Day #86: DayZ (PC Game)

Day-Z-logo

Day Z | Bohemia Interactive

Synopsis:

[From DayZ.com:] DayZ is a gritty, authentic, open-world survival horror hybrid-MMO game, in which players follow a single goal: to survive in the harsh post-apocalyptic landscape as long as they can. Players can live through powerful events and emotions arising from the ever-evolving emergent gameplay.

My take:

DayZ and Rust are nothing alike. So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s compare them.

I kid. Kind of.

While they’re nothing alike in terms of gameplay – beyond the very basic ‘scavenge and survive’ premise, anyway – the main thing that I noticed going from playing Rust to DayZ is how comparatively counterintuitive the controls are in this game. I pretty much knew what I was doing from the beginning in Rust, whereas in DayZ I never felt like I really had a handle on the controls – particularly when there was any call for even an iota of finesse. Like, I found myself staring really intently at objects for a long time before I could finally line everything up in a way that allowed me to interact with them, particularly if they were on the floor. For a game where the amount of time spent looting could be the difference between life and death, this never made me feel great about my chances at longevity.

I also found myself feeling like I lacked purpose a lot of the time. I did a lot (A LOT) of running around, occasionally finding things I could pick up and squirrel away in my backpack(s), and…yeah, that was pretty much it. In large part I think this comes down to the fact that DayZ isn’t a game that’s going to work very well for someone who prefers soloing. In Rust, I always had my base to build; in DayZ, I found myself wishing for a group of friends to play with in order to make things more interesting. Of course, it probably didn’t help that I started playing on a low population server.

What I do have to say is in DayZ’s favour is that it looks good. The landscape of this big-arse map is pleasing to look at, and I found myself feeling surprised by how nice it was on a few occasions. There’s also enough diversity in the zombie designs to keep things interesting. The only thing I dislike about the visuals is the blurring effect when you turn your head, which just ended up making me feel ill after a while. Some things are just not good for people who get motion sickness.

I think DayZ has a lot of potential. There’s a complexity to the mechanics of the game that I’d like to explore further, because it seems like a lot of thought has gone into how your character interacts with the environment, and what consequences certain actions should have. I might just be waiting for a few more updates (if not the official release) before I go back to playing it, in the hope that I feel like I have more to do.

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