Just before Christmas, the mod – turned standalone game – phenomenon that is DayZ launched on Steam via the early access program. The servers immediately filled with would-be survivors and bandits. Having played the mod for a fair few hours I decided to purchase this standalone version and begin my DayZ addiction all over again. My first few lives (and deaths) have not been particularly interesting, however – bugs aside – I have been having a lot of fun with this game. It was something that happened tonight while playing though that really showed me the potential of this truly amazing game. I will now tell you a story of one hell of a session in DayZ.
I spawned in Solnichniy, a couple of towns away from “Elektro” one of the major towns along Chenarus’ coast. With this being a full server I was being extra cautious as I moved from house to house, hoping to find anything useful. After finding nothing but an extra flashlight battery I decided to move on to Kamyshovo; the next stop on the way to Elektro. After a short trek I heard someone shouting as they ran over to me – I turned and waved, indicating my friendliness. He then proceeded to drop his fire ax “Kill me” he said. A few seconds passed “Kill me” he repeated. I picked up the ax and started attacking him until he stopped moving. I’m not proud of it but hey, he was litterally asking for it. Upon looting his body I found a new backpack, a water canteen and some food. With weapon in hand I was now ready to move on to a bigger prize – Elektro.
When I finally reached Elektro my canteen was empty and food was dwindling. I did find some rags that could be used as bandages along the way though which was a welcome bonus. I decided to head to the power plant first as the fire station next to it is quite a good area for loot. Once inside, I found an empty revolver, another full canteen and some more food, as well as a combat vest with some much needed extra pocket space. I didn’t feel like lingering in Elektro too long so I decided to loot a few buildings and head for the other fire station on the opposite end of town. The route to the station wasn’t too bad, I killed a couple of zombies on the way and gathered some more supplies. Once I reached the station I noticed three other players entering the building, I surveyed them from afar and noted that they were all using melee weapons. No guns. I decided to risk it and say hello. I approached the group and waved. Bang. a bullet whizzed past my head and embedded in the concrete behind me. I didn’t wait for the second shot, instead I turned and ran away. The players then began shouting “you’re dead” and other things along those lines. Bang. another shot, this time the bullet found it’s target and I began to bleed profusely. I reached a church over the road and readied my ax, I was at least going down fighting. One of the men followed me in and I began hacking wildly until he was bleeding from multiple wounds. Once he went down the attacked with the pistol entered. Not giving him a chance to get the upper hand I bee lined towards him, not giving him a chance to line up a shot. My ax connected with him again and again until he fell. The last attacked wielding a baseball bat came at me but his swings missed again and again as I dodged. I was able to get enough hits in to fell this foe as well. My heart was trying to beat it’s way out of my chest as I looted the bodies of my fallen attackers. I had survived one of the most vicious attacks I’ve ever encountered in DayZ, and things were about to get even more interesting…
In the aftermath of the attack another survivor approached me, he indicated that he was a friendly player, even going as far as dropping some food and water for me to use. Once we were acquainted, we realised that our goal was the same, to reach Balota military base. Even better his cousin was running towards us to meet us half way… excellent. We set off on our journey, deciding to stick to the railway tracks rather than the roads as there is more cover available if things were to turn nasty. After a few stops to fill our water canteens we approached a wooded area, at the tree line I saw a heavily armed survivor making his way cautiously towards us. My companion waved at him, “Thats my cousin” he reassured me through his microphone. The newest addition to our group reached us and started to walk around behind me as if he was making sure I wasn’t a threat. “You are being handcuffed” a grim message in red flashed at the bottom of my screen – at first I was confused, was he making sure I wouldn’t attack him before we moved on? “Yea I was lying – drop all your things on the floor” my ex-companion proclaimed… I had been duped by a couple of bandits. Once my inventory was empty the well armed of the two raised his revolver and put a bullet in my head.
Now there are some who would stop playing at this point, rage quitting and vowing never to play again. I hit re-spawn and started my story of survival all over again. Its that moment to moment game play that makes DayZ so special. I can’t wait to have more experiences like this. If you are curious about DayZ, wondering whether you should jump into the alpha, my advice would be if you are willing to put up with some odd often game breaking bugs – go for it, you won’t find a more addictive and dynamic game of survival anywhere. There is of course an argument for waiting until the game is a bit more stable and not so early in alpha – either way DayZ is a hell of a game and you owe it to yourself to experience it at some point.