A quick glance at the revised DayZ reddit site reveals all sorts of comments and suggestions revolving around the recently released Standalone (SA) game. The comments reflect a wide variety of views that detail a players first experience in DayZ, a feature that should be added, or even a humorous story. The one area that this page rarely reflects is that of criticism and critique.
As someone who played the hell out of the original DayZ mod, let me just say that it was without a second thought that I cleared my schedule in order to maximize my time when DayZ SA launched. I couldn’t remember a time in recent memory that I had fallen so head over heels for a new game. It was a brand new genre and something that had never been done before. Not only that, but it was a massive step away from the idea of fast rounds and immediate gratification that has grown so popular with the annual releases of the Call of Duty franchise.
The idea of a large and open world sandbox style game in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested environment is something I hadn’t though about. Until recently, it’s something that simply hasn’t been possible without significant advances in technology and internet speeds. Uniting 30-40 players in the same world while also attempting to maintain sufficient thresholds on lag, hit detection, and player interaction is not an easy task.
The original planetside failed miserably after attempting to do something very similar. Battlefield 1942 boasted 64 player WWII mayhem. The reality ended up being a game that was tuned to a population closer to 24. Every MMO to this date is a point and click game without hit detection because the logistical challenges are too great for even Blizzard to surpass.
Difficulties with large, open-world gaming environments aside, DayZ mod did bring together a number of elements that had never been previously combined. It combined FPS and RPG elements by not only gearing out your character via scavenging the lands, but allowing you to engage in meaningful combat with other survivors. There was even a small amount of fashion/fluff pieces that allowed someone to personalize their character.
DayZ mod gave players the ability to erect simple forts and camps via tents that stored equipment which let friends (and often times enemies) quickly gear up or swap out their existing loadout. Vehicles ranging from cars, trucks, and even a helicopter found their way into the game and all of them had to fueled and maintained accordingly.
Perhaps the greatest thing DayZ mod did was enabling players to communicate with one another via voice comms. Instead of simple shootouts people suddenly found themselves in hostage negotiations, executions, robberies, and sometimes even more. The combination of having a meaningful and personalized character that took time and dedication to create, mixed up with the aforementioned variables, made for some of the best times I’ve ever had in gaming.
For DayZ, the sky really was the limit. Literally as in, I had a great chance of a hacker picking me up and dropping me from the sky. Being teleported to a forest or thrown out into the ocean, the mod was rampant with hackers and unsolved issues. Luckily for us, the mod had done so well that a standalone was announced! Rejoice! Time for Rocket and his crew to sit down and put some of that hard earned dough to work creating a game from the ground up that would surely be one of the greatest things I could sink my teeth into for a long time to come…