DayZ exploded with popularity when it released in 2012. Within months millions of players were enjoying one of the freshest game designs of this generation. The game grew to such enormous heights that Bohemia Interactive, the company who designed the game (ARMA 3) and engine that ran DayZ, decided to work on a standalone version of the game.
The DayZ mod had a variety of issues that kept it from realizing its full potential, namely clunky gameplay. Bohemia’s crack at the formula tackles many of its design flaws by giving the standalone an experienced development team and financial backing. Needless to say, DayZ fans are giddy to find out what the end result is.
This standalone version of DayZ retains many of the qualities that made the mod popular. It’s still difficult to find supplies and survival is a daily struggle. It’s even set in the same location: a fictional region in Russia. However, this time around the map stretches 225 square kilometers offering ample space for gamers to explore and interact.
The biggest improvement DayZ has is how inventory space is handled. The interface has been reworked to cause fewer headaches. You can now drag items between storage locations and equip weapons without hassle. You’ll now spend far less time trying to interact with your supplies and more time actually playing the game.
Another area of progression is with player interaction. A new proximity chat system has been integrated so you can speak exclusivity to those near you without alerting others. The addition of a radio system will make provide a personal means of long-range communication.
When searching for supplies you’ll be happy to hear that all buildings can now be entered. If you see a location, you can enter it, and the interior spaces are much more detailed. Furnished homes and toolsheds will provide places to search. Just make sure you keep a keen eye as the level of detail has made item scavenging more difficult.
Survival systems have been tweaked to make living in a post-apocalyptic world even more threatening. There are status bars for shock and blood loss, both of which can be cured with supplies around the game world. You’ll have to eat food to stay energized, though eating too much food can leave you sick to your stomach. There are also dangerous diseases and symptoms, such as dysentery from consuming spoiled food, that will require hard-to-find medicine to cure. You better hold onto those remedies.
Unfortunately, the Real Virtuality engine may be rearing its ugly head again. DayZ will run on a modified version of the Real Virtuality 3 engine, which ARMA 2 and the DayZ mod ran on, and as you might suspect many of its kinks follow with it. In its current state movement and gunplay is clunky, as is zombie behavior. On the bright side there’s plenty of time left in development to flesh out these debilitating problems.
Bohemia’s DayZ still needs some TLC but has a great chance of becoming a full replacement for the original mod. There is currently no release window but look out for more details regarding its release in the near future.