ARMA II Mod DayZ Gives New Life to Old Game

Posted by Ben Huber on Jun 3, 2012 in Videogames |

Given the popularity of zombies, I simply must bring up the recent ARMA II mod: DayZ. It’s a hardcore, permadeath online game that almost forces the player to take on a role-playing position. Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which an infection has wiped out most of the population and turned the rest into zombies, you must survive and scavenge using only your wits. Anyone can kill and steal whatever they want, leading to most players playing as roving solitary bandits. However, some people band together with friends or even strangers to survive for longer periods. However, once you die, you must start a new character back at the very beginning, with nothing. This fan-made trailer, while overly-dramatic, will give you a good idea of how the mod works.

I really enjoy this sort of game, where the player is forced to fend for themselves and everything they do can have a real consequence. A friend of mine relayed a story to me about his one-night adventure in DayZ: he survived on his own initially, rummaging for leftover ammo on dead bodies and avoiding zombies as much as possible. He held out in a small building over the night until another player stumbled upon him, and my buddy immediately told the other play he meant no harm. They agreed to not attack each other (gunfire and loud noises attacks zombies) to survive the night and then go their separate ways in the morning. Once the sun rose, my friend said goodbye to his shack-mate and departed – only to be shot in the back as he walked away. The other player then stole his equipment and ran off.

This kind of natural and human-built storytelling is really neat and is very unique to video games. I hope DayZ really takes off and inspires other games like it, as it allows you to make some truly memorable experiences and also create miniature “stories” of your exploits. Those kind of games where you simply have to tell someone what you encountered, because it was just that crazy or interesting.

You can download DayZ here.

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