In order to avoid family commitments, social events and shopping nightmares, I spent most of the term break dusting off the old Xbox and installing a few games on my laptop to keep me occupied through January.
Having fired up my Xbox One I had found that my live subscription had passed so I would have to renew that before I could get online and that every game in the Microsoft Store came with the hefty price tag of €69.99.
Therefore in order to get myself online and begin trading insults with a 13 year old from Kansas about our mother’s questionable occupational choices I have to spend upwards of the guts of €90.00 when optional map packs are included on top of the €69.99 for the game.
Shutting down the Xbox and opening the laptop I downloaded the popular Steam program (it’s like an app store but for PC Games) and was inundated by cheap, popular, well built and subscription free online gaming possibilities.
The most popular of course and single handily leading the rebirth of PC gaming is the stellar DayZ. I don’t often review games but I feel DayZ will become a turning point in gaming entertainment.
Let me tell you all about it.
The adventure begins with your character standing on a beach facing inland at forests and countryside…
You feel hungry, cold and are getting wet in the rain.
You are required to scavenge for food, clothes and shelter in order to survive.
There is no real goal to the game other than simply to survive for as long as possible before you inevitably succumb to the post-apocalyptic reality. From crafting fireplaces and weapons from stick and stones to hunting, cooking and eating wild animals the game replicates the “lone wolf” scenario and the closest you will (hopefully) ever get to experience a real Walking Dead reality.
The only real fear in this world is other players. With alarming speed from the most “good natured” gamer you will turn from beach survivor to murderous “bandit” as you will find yourself shooting first rather than risking an interaction with another human player because with DayZ, once you die ….
You die. There are no save points and no way of escaping.
So having made it to a small abandoned settlement I make my way to the top of an apartment block to observe my surrounding see my first glimpse of another two survivors.
One of the guys has a gun and a backpack, he is obviously more established in the world. From a distance I see him shoot a new spawn like me, he takes out his knife and starts cutting up the dead body.
He intends to cook human meat over a fireplace (cannibalism is possible in this game). I chose not to be this lad’s next meal. I can see all of this through my rifle scope.
I try to make a point not to shoot at other players but to attempt to communicate and trade. But this cannibal doesn’t seem to think the same as me.
So I put a round in his head from 300 yards.
I notice movement and it appears the cannibal has a friend.
So I move locations.
I’m using a sniper rifle I found in an abandoned police station so I don’t want to get into close quarters stuff. I’ve a fire axe but so does he and it’s too risky.
Twenty minutes later of watching the dead bodies I decide to switch to the top of another apartment block.
Ten minutes of waiting goes by and boom, imp outflanked. “YOU ARE DEAD” pops up on the screen.
So I “respawn” with crossed fingers … come on the same place … and yes I’m back at the same beach only a short run from where I was murdered. I boot it hell for leather and there is my body.
Everything is gone except my axe.
I hear gunshots down towards town. I sprint and see someone running into a large industrial building. I follow and who is it only cannibal 2 with my gun and backpack.
So I whack him with my axe, a few hits to the legs. He is crawling around with broken legs unable to standing and I am screaming “DONT TOUCH MY BACKPACK” whack whack again and he is dead.
My hearts racing. Then cannibal one makes an appearance, loosely kitted out with some of the gear he had before. I decide not to take him on, he tries a shot which is a mistake. I make it out the door and into the hills. With my gun back I can see him going one on one with a zombie in the street. I shoot and miss. I scare him off. Not wishing to push my luck I move out of town. Set up camp, eat and rest over a fire. Live to fight another day.
DayZ is by far the best game I have ever played. It sells itself as an experience and I suggest checking out some more screenshots and videos of the game on www.reddit.com/r/dayz and considering moving away from the dying world of PS4s and Xbox Ones.