The Tragic Mess that is DayZ

Last Updated on August 17, 2018 by Michael Brockbank

In 2012, a promising mod added a new aspect of gaming using Arma 2 as its backbone. DayZ made its way as a zombie apocalypse survival game that reached a wide audience. In fact, it was the reason I got into zombie games in the first place. But what happened to the standalone title?

Not much, I’m afraid.[template id=”145″] Seeing how successful the DayZ mod was with players and the ever-expanding community to support it, Bohemia decided to produce a game specifically around the mod. It filled many of us with joy and excitement to see what a game publisher could do with it.

Unfortunately, the prospect of a standalone game has taken its toll on the fans and supporters of the DayZ mod. In fact, Behomia seemed to willingly push ardent fans of the game away in droves.

What Happened to DayZ?

Released on Steam in December of 2013, the DayZ standalone game was to be a jewel for the genre. Bohemia, as well as Dean Hall, the creator of the original mod, made grandiose promises that would make the mod itself look like a Disney production.

However, the title fell short of expectations rather quickly. Development issues had the team redesigning layouts, mechanics and an entirely new engine.

Each problem Bohemia fixed, two more would take it’s place.

Hail, Hydra!

At one point, the game was set to be released in 2016. But here we are, nearly five years from its original release of the Early Access title, and it’s still nowhere near being complete.

But instead of focusing on just making a playable game without various issues, the company is driving to release it on consoles…to make more money.

Remember when game companies just produced a complete game without requiring players to invest in “Early Access?”

In fact, it is still in Alpha stages of development.

Losing Zombies Lost My Interest

What killed DayZ most for me is when Bohemia had to remove the zombies from the game as they were causing all kinds of issues with lag. For several months, not a zombie in sight.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have zombies in my “zombie survival” game.

It was so disheartening that I didn’t load the game for nearly a year after the removal.

Uber Difficult to Stay Alive

Out of the last four times I’ve played, I died three times due to starvation. And this not from the lack of trying. I was able to get in about 30 minutes of play without finding a single thing to eat or drink.

Which means the loot table of the program is much to be desired.

Survival is one thing, but this is something else. Making the game too difficult only pushes away the audience.

No one wants to be $35 for a starvation simulator.[template id=”505″]

Movement is Sluggish…still…

The movement is extremely sluggish when walking around. Imagine trying to survive a zombie apocalypse in a world covered in jello.

The default keybindings are a pain in the ass to get used to. It’s better to immediately go in and change the buttons around.

The animations are still a bit hectic for certain actions as well. And I know this is still an alpha-stage game, but come on. It’s been five years and no one has fixed some of the most basic of problems?

Crashes with XSplit Gamecaster

I was having problems trying to get DayZ to load today…until I realized it will not run with Gamecaster running in the background. It will simply crash before even trying to start up.

I could spend some time researching this problem, but I don’t know if it’s actually worth my time.

PvP Galore

It feels like Bohemia is putting far too much emphasis on the PvP aspect than it is zombie survival. Which is OK, as long as you’re marketing it as such.

Right now, it feels like a broken version of PUBG without the shrinking circle.

I don’t mind a bit of PvP action here and there. But right now, DayZ is just such a pain to play if you just want to survive.

Runner Zombies

I’m not a fan of the running zombie types, especially in a game where loot is an extreme premium. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could defend myself with something other than an ineffective stone knife.

It’s frustrating to be chased across a map by undead track stars until you starve to death or get shot by a player who wants to test out a new gun.

The Lack of Serious Development

The real meat and potatoes of the problems with the DayZ standalone is the lack of proper development. From my perspective, it seems like Bohemia bit off way more than it could chew and are choking on the result.

Sure, there has been a few updates over the last few months. But the game is still quite broken.

And you all thought EA is a bad company with its microtransactions.

A big part of Bohemia’s problem is the focus on visual effects over game play. New skins for zombies, shirts and painted weaponry doesn’t mean much if the game is unplayable.

Focus on mechanics and make sure everything works before making it “pretty.”

Too Little, Too Late?

Over the past year, it seems developers are putting forth more of an effort to deliver on at least some of their promises. Unfortunately, the experience has soured many. In fact, DayZ has mostly negative reviews recently in Steam.

With so many variations and options to choose from for a zombie survival game, DayZ is unfortunately a dying title that probably won’t ever hit its full potential.

Which is sad, really. I wanted so much more out of this game as I am a big fan of the mod.

Now, it’s a $35 pile of discarded rotten flesh that simply isn’t animated.

With a Sigh of Hope…

I’m not going to completely give up on the game. DayZ still has a bit of potential. But a good game needs to have more than “potential” in order to be a success. Perhaps one day, we’ll get the game that was promised – and it will be everything we hoped for.

Then again, Bohemia could just pack it in and chalk it up to a lost cause.[template id=”543″]

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop to name a few.

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