DayZ review? DayZ review! Why the hell not. It’s raining outside and my crack dealer has stopped giving me tick, leaving the square root of fuck all to do this dismal afternoon. My dopamine receptors’ loss can be the gaming world’s gain however, as I’ve decided to get my kicks in a more sociable manner – by reviewing DayZ. If words could somehow transcend the page and transmogrify themselves into a physical embodiment of their very essence, this review would be a teinth of Wolverhampton’s finest export, smuggled into Scotland inside a Yardie’s arse crack before being stashed in a Scouser’s cheek pouch and spat into the gob of a gouching Glaswegian.
Inhale deeply, torch the Spontex and taste the acrid kiss delivered by that bowlful of scorched rocks. If I can keep you sated for the next ten minutes before leaving you sky-high and gasping for more, I’ll have done my job. And the best part? You can have this review on tick.
A Drug-Fuelled DayZ
Take the Kryptonite. Become Superman. Then, when that giddy high starts to wear off, mug an old lady for her bingo winnings and prepare to do it all over again. It’s life, neatly sandboxed into a game review within the confines of the internet, a place where comedowns and common decency don’t apply.
I used to sell drugs for a living. Now, like a recovering junkie who can’t stop talking about drugs, I bundle words into eighths and quarters before stuffing them into scraps of Tesco carrier bags, sealed shut with a lighter and posted online for consumption by the masses.
If these crack-laced cognitions are causing confusion, then consider it mission accomplished. You see, amidst all the alliteration, there lurks an appropriately apt allegory for DayZ itself, a game which doesn’t so much blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality as obfuscate them altogether.
What happens on the internet should stay on the internet, unless you’re playing DayZ, in which case it seeps through to real life, drowning you in a sea of unpaid final reminders, unconsummated relationships and unutilised gym passes. This is a game that makes crack cocaine seem about as addictive as All-Bran. And the strangest thing of all is that it has no god-damn right to.
Max Payne 3? Now that’s a game that deserves to commandeer your weekends and infiltrate your pillow time. DayZ, on the other hand, shouldn’t be this irresistible. It’s buggier than a box of cockroaches and tougher than an Oxbridge entrance exam. And yet, within weeks of its release, DayZ has pile-driven its way into the gaming community and colonised its colon with all the subtlety of a broken pint glass.
Once Upon a Time
The DayZ story goes something like this: in 2010, Bohemia Interactive released gritty war simulator ARMA II. For ‘I can’t believe it’s not real’ gamers, ARMA II was an adrenaline-packed shot in the arm. Casual gamers, however, largely ignored the release, preferring the more immediate thrills of GTA, FIFA, COD and other caps lock offerings. Two years later, however, and ARMA II is defying all expectations as it racks up hundreds of thousands of downloads and converts fuck-tons of casual gamers who find themselves lured into a brutal war that is not for the faint-hearted or the time-pressed.
Just as a crack-head doesn’t acquire Spontex for its pan-scouring properties, ARMA II’s recent avalanche of downloads owes nothing to the concept of running around an exquisitely-mapped island shooting soldiers and everything to a mod that allows you to run around the very same exquisitely-mapped island shooting – wait for it – zombies.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about DayZ’s runaway success is that it’s a free mod (provided you purchase ARMA II) which is still in alpha (hence all the glitches). The zombie mod wasn’t even created by Bohemia Interactive – it was cobbled together by a developer named Rocket. The former did all the grunt work in building DayZ’s hyper-real environment; Rocket merely added zombies and tore up the rules of combat. In layman’s terms, it’s the equivalent of your mate administering foreplay to some slut he’s coaxed back to the hotel room, only for you to bust in and take all the credit for the sheet-soaking orgasm she unleashes while you fap from the sidelines.
Sorry, did I neglect to mention that this blog is NSFW? My bad.
That’s DayZ pronounced Daisy, by the way. It sounds so innocuous, doesn’t it? “Thanks for tea Mum. I’m off upstairs to play DayZ.” Don’t let that chirpy title deceive you though – this game is about as cheery as a ricin-dipped knuckleduster to the face. The sting’s in the tail – you see that fat-ass Z? Yeah, well it don’t stand for no nice Z-word like Zebras or Zoophilia. It don’t stand for no nasty Z-word like Zuckerberg or Zyklon B either. Nah, we’re talking about a far worse evil than that – Zombies. Think World War Z, think DayZ, think the muthafuckin ZA.
Last time EU broke into a sweat over zombies, it was to announce the start of the zombie apocalypse – IRL. Now it’s time to step back into the matrix and go toe-to-toe with a release that Ed Uncovered is calling – for the purposes of this sentence – The Scariest Game Since Resident Evil. You don’t have to be female to play DayZ, but you do need a set of balls. A hulking great set of cojones to fortify you for the nerve-shredding spectacle that awaits.
When reviewing Max Payne 3, EU observed: “This game is creepy. In fact it’s eerie. It’s eerier than creeping through a graveyard in the dead of night to exhume a fresh corpse and make sweet love to its eye socket. It’s that kind of eerie.”
Due to sheer laziness and an inability to construct a more foreboding metaphor, I’m going to apply the same imagery to DayZ. If you’re looking for an upbeat, feel-good romp, go play Super Mario Bros. But if it’s war you’re after, typified by tedium but punctuated by sporadic bursts of titty-twisting excitement, it’s gotta be DayZ FTW.
The game serves as a virtual space in which you can experiment with the sort of shit you fantasise about inflicting upon your real world enemies. Can’t decide whether to submit your resignation by shooting your boss or by axing him in the head? Just step into the zombiesphere and cycle through the options. DayZ is a microcosm of the internet. It’s a world within a digital world within the analogue world we like to call life. It’s as cruel or as kind as you choose to make it. It’s Lord of the Flies meets Battle Royale. And therein lies its savage charm.
So for the past week I have been stalking the forests North of the NWAF, and it’s been glorious. Because every kill is earned. Not a damn mile away with a sniper rifle, but face to face, with an axe. I’ll post pics in the gallery soon. So far I’ve got 15 kills. The beauty in this is these guys I’m chopping have mostly just raided the AF and are running to the forest with their new shiny toys. And I’m there waiting. This is a game on its own. And that’s why DayZ is so amazing: you can be a sniper, a guy living in the woods, travel around the map, or just play however you want; you make the game what you want it to be.” – The DayZ forums are awash with such survival tales.
Every violent computer game should carry a warning, and here is Day Z’s: If you’re serious about playing this mod, be aware that the next time your mum sets eyes on you will be in the year 2032 as you emerge from your room in a daze-(E) to celebrate your vanquishment of the zombie hordes with a double decades-overdue haircut. Do not underestimate the lengths you will go to in order to maximise your DayZ playing time. Do not underestimate the number of friends you will trample on in your desperation to get another fix of this delicious cake. DayZ is a highly-addictive vice that will cause you to skip work, neglect the kids and smoke crack in a callous attempt to fit in moar game time.
Every great game should be addictive – but not this addictive. Moderation is a wonderful thing. That’s why at EU HQ we blaze zoots all day erryday but only scorch pebbles on special occasions, because those roguish rocks are awfully moreish. Just like Day-to-the-mu’-fuckin-Z.
If you’re facing up to spending the next 20 years in, say, a Norwegian jail, you’ll surely welcome a game that allows you to patrol an island shooting everyone on sight. If you value your friends and family, however, think twice before you hit that link: you may have just kissed goodbye to your sex, social and working life in one fateful click.
When Ravi, EU’s resident gamer and official joint-roller, told me he had to quit shooting zombies in order to ‘go for a poo’ I asked him ‘Is that an in-game poo or an IRL one?’ It turned out to be the latter, compelling me to guard his DayZ character while he emptied his bowels. In any other game, you could just hit ‘Pause’, only DayZ’s not like other games – it’s like real life (but with zombies) and as everyone knows, you can’t pause real life (even when there’s zombies).
How Real We Talking?
DayZ is so immersive that it causes TeamSpeaking men on opposite sides of the world to generate bromances while slighted girlfriends on opposite sides of the world develop passionate affairs with any guy who’ll step away from his battle station for long enough to cock them.
When it’s nighttime in the real world, it’s also nighttime in the game. When your character dies after going days without food, you die in the the real world after going days without food.
Get spawned. Get swag. Get to civilisation after crawling through the outback for aaaaaaaaages. Get your flesh torn off by zombies. Die. Rinse. Repeat. It’s unfair, but that’s life. Man up and deal with it.
Spoiler: The DayZ Review Actually Starts Here
After being nagged for days to review DayZ, I acquiesced, but only after attaching one condition to Ravi’s request: he had to be the one reviewing the game, not me. My job was merely to type up Ravi’s sentiments and insert a few lulzy asides to keep things moving along briskly. Of course, I didn’t actually tell him that he would be the one dictating the review. It was far easier to simply lurk in the background and quietly log the pearls of wisdom that flew out of his potty mouth every time he got pwned, an hero’d or had his nut-sack gobbled by zombies.
On a good day, I can lob a few sentences together, but nothing that could ever approach the sheer beauty of Ravi’s evocative prose:
Ravi’s DayZ Review
★ “Oh for fuck sake, is this for real? Is this shit for real? Fucking hell.” – After getting killed by zombies.
★ “Ah fuck – the fuck did you come from? Nightmare.” – After getting killed by zombies. Again.
★ “Oh no…they’re still after me. Oh dear. Not good. Shi-it. Shit.” – You get the picture.
★ “Look at that. Someone in the distance with fucking flairs. It’s fucking epic.” – Upon getting excited at someone in the distance with fucking flairs.
★ “Epic. Holy shit.” – Marvelling at the prettiness of it all.
★ “Ooft, pishing blood out and everything.”
★ “Oh fuuuuck…Jesus, these fucking zombies!”
★ Me: “Can the zombies get up that ladder?” Ravi: “I’m not sure if they can.” [DIES] “Motherfuckers…yes they can. Motherfucking cunts.”
★ “Oh dear…I’ll run. Shite. Ah fuck….Ah shit…You dirty little cunt…Fucking dirty little cunt…Dirty bastard, you fucking dirty bastard…Oh for fuck’s sake…You fucking dirty bastards…Get out my fucking way…Fucking cunts…Motherfuckers.”
★ “Keep mentioning the map and that, how big it is etc etc. How fucking epic it is…Ooft.” – Explaining to me just how big and epic the map is.
★ “I’m off for a pish. If anyone shoots me, call me.”
★ “Aw fuck it’s all over, I’ve got a broken leg. Someone just come and finish me off.”
★ “Did I tell you I had a mini heart attack playing this the other day?” – Extolling Day Z’s health benefits.
I could go on, but you get the idea – DayZ is a big bunch of expletive-laden, maddeningly frustrating, tough-as-fuck fun. Thanks for selflessly providing that review, Ravi – I can tell that shit came from the soul. Oh, and congrats bro: you just got in-house trolled. U mad?
Before I jump through to the EU office to IRL troll my colleague some more, I’ll wrap this up with a brief summary of DayZ’s merits, in case anyone is actually reading this review for informational purposes. (An unlikely proposition, I’ll admit.)
There are lots of things to love about DayZ. Take the zombies for instance. Sure, their animation is laughably bad. Like, Commodore 64 bad. But damn, they sure sound the part, what with all those sickening groans and flesh-tearing noises. When those fucks attack you from behind, it sounds like you’ve just walked in on a gay orgy and can’t decide whether to run or start fapping. My advice is to run – you can fap later. It’s not just the zombies that sound sexual in DayZ, incidentally. When you’re running through the endless wastelands that constitute vast swathes of the island, close your eyes and you’ll be pleased to discover that your character’s breathing sounds like a sexy French woman getting pumped in a field. Try it – I came buckets.
Of course it’s not all fun and games: DayZ is frequently bleak, depressing and maddeningly frustrating. Zombies kill you off-screen; fellow players snipe you in the dark using night vision, leaving you to bleed out alone in the woods. You can spend hours painstakingly sneaking across the island only to inexplicably die on account of an unseen glitch. Make no mistake: this game is alpha as fuck.
If you think that immersing yourself in a lulzy world of zombie MMO fun will provide some light entertainment, think again. This is heavily traumatising stuff. Grown men have been known to top themselves after playing non-stop for 72 hours, only to be clobbered by an invisible zombie that snuck through a wall and ate their face off.
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about DayZ is the moral dilemmas it throws up – dilemmas that will plague your conscience as you experience a full gamut of emotions. Sure, it’s ‘just a game’, but try explaining that to the rival player you’ve just discovered in the mountains, bleeding heavily from zombie wounds. When he pleads with you for mercy, do you:
1. Bandage him up and administer morphine?
2. Shoot him in the head and run away cackling?
3. Troll him by performing options one and two in that order, while using TeamSpeak to inform him in 13 different languages just how many cocks his mother sucks in hell?
The choice is yours, but remember: karma can be a complete bitch. When you’re the one leaking claret in the outback with a shattered femur poking through your knee, don’t expect any mercy.
In keeping with Ed Uncovered’s nonsensical review system, DayZ shall be rated out of 79. I give it a 64, with the mod losing points only due to the number of bugs and the laugh out loud lameness of the zombies.
As for the trolling attempt on my colleague, he rates it 4/ 10.
★ Zombie Apocalypse Diary: A DayZ gamer’s blog
★ DayZ Missed Connections: A Reddit board dedicated to reuniting you with the DayZ gamers you just annihilated.
★ Watch DayZ Live Stream: Live game footage of other people having fun (not available 24/7)