at me from another roof about 100 meters away. I moved behind the only cover nearby, which was a foot high elevated area in the middle of the roof. Not going to lie, this was a shitty ass situation. My best friend was waiting directly below me for my dumbass to come down the ladder, so he could shoot me in the back and some asshole was shooting at me from a few roof tops away. Making a split second decision I jumped off the roof (Walked off the roof because there is no jump button), broke both my legs, started to pass out from the pain and my new best friend proceeded to bludgeon me to death with a hatchet.

Game 50: I shut off the game

DayZ is fucking cruel as cruel can be and hands you nothing when you need it the most. It is very fun, addicting and immersive when you peel away the parts that make you want to snap your keyboard over your knee. My only real complaints are the controls, but the guys who made the mod can’t really do anything about that, and the spawn points. The spawn points are too far spread to really let you run into a lot of people and everyone who spawns near the larger towns end up with all the good stuff. I hope this mod is the wake up call for a big name developer to see the demand for a MMO Zombie Survival Game because a shitload of people have downloaded this mod and a full blown game dedicated to this genre would be amazing. Just please don’t fuck it up.