Every Tuesday I like to take some time to focus on the hardworking and dedicated “YouTubers” within the gaming community. This week features a video from Arma II’s infectiously popular Day Z mod, and shows what can happen when you leave gameplay in the hands of players. I haven’t played the game myself as I’m eagerly awaiting the standalone version, but from what I’ve seen it looks as if the game captures accurately the true danger of a zombie apocalypse, other humans.
As you can see it’s difficult to keep track of a head count with a group that large as Therealz0mbiemaster kind of just bumped into them as they were making their way through the wasteland. The lack of a party system actually adds to the gameplay here, forcing players to pay attention and keep their eyes open instead of just scrolling through a party list to find the rogue survivor.
Besides getting me excited for the standalone version, this clip also shows the importance of giving players freedom within gameplay. There’s no linear gameplay path, no series of quests or goals, just a set of rules that govern the game world. In a lot of ways Day Z is similar to Minecraft in that players are kind of just dropped in a world without any instruction or guidelines, giving them the opportunity to not only find their own loot, but find their own fun as well.
The game is still a work in progress, but so far it appears to capture the chaos and confusion of real life combat. The only way you can tell if you’re being fired at is the subtle echo of bullets ricocheting around you. If there were more rules and systems in place, I doubt something like this could have happened.
I’m excited to get my hands on this game. The standalone version can’t come soon enough.