A review(?) of DayZ.
A review(?) of DayZ
-Warning alot of text-
Now I was going to title this “The Fundamental Flaw of DayZ” but I felt this was a little too much. Firstly let me state that DayZ is as close to a ‘zombie survival game’ as it could be and it’s almost exactly what I wanted from one. Rocket has done an amazing job with what he had to work with. I had been after a game like this for years, L4D filled a gap but wasn’t enough that was simply an arcade shooter. Fort Zombie was closer just bugged so badly it’d crash on you if it felt like it. Dead Frontier and Project Zomboid were not FPS.
To start this off a rundown of my game play experiences so far are in order. Until a friendly fire incident due to a really bad desync I was still on my first life, had gathered some important supplies. The only things I didn’t have were the things I didn’t practically want or even need for that matter. Military Grade weaponry, NVGs and a GPS.
Military weaponry would mean hard to find ammo. I mean come on; I passed up the .50 rifle in favour of the M14 I had been carrying for a week. Picking up the G17 was a mistake and I threw it as soon as I found a Colt1911.
NVGs wouldn’t help that much especially as I’m usually not playing by the time the server I frequent goes into night.
And GPS? Pfft. Learn to read a map and compass.
We had been in and out of towns. Swept through the country side looking for supplies and to help comrades in trouble and even sortie’d into the major cities and air fields. Our group ranging in size between as little as two and as many as ten. So far so good and fun had by all. But once you’ve got the supplies, you don’t ever need to go near these places. Box of Matches, Compass, Map, Hunting Knife, Hatchet and Crossbow and you can survive miles away from any can of beans. This, for me, was the turning point. It no longer became the thrill of trying to sneak into a town to raid the shopping centre hoping you wouldn’t stumble into a zed or asshole bandit (heck knows my reluctance to fire first has nearly gotten me killed at least twice. (but also saved a couple of teammates)) Scared to fire a round least you bring down a hoard of zombies on your ass like flock of winged monkeys. At this point it was about trying what to do in the game. (I know Rocket doesn’t call it a game but ‘pfft’ to that. Even if it’s his ‘art’ I’m going to make it a game. A kid doesn’t care if that sculpture you painstakingly made represents pain and anger at a collapsing society, it still makes an awesome climbing frame).
In short what’s left that is going to be fun and not become grind? Vehicles? Well I suppose that would be fun.
To this point I had ignored vehicles chalking up that it’d be a bitch to maintain and without having keeping watch 24/7 no way of keeping them secure. But a vehicle would be fun to mess about in. The map is too small to warrant need driving to another town or city. Sure it becomes quicker, but you alert every skin job in the area and make yourself a target. Not to mention keeping the thing on the road.
One night we found a UAZ. Which we started to repair and had pretty much all but two wheels done. Just to be involved in three way fire fight resulting in the wipe of our team and in the end see the vehicle be driven off by someone else. Were we annoyed? Well yeah, considering we’d managed to find everything we needed including engine, fuel tank and even glass. We even had the last two wheels. But I wasn’t going to cry about it. Heck I’m an EVEOnline player in a NullSec alliance running NBSI. I made up for it by stealing their motor bike. Had heard it been driven through the town when I first was looking for parts. Then on the way back after dying found it in a shed by the road. Thank you very much I’ll have that.
We then found a repaired bus! And proceeded to have a tour of the country side. (Annoyed Fraps crapped out on me at this point) So in the end was I bitter about losing everything? No, I had fun as frustrating as it was.
But back to my point; At this point the only reason I wanted a vehicle was something to do in the game. I’ve only been playing a week and had pretty much seen it all and was left with the scavenging for supplies. “But Whisky” I hear you decry “It’s a sandbox! You make your own fun!” and yes, I’d agree with you but feel the need to point out a sandbox is only fun when there isn’t someone who will kick over your sand castle. Because if someone does that I won’t waste my energy trying to get back at them, I’ll just go find some other sandbox to play in.
Let me clarify, I’ll butt heads with the best of them and if I lose and get wiped out, I’ll grin through bloody teeth and say good fight. Yet if I’m sat in a sand box and someone kicks over my sand castle and I don’t have the means to fight back, I’ll just go find another sand castle, maybe one that’s got an adult keeping an eye over the kids.
Just to remind you, I’ve enjoyed this game and it’s pretty much everything I could have wanted from a zombie survival game. And for that I salute you Rocket and team. I have only one thing to suggest and this is the flaw I found with the game. Up the scale, ramp it up to almost global. Make supplies finite, make me want that car so I can travel 100 miles to the next city hoping they’ll still have petrol and a can of beans. And give me a reason to keep travelling, to keep scavenging, to keep playing. Even if it means tying up loose ends and shutting down this iteration of DayZ and finding an engine that can do it. Right now this games shelf life is really low. Best £15 I’ve spent all year but I can’t see it lasting the week before I go back to other games.
tl;dr - Go read the post you lazy sod.
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