If you’ve ever watched The Walking Dead, you know that aside from the severe emotional trauma and the possibility of being eaten alive, a zombie apocalypse is fun as hell. Suddenly nothing costs money, private property only exists under the point of a gun, and shooting that annoying neighbor is totally justified. Aside from your dysfunctional/plucky/murderous group of survivors, there is nobody left around to tell you what to do. No cops, no judges, no lawyers, no nothing. You could run around the town square naked smeared in honey if you were so inclined, and you had the fleetness of foot to leave the shambling dead behind.
Day Z is a total conversion for ArmA 2 that seeks to inject a little of this neo-wild west mentality into what is normally a military shooter heavy on realism. The results are undeniably buggy, but also highly entertaining.
It’s not simply the game plus zombies; there are new vehicles and weapons, including a crossbow with retrievable bolts for quieter, more efficient kills. A new medical system ensures that if you’re shot you had better put your attention to bandaging it or you’re going to bleed out. Similarly, if you don’t take enough painkillers you’re not going to be steady enough to shoot anything anyway. You have to eat and drink as well, otherwise you might as well just give up and hug a ghoul right away. Wandering animals can be killed and eviscerated with right equipment, but there is also canned food and snacks in the loot you will find.
That’s right, you heard me. Loot. The big cities, military bases and airports will have more and better, but there will also be plenty of unscrupulous souls waiting to steal all of your beans. Don’t let ‘em take your beans! Shoot that bastard first! Or don’t. Team up with him. He’s probably hungry and scared just like you. He could be a new guy looking for a weapon. On the other hand, he could a vicious axe murderer who simply logs on to make life miserable for kind-hearted people like yourself. You have no idea.
All of your progress is stored on a persistant server, so you can pick up where you left off. If you die you will spawn back at the coast with nothing but a few starting items, the clothes on your back, and a deep desire to kill that filthy bandit who did you in. You might decide to become one yourself, but beware, after a certain amount of mischief (read: murder) your appearance will begin to reflect your dastardly nature, and everyone will see you for what you are.
The bottom line is this is a great mod that you should definitely check out if you have Combined Operations. It will probably migrate to ArmA 3 some time after that is released, but for now the creators are working to maintain the original, so enjoy it while it lasts, and remember: The average life expectancy of a person wandering the wastes is less than a half hour. Watch. Your. Back.