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Dayz, what’s that then? I hear you ask. The short answer is it’s a first person shooter game. The long answer is a long one, so here goes.

 

I’d seen Dayz advertised dozens of times whilst browsing through Steam and although it interested me enough to update my payment details, I never felt hooked enough to completed the purchase. That changed when a mate took the plunge and tried convincing me to join in. So, still undecided, I thought to look on YouTube to see if I could find anything.

Anything? How about EVERYTHING. Their are possibly thousands of user video blogs about Dayz on YouTube but the blogs that stood out the most were by a guy called FRANKIEonPCin1080p.

 

Here is a link to his YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/user/FRANKIEonPCin1080p. Feel free to browse, I’m sure he’ll not mind.

 

Honestly this guy had me laughing along with him throughout all his daft episodes. One that springs to mind was when he helped a player who thought he was Morgan Freeman. It was Frankie’s sense of humor and enjoyment that sold the game to me.

 

So I decided to purchased the game… While being no pro player, I’m also no uber noob when it comes to adrenaline pumping first person shooters, so, foolishly, I thought I knew what was to come. However, I was wrong, really, really wrong.

For those unknowing types out there, Dayz is a game based upon the popular Arma format and shares, so I’m told, many of its quirks and oddities. Arma, although I’ve never played it, I believe is considered a more realistic FPS and I suppose lends itself to Dayz reality based experience perfectly.

 

Incidentally, if you’re considering buying Dayz standalone then don’t be put off by the naysayers moaning about its bugs, etc. Okay it really gets tedious falling off ladders or moon walking backwards from the top of a building but give the game a little room as it’s still only in alpha testing and is bound to be somewhat rough around the edges. Personally I believe if you persevere with it and you’ll find it rewarding…mostly.

 

Game play –

 

You start life as a beleaguered survivor stranded on a Russian beach dressed only in basic clothing. Yep, that’s right, no gun, no nade, no stabby/bashy weapon and most definitely no air support. Bummer. If that isn’t bad enough your character Immediately tells you you’re both hungry and thirsty. Get use to it; life’s hard surviving in a post zombie apocalypse!

Unsure what to do I wandered off the beach and towards what looked like a road away in the distance. Scanning the horizon to get a better idea of what to do next, I noticed in the distance a blurry silhouette moving rapidly towards me.

I’d picked up enough from the clips to know Dayz is an mmo of sorts but being greener than grass, I thought I’d made game content contact already. Job done, now you may lead me to our destination and to food. Also, where’s my map? However, it wasn’t a player or an NPC coming to lead me by the hand, fuck no. I quickly realized by the inhuman wailing and the bandy legged run that it was a zombie. Without waiting I decided to try and out run it. I’ve seen enough zombie films to know talking to them most often leads to you having your brain sucked out through your eye socked. And with no weapon to protect myself panic set in and I sped off down the road. I felt somewhat happier thinking the road might lad me to safety and having the zombie trailing in my slip stream. As I continued to run the total lack of human presence became extremely eerie. Everywhere I looked were signs of past existence but nothing present. A undecipherable, weather worn road sign here, a burnt out car an over turned trash can there, but nothing that had me thinking I was in anything other than a wasteland. With the growing sense of isolation almost complete another zombie burst from the bushes and chased me down the road. The constant threat of zombie attacks coupled with my bleak surroundings strengthened my sense of helplessness and complete isolation. Here I was in an unrecognizable land with no map, no food and no clue what to do next. Shit.

 

First contact – (In truth this next bit wasn’t my first spawn, it was my second. I chose this for obvious reasons especially as falling off a ladder only to break both legs and get eaten by zombies isn’t very rock and roll, is it?)

 

Although, like I’ve already said, I’d watched a few Dayz YouTube clips but hadn’t yet go around to the ones telling you what to do should you meet other players. My bad…

Upon reaching a generic looking building I saw three figures quickly making their way towards me. I guessed they had to be players because they didn’t move like zombies. As soon as one of the guys came close enough he began communicate through proximity chat. First he asked if I was new and did I need any food or water. For a moment I though. ‘Wow, what luck, these guys are pretty cool…’

While distracted one of the three walked around me and slapped on a pair of cuffs. Once done he joined in the discussion by asking, ‘Yeah, you need anything, like a key.’

The bastard cuffed me! Why? I had nothing worth stealing. Now I could see they were well tooled up dressed in camo gear, back packs, webbing and rifles on there backs. Not sure what was coming next I responded with something like, ‘Yeah, real funny. Can I go now.’ There response was  brutal but not entirely unexpected; as the game plunges you into a lawless situation where you choose how to survive. Both guys in front of me proceeded to yell abuse at me while beating seven shades of crapola out of me with baseball bats. Still at that point I honestly thought they’d uncuff me and let me go. That was until the player with a deep southern American accent began shouting so excitedly down the mic that he became completely incomprehensible. It ended as quickly as it started with a shot to the back of my head.

 

Still reeling I re-spawned back on the beach. It was only they I realized my heart rate had gone through the roof. I could hear my pulse hammering away in my throat. Believe me I’m not lying when I say the game can be that intense. Okay so after 80+ hours the intensity level does drop a touch but remains tangible. When you’ve just spent 5 to 10 hours getting equipped the last thing you want is to happen is to be killed for what you’ve salvaged. Since I’ve been playing I’ve been killed over a dozen times when trying to offer a hand of friendship towards strangers in the game. So, I guess, some of the bandits out there can be forgiven somewhat for simply loosing their nerve and shooting first. Don’t get me wrong, mind, their are plenty of player killers that take way too much pleasure in running down a new spawn of mobbing a solo operators. The three shining examples of camaraderie I’ve personally witnessed tend to stay with you more than the treachery. Some Russian lads gave me a scope for my rifle when I approached them, weapon down. I’ve tagged along on two separate clans and been kindly shown the ropes. The first was an English based clan and were really cool. The second, the one I join mostly, are made up mainly of Brits, Norwegians and a nutty Dane. It’s these small successes that keep you coming back. Sure fire fights over territory and in self-defense are great fun but all said everything that happens in the game empowers it.

 

Here is a link to our Dayz server – https://www.gametracker.com/server_info/80.243.125.54:2302/

 

Summery – I’m really enjoying Dayz at the moment. Okay it can get bloody annoying when a glitch kills you, or some stranger wipes you out for no reason and the lack of map does get right on my tits, but I try not to let these get me down for long. Dayz is brutal and unforgiving. I’m kind of bored of games with armies of npcs designed to walk you through the plot or those that dish up wave after wave of AI bots for you to waste. Dayz isn’t a mmo social raiding club, nor is it a full throttle first person shooter. No, it’s all of the above but one where you choose how best to survive. You can either play by eking out a meager existence and avoiding busy servers, band up with friendlies and dole out a help and death in equal measure or, should you want, you could always choose to be a man hunter and kill indiscriminately. Either way works as the game’s got room for everyone.

Dayz is gritty, harsh but rewarding if you play it well.

 

Anyway, I feel better for playing Dayz as now I have a far better zombie apocalypse contingency plan…

 

Matt..

 

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