DayZ review

Following on from the launch of the DayZ Mod with Arma 2, the recognised face of DayZ, Dean Hall announced in 2012 a standalone release of the title with Bohemia Interactive behind development. After a mixed reception and a slow down in development, we now have the title releasing on Xbox One, starting out as a Game Preview title before being released fully on 27th March. So how does it fair?

As an avid fan of DayZ, I’ve followed the title’s journey, right from Arma II mod days to the standalone and console release more recently. It’s safe to say there has been periods of frustration in getting to where we are today with a full final release, which adds basic base building and electricity using generators.

For newcomers of DayZ, the premise of the game is to survive. You land on the coast and work your way inland, looting and surviving along the way. On my first spawn, I landed close to Chernobyl, the big city, so decided to try my luck against the high density of other players. I immediately targetted the military area with a couple of military tents, but ran straight into a not-so friendly player armed with a rifle. He started popping shots at me so I dodged and weaved my way to safety further into the city, into a cluster of buildings. Safety at last, but for how long?

DayZ uses a eating and drinking system for basic survival in order to stay healthy, you’ll need to stock up on food such as canned beans and tuna and drinks including cans of Pipsi and bottled water. Similar to real life, there’s a balance to how much you can eat and drink, overeating will cause you to be sick, halting any movement immediately. It’s not quite on the levels of SCUM’s food system, with it affecting your character’s weight etc though. Luckily it’s kept simple enough though for you to stay alive as long as you have supplies in stock.

The inventory system is an essential requirement in DayZ, what with the management of loot a constant requirement. Find a new backpack to replace with your existing one and it can be a bit finnicky at first. You’ll have to first drop the existing equipped backpack and then equip the new backpack from the ground. There’s no swap action to do this all in one motion.

One of the things to love about DayZ is its ever-changing world on each server. Finding an active server is a doddle using the filtering system and with persistance one for most, it means your creations will stay providing you visit regularly to keep on top of repairs.

Network stability can be an issue though with game freezes and server reboots interrupting gameplay. If you haven’t played DayZ before you’ll need to get used to this sadly.

Set in a fictional Soviet-Republic, the map of Chernarus is vast and diverse from deep woodland ideal for base hideouts to open airfields full of high tier loot but dangerous odds of death. The map is easy to get lost in if you’re new to the game, but that doesn’t really matter as exploration is key here. You may be lost in the woods but suddenly pop out onto a dirt road leading to a small town full of potential supplies to survive, who knows you may even run into a zombie along the way.

“The other main element to multiplayer is player encountering. Most will be geared with items of interest to you.”

Speaking of Zeds, they are fairly well programmed in that you can use stealth to avoid them, but in plain sight they will see you and come for you. Fire a gunshot and you’ll attract all nearby zombies to you and hordes are not the best to dispatch. The best way to deal with chasing zombies is to lure them through building and close the doors behind you. Zombies can’t open doors, so they are also your best friend.

The other main element to multiplayer is player encountering. Most will be geared with items of interest to you, but you have an important decision to make. Make friends or murder them in cold blood.

In terms of weapons, the aim and compensation is much designed like Arma II. Distance makes accuracy more difficult and the selection of weapons alter your style of gun play. Often you have very little choice with what gun you’re using. You will use what you find, a 12-gauge shotgun or single shot pistol, this is survival at its best.

All in all I’m fairly happy with the full release of DayZ. It captures survival well and has the systems in place to succeed. I struggled to emerge my head in base building and generators due to trying to survive and not having a group to team up with. However, having played PC builds I have a full knowledge on these systems and how the game currently feels with the latest build, which is a slow transition still.

CX Score
  • 79%
    Overall - 79%
79%

Summary

Pros

  • Vast world of Chernarus to explore
  • The art of survival is nailed
  • Base building and electricity

Cons

  • New spawns are difficult to advance from
  • Slow updates for new content
  • Server issues

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