Community Review: DayZ

This is probably a first, but it's something I've wanted to do for a while — chuck up a mod for Community Review. Now that DayZ has really crossed over and become something really broad and important, I thought it might be worthwhile asking you guys and girls your thoughts...

My experience of DayZ has been limited. I've watched the videos, I've listened to the eye-witness accounts and experiences — but I've yet to play it, and part of me feels as though the ship has sailed, and I may be too late to really get a good sense of it. This makes me a little sad.

In a lot of ways, DayZ is one of the most important video games of 2012, and I'm really keen to hear your thoughts on the game, thoughts on the experience, and the long term effects the game will have on gaming as a whole.

Let us know in the comments below!


    I have a love hate relationship with DayZ.

    At times it will be utterly fantastic, you rushing into a town and grabbing a few supplies from a supermarket before another play spots you. It's a trill that few games can give.

    But the players are what ruins it, the whole notion of Kill on Sight for anyone really makes it hard to get too attached to your character. For example, I've saved someone from a horde of zombies, fixed their leg, bandaged them up and gave them blood; only for the player to turn to me and axe me in the face. He had no reason to kill me, I just went out of my way to help him but that is the way the game is.

      that's a good simulation for a zombie apocalypse though. Trust no one.

        I strongly disagree with that point of view. At no time in the history of man has it ever been such a free-for-all, kill on sight mentality. Not even in the worst conditions.

        I'm not saying the PVP is BAD. It actually is the only thing that keeps DayZ from being mind-bogglingly boring. I'm just saying that the idea of the PVP being realistic is utter nonsense. Not to the extent that it is, anyway.

          So here's the issue. You're adding to it. By taking on the ideal that you have to then add to the killing of another person, you're adding to the PVP factor. Try not doing it, sure you'll get killed a few times but eventually you'll come across people that don't.

          I've come across plenty of people who don't kill on sight. I talk to them, they talk to me. We use mics or chat via text on screen. To say 'at no time in history' is a bit silly, to think you can claim something like that is absurd. I understand what you're trying to say but you're flat out wrong, sorry man.

            They way I understand it using ingame voice chat seriously reduces the chances of being shot on site.

              In the beginning things seemed to function in a very different light, when people were new they reached out more to the community for help and companionship, but the more comfortable players became the more dissatisfied they were with the survivor 'play style' and eventually they fell into banditry.

              I believe a large emphasis on the FPS aspect of ARMA doesn't lend to a more humane approach to player interaction, if your were able to hold towns and cities safely from zombies and/or create sanctuaries players would probably act differently, as there is no progression gained from trust and unity, people tend to revel in the suffering of others like they are so used to doing in FPS games.

          HELL YES, I agree with you 100 percent on this. Everyone always assumes that as soon as society suffers a major catastrophe we'll all start eating each other. Utter bollocks, sold to us by people who need to sell this idea in order to - they believe - make their stories interesting.

          I don't know, I was reading about the Bosnian war where one of the cities was under seige - People turned into animals to survive. Armed gangs roamed the streets while small communities formed in buildings to defend their territory. Pretty horrific stuff.

          I'm sure if life had re spawns and after the 10th or so time trusting someone and having to suffer through death youd stop trusting people too XD

      That does sound a bit game-ruining. They need some sort of incentive to not kill other players, since there's no real consequence to killing them while letting them live risks them killing you. So I guess that makes it like "why not?"

      Still very interested in having a go though.

        Isn't the incentive to co-operate and survive against the Zombies?

        I've heard that they will include this mod in the next Arma release, Arma 3 so I'm going to wait for it and then jump on

          Safety in numbers, yeah.
          But this guy, maybe he was just a jerk and wanted Teemo's stuff.
          It goes both ways. I accidentally ran up to a dude, who AFK'd (or looked it) in the worst possible position. I could have shot him and stolen his stuff, but instead and ran the hell away. I don't want conflict, I just want supplies and to live. But stories like that don't get mentioned because they're non-events.
          But that time I was wandering (foolishly) around Elektro and got shot for no reason? Yeah, that wasn't cool.

          Jerks are very prominent in this game. Very. Nice guys aren't.

        Indeed, its this amazing new concept... 'communicating'... lol

        When you communicate with people and open the lines of communication, many things happen. Cooperative play comes into being a reality. In one situation I was pinned down by two guys, they thought, rightfully, that *I* was the guy that had just been shooting at them earlier, they were peppering a barn I was near with shots. After one got near I assured them I was not by putting my pistol down and getting their trust. We then ran around for around 2 hours, found a truck, fixed it, had an awesome time.

      As someone who particularly loves complex games which immerse me in an amazing environment and stir my imagination while giving me the sandbox freedom and scope for trolling & killing other players - I came to Dayz with my most recent history of favourite games being Stalker for it's environment, dwarf fortress for it's complexity and sandbox nature, DOTA 2 for it's multiplayer and unforgiving nature and finally Left 4 Dead 2 because zombies.

      DayZ as a mod for ARMA 2 is unpolished, of course - it's in beta & there are still bugs which both myself & the group of guys I game with encounter (my favourite being loot spawning several feet above dog houses & infinite water bottles at wells). The learning curve is steep - to this day I'm still learning new controls - I still have yet to work out how to use my watch, for example. DayZ is by no means complete nor is it perfect in many ways however I've invested so much time (and so many lives) because I simply can't get enough of this game.

      DayZ is a game that requires you to invest some proper time in it in order for you to get the sweet juicy gaming experience out of it. I'd describe the learning curve similar to Terraria or DOTA2 where you can take yourself so far by simply playing a number of games & exploring your surroundings however if you want to learn how to really get the good equipment, find the good loot spots, or even just learn to get your bearings by having a map on a 2nd PC screen - you need to put in more effort than simply loading the game and playing it over & over again.

      I learned by joining a couple friends & kept getting frustrated by agro'ing zombie after zombie. I'd die over and over again, I'd get a small amount of loot only to be killed by getting too close to yet another zombie or not being able to outrun them. It was only after I started reading the wiki & watching videos of people playing before I learned how to escape zombies when I have no weapon or ammo. Once this was nailed down I was able to stay alive for far longer and the experience definitely opened up to me. Much like how World of Warcraft *starts* when you max your level out - DayZ starts when zombies become less lethal. Once this happens it's not so much zombies which become your biggest problem -- it's other players. To this day I still rarely venture into the more populated areas alone - I still need a friend in voice chat who will provide me with long range sniper cover in the event of my being killed by other players. Some times it has happened in which case I get a long run back from the coastline to my body while I get to listen to him inevitably find my killer as they attempt to reach my corpse for looting only to be shot in the head. Amnesia has made my adrenalin pump hard before however DayZ has made it so much more real and intense.

      Dislikes: Buggy, Unpolished, so much unfulfilled potential for a zombie sandbox game

      Likes: Immersive, depth of detail, realistic, unforgiving - but by god you'll find times where you can hear your heart beating like a war drum.

    The game is good but I'd suggest waiting until Beta.

    I know three kotaku people who loved it as Blaghman, F4ction and Pyrean all stayed up to some crazy hour this morning playing it. I'm putting in 2cents for them as I think they are most likely all still in bed as a result.

      And it was 6am when we finished up after starting around 9:30pm. Crazy

      me and some friends stayed up from 11 am till 630 am playing. was
      so good.

    Play this game without looking at any maps or spawns, and wander off into a GIANT land of mystery, killing, and loot

    DayZ is as merciless as the zombies and players within it. More environmental interaction is required in the next updates to make it more enjoyable. Great to play with friends, albeit hard to reach them without dying and respawning what seems like a world away. Definitely one to watch during dev.

    It has a lot going for it. It's a very serious attempt at a proper survival game.
    I have 2 big problems with it.

    #1 - it's built on ARMA2. On one hand this is great because you get the huge environments, realism, different damage and health conditions, hunger, thirst etc. On the other hand you get a horrible inventory system, awful animations, heaps of bugs, very average graphics and everything you expect from a 3 year old game. It's no Battlefield in terms of visuals.
    I think a lot of the near game breaking bugs are due to ARMA2 but quite a lot are simply because this mod is still very much Alpha (if not pre-Alpha).
    That being said I'm very interested to see what a post Beta, polished version plays like. There is still a HUGE list of improvements to be made. It's very early days.
    Loading times for example are horrible right now. It's the biggest factor for staying alive. It's not losing your stuff that's scary, its the 20min loading time to make a new character....

    #2. Lack of an end game. While this in itself isn't a bad thing, I found a few times over my last few days of playing DayZ, that once you get some weapons, a better backpack, ammo and supplies, there isn't much else to do. Yes it's all about survival, but once you have all the supplies you need, there is no more incentive to explore, or scavenge. You could just sit in a house somewhere and die of old age, it's much safer. Perhaps some sort of story, or constantly changing situations might freshen it up.

    All in all , its a fun interesting mod but needs a lot of work to get mass appeal, and more importantly to keep existing players from moving on...

      And one more thing - I know it's early in the Alpha, but having bugs and glitches that kill you, in a game with permanent death is pretty bad. I've seen heaps of people fall off ladders, or fall through the world, or have a door close on them and break their leg. Normally you don't notice these things, but when they kill you and undo a few hours of gameplay - it can really turn some people off.

      I think they could fix that sense of nothing to do with random world events scripted into the mod.

      - Like having a military element turn up on the map, trucks full of troops, armoured vehicles and lots of guns. It would be a reason for players to band together, as the military would kill on sight anyone within the infected zone.

      - Or having massive of planes flying overhead, dropping off supplies to the infected zone; causing players to rush to drop zones for better loot.

      my end game was to become the player that sits in cherno with a sniper and sniped me oh so many times XD

      Thats when the real fun starts and the hunting begins =P

    My review based on a few hours.

    Finally managed to have a go. Not a ton of fun for me.

    First server I had a go on was pitch black. No worries, pulled out the flashlight. Finally found some buildings. But no you cannot go in any of them. Sigh. Repeat this a few more times over the next hour till I finally found a shed with a winchester rifle. Yay.
    But not a fan of the mouse aiming one bit. Just feels odd. But anyway so I kill some zombies till I get sick of how damn dark it is so changed servers.

    Yay, daylight.

    For Zombies, they have impeccable eyesight. Was scouting a group of buildings from at least 200 meters away, crouched, before I see someone run out from them full pelt. It was a zombie with a few more coming straight at me. Now wtf. I was crouched and not moving, just having a look.
    But anyway had to run as I ran out of ammo after the 10th zombie and for whatever reason I could not work out how to melee them with the butt of the rifle. Please tell me you can do this and I just missed something...

    After another 30 minutes of running through the forest and not seeing much I spot what looks to be a small Army encampment with some tents. Cool I thought, bound to be something. One odd thing is the camp was artifacting like crazy. No idea why. Played around with graphics settings and got it so it was not quite so much of a fun house kaleidoscope of craziness.
    So went looking through tents and I spied a full rack of what looked to be AK-47s, sweet! Nope they are just there for display. Dafuq...

    Anyway sorry for the long rant but left the game feeling a bit annoyed more than anything. Will have another go later.

      Zombie vision and hearing is constantly being tweaked, some version they are practically deaf and blind others they are supermen.
      I have also experienced the artifacting, I've read of other players experiencing it too. Apparently tweaking your Anti-Aliasing settings will fix it, I'm yet to test it.

    I've been playing regularly for the last month or so and am thoroughly enjoying it.

    I play with a few mates and we've never had less than 3 players in a group at a time, so my experience differs from others that play solo.

    We generally just roam from town to town, collecting supplies and gear, we've had our fair share of PVP and usually come out on top. We'll setup an overwatch on a town while one of our party goes in, we can advise on zombie locations and if we spot other players, assess and deal with them as required. We don't shoot unarmed players and often just fire warning shots at armed players, if they appear to have an aggressive stance we'll take them out. Sometimes this fails and our guy in the town is killed. It's part of the game and a risk we all take and honestly, gearing up a new players gives you something to do.
    There are a few locations where players are shot on site; Stary Sobor and the NW Airfield for example. Shooting onsite in these locations seems to be the norm amongst the playerbase.

    It may appear a dull existence, but it's surprising how much you just want to keep on playing and the rush you get from getting in a firefight is like nothing I've experienced in other games. I feel a little silly saying that you actually get an adrenaline rush sometimes from the excitement and the chaos.

    Unfortunately hacking is becoming a serious issue, the amount of times we've spotted ghillie suit clad players with an AS50 with a complete set of survival gear running around a town like a complete noob is disturbing. While not impossible, it's extremely unlikely that this player, judging by his playstyle, has been alive long enough to acquire all of these incredibly rare items.
    On a few occasions, the entire server population has been killed on the spot and other times teleported to a single location where all hell breaks loose. This kind of thing is not common fortunately.

    The game is definitely still worth checking out IMO, but I would suggest playing with some other people that you can trust and have direct voice comms with.

    As much as i like Zombie Surival games like this, i really dont think i would last long from what i've read overall. The general stories i hear are good but i invision myself dying alot and getting quite frustrated with it overall.

    played first time yesterday. walked up a staircase, i tripped and broke my leg... then spent an hour crawling around not knowing how to mend my leg, or even equip a weapon after which i went on an intentional suicide. there were 2 players near me, both saw me, wouldnt answer to chats asking people to just tell me what to do. frankly wouldnt even say anything.... there really ought to be a basic tutorial....

      There are tutorials. The ARMA II tutorials, they are VERY comprehensive.

        wait, so are most of these mechanics in the base game? the bone breaking, hunger, blood, temp mechanics etc...?

          You can find everything you need here:

    'Reviewing' the game is impossible. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Arma fan, but trying to give it a meaningful review is like trying to review Microsoft Flight Simulator. It's not really a game, it doesn't have a beginning and an end. It puts you in a realistic situation and sees what you do. Sure, you can critique the graphics (Arma's were behind the curve at release, and now they're terrible in comparison to the pixels Frostbyte or CryEngine pump out), the controls are awkward (communicating with NPCs in ArmA 2 requires a third hand) and the voice acting in ArmA 2 is embarrassing (in firefights it's hard to tell if your troops are under firing, or under a blanket).

    But what the game did is create its own stories. Stories where paitence is rewarded, stories about being terrified and alone and cut off from your squad while realistic ordinance peppers your position. What's amazing about DayZ is the creators took that one thing great about ArmA, the stories, and made a whole game about it.

    It reminds me of Dwarf Fortress like that. The game underwhelms in almost every key measure by which games are judged, but people keep playing, plough through the learning curve, because of the story they get to tell at the end of it.

    No one tells stories about the experiences they had in AAA titles anymore. "I played Mass Effect 3, and I picked an ending." That's the story. Developers keep telling us it's about story, and imersion, while giving us shooting galleries that are scripted by someone else. When it's obvious what people want is a place to tell their own stories.

    The first person I ever killed in DayZ summed it up best. I killed the guy over a can of pasta. I'd nearly started starving to death, after staying away from the main settlements and trying to live alone in the forest. I'd gone down to the Cherno supermarket and found someone else looting it, so I put a whole mag ofMakarov rounds into his back. My last mag. He starts abusing me over direct chat while he bleeds to death, about how every zombie in Cherno is about to come knocking, and could I please finish him off. But I didn't have any ammo, and I couldn't figure out how to equip my hatchet. The guy had to talk me through the process of getting it off the tool belt, and before he died he said, "No one ever remembers the first player they killed in CoD, or Battlefield, but everyone remembers the first player they killed in DayZ".

    Then I smacked him in the head with my hatchet and took his pasta. Sure enough, I got mobbed by 4 zombies as soon as I opened the supermarket door.

    Started playing DayZ a few weeks ago on and off. First off, what a fantastic effort from the developer for a mod. It has some great ideas and concepts, the potential for a survival based fps. Though there are several things with it that just seem off apart from the alpha bugs which are to be expected, perhaps its due to technical reasons.

    * Zombies are not scary at all except in really confined areas, sure they can chase you with superfast sprinting yet never actually grab you when running. But generally zombies are no issue even without a weapon just run around enough, lose sight of them and they gone.
    * There's not enough Zombies, it would be much better if there were more of them that couldnt actually super sprint 28 days style towards you. If there were more that moved slower, say more condensed in certain areas, this may encourage more grouping, may be harder to solo.

    * It just seems fairly easy once you get the hang of it in a few hours, the only real threat is other players, its supposed to be somewhat realistic with permadeath, thirst, hunger etc and these are nice mechanics, yet its not hard to travel the map (providing another player doesnt kill you) obtaining these.

    * Just picture a world decimated, your all alone, you pick up a weapon and food travelling around (as in dayz) when the world is covered in zombies that dont eat anything but people, they dont think. Now in order for things like vehicles to have been destroyed, people must have fired at them or run them to the ground. And you spot another human, would you really just shoot them for a can of beans? or for their gear, in real life chances are they would prove more of an asset than hindrance providing they are fit and able. in real life disaster situations, people in general tend to form together to go against the unknown, in this case zombies and the new world.. its this part that its really lacking, the *need* to work together, form up. It's all too easy to just go about, get your stuff, kill some zombies, or run away. Have nothing to do so than pvp.

    It's still the best zombie survival game fps so far tho, until possibly warz comes out.

    I love the game, but hate the bugs eg tripping over stairs and bleeding to death after spending a few hours gearing up.

    Mark, I think what you meant to say is that you're personal experience with Day-Z is non-existent. I dont believe you can really say you have an experience wit hit, if you're not played it.

    I myself have been playing with a group of 5-6 people on a mostly nightly basis for almost 2 months now. We've had some incredible encounters with other players. My most memorable was while trying to meet up with my friends in game, I went to the Balotta airfield. Upon my arrival I found 2 guys in the hangars. We briefly chatted and then two more guys came along. I then climbed to the top of the air tower, and upon sundown began throwing every single flare and chemlight in my possession off the tower. Without even speaking, the other 4 players climbed the ladder and began to do the same. For about 5 minutes, we all stood up there simply throwing these things until the hangars and surrounding area was completely lit up. Then all at once, we parted ways .

    I've found me experience being ruined a bit the last 2 weeks by an increase in hackers. Getting run over by trucks that come charging through a forest and then having the assailants friends attack you once you managed to kill the hacker is not much fun.

    Still, I strongly suggest you give it a whirl Mark. It's not too late. Yet.

    apologies for the spelling/ grammatical errors.

    Running through a small town outside elecktro with a buddy, fresh out of ammo, we stumble across a town.... this town has a massive hoard of zeds in it. We break away with only 3 following and all of a sudden they drop... we look around and I notice a sniper in a ghille suit right next to me. after momentarily crapping my pants.. i let out a little cry "friendly,? need food and water" the sniper drops tins of food and water canteens. I pick them up and as I look up the ghille suit sniper is gone.

    There is good in Dayz.

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