When I first arrived at the Bohemia booth, the sheer realism of the Arma 3 demo had just marveled me. However, I was there to preview the demo of DayZ, the new standalone version of the extremely popular Arma 2 mod by the same name. Featured in the new game are bunches of new changes, as well as many minor details that even those nitpicky players out there will be sure to love, myself included.
Though the demo was bare bones, I could see that it was going to look even better when the game gets closer to releasing because it looked at least as good as the mod did. As I was going hands-on with the demo, one of the staff members explained to me as I was looking around that ammo would be severely scarce in the game, so shooting zombies was not a good idea. He said that human players should be what I was saving my bullets for as there will be new mechanics that will be introduced in the standalone version that gives bandits more ways to ruin your day in post-zombie America.
A new element that really stood out to me was the disease system, which is currently under development. Consuming spoiled food or water could cause you to contract diseases such as dysentery. There will be an announcement over the chat system once you start displaying symptoms, so the people you are traveling with can decide whether to kill you on the spot or help nurse you back to health. This can be a hard choice because most diseases will be contagious, considering the unsanitary conditions the survivors are experiencing.
The game will also feature new status bars for the player to keep track of. Blood loss and shock seem to be the new stats planned for the game, and you can avoid reaching critical levels in couple ways. Scattered around sparsely are blood transfusion kits for replacing any blood lost. You can go into shock by taking too many hits, whether they are from a zombie or another human’s gun. Alleviating this problem can be difficult, but very worthwhile. Even something as seemingly silly as a bike helmet can prevent an enemy bandit from knocking you out. The new inventory system has also been further developed to include differences in clothing and the protection it provides as well as item slots. For example, cargo pants realistically have more pockets and can store more as opposed to regular denim jeans. Finally, there are plans for a deeper crafting system to be implemented as well.
On the surface, DayZ is the survival-horror game that I have been asking for all of my life, especially since they have been getting easier in recent years. The deep team-based survival element (unless you want to play as a bandit) sounds like such an immersive experience; I can’t wait to get my hands on the game in its entirety.