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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day Z

I've never played Day Z, but I've watched a ton of other people struggling through the game, and it's absolutely hypnotizing.

There are no rounds, no finish line, no objective except to survive. You're dropped into this ENORMOUS countryside that's been overrun by zombies (the crazy-fast kind), and if you want to last more than five minutes you're going to need water, food, and ammo; which leads to situations where you're sneaking into the ruins of a grocery store in some abandoned town hunting for a can of beans, praying you don't get the zeds' attention because if you're forced to fire off a shot, every zombie for a mile is going to come running.

But the most dangerous element of the game are the other players. They want to survive, too. They want your can of beans. They will fucking kill you.

Or maybe they'll help you out. It's your choice whether you want to step out from the treeline and flag them down or open fire before they even know what's happening.

The video above was recorded by Kilroy, who made a very impressive run through the game. Some things to keep in mind:

 - voice chat is in-game and affected by distance, which means you can communicate with anyone else in the game with your own voice, and you'll have to yell if they're far away or whisper if you don't want to attract attention. As a child of 90's dial-up PC gaming, I find this unbelievably cool.
 - This game is still hella alpha. Zombies have a bad habit of running through walls and stuttering.

More than anything, this game reminds me of the kind of tense, trust-no-one atmosphere that I'd get from playing Ultima Online. Except completely different.


  1. The zombies sound like Taz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x1WV6NDIu0#t=0m39s

  2. I watched a bunch of these videos, and the game seems awesome for capturing the feeling of really being in a movie like Dawn of the Dead (1978). I'm afraid to play it only 'cause of how much time I might lose...

    It's also curious to me that so many players are from the UK for some reason.

    But I'm surprised how many people who are terrible at games post videos of themselves (I guess it's part of that Let's Play syndrome). What I've learned so far is that the paranoid players are the ones who don't live very long 'cause they're too busy killing each other. It seems that paranoia and making bad decisions go hand in hand. I'm just not sure which comes first, the paranoia, or the tendency to make bad decisions. There's definitely some psychology that could be studied through the scenario presented by this game that's not presented by very many other games.

  3. Bohemia Interactive, the same guys who made Operation Flashpoint, made Arma 2, which is what the Day Z mod runs on.

    Bohemias studios are in the Czech Republic and they almost always distribute their game exclusively in Europe before the US sees its own version of the game.

    Interesting fact about Day Z in its early days, when there was only a single server in New Zealand, everyone was big on working together and stuff. Shooting another player wasn't really a 'thing'.
    But then the Euro server was up and suddenly everyone was from different countries and speaking different languages, and they all started murdering each other like crazy.

    But, yeah, there are a few other genres that are much more popular in Europe than over here in the US. They've got their own scene going on over there, which bothers me because sometimes I miss out on some really cool games until, like, years later when I just randomly stumble onto something.