Postcards from Chernarus: Life in DayZ for ARMA2, Part 2
It’s been four days since my last post on ARMA2′s zombie mod, Day Z, and things have changed since then. For one, a recent update has significantly increased the amount of zombies you’ll run into while traveling through towns. That’s been… well, a bit of a problem.
I came back on at night. Prior to the patch, I had logged out lying in a grassy field near a small military warehouse. Things had been quiet when I left, and coming back on in the night, they still seemed quiet. Then I heard the growls.
As I tried to orient myself in the pitch-black darkness, I caught the profiles of zombies against the night sky. They were shambling all around me in the field, and it was terrifying. This is not how I had left things earlier! I started crawling. You couldn’t pay me to lie there and wait till one of them came across me. The crawling became unnervingly slow, and fear overrode logic. I stood up to run.
Almost instantaneously, the aimless growls turned to shreiking and howling. I was sprinting, and hell followed behind me. I remembered that I still had an MP5 that I had looted off of a player’s corpse earlier. I knew I could end this now, despite any fears of attracting other players with its noise.
I whirled around and fired blindly into the screeching darkness behind me. The muzzle flashes were my only source of light, with each shot being a terrifying still-photo frame of the horrors pursuing me. It wasn’t working. I turned to run, only for my leg to be broken by the attacking horde. I fell, panicking, screaming, shooting. A few more seconds and my gunshots went silent.
In other words, it’s been fun! If “crawl around town and close your eyes and pray every time a zombie stumbles past” is your cup of fun! The increased amount of zombies has certainly made casually looting areas much more difficult, and even encounters with other survivors are now measured by whether or not it’s worth shooting and attracting the wrath of an entire town of zombies.
The new zombies act as a pleasant addition to the already intensive focus on player interactions. What served as a background beforehand is coming much closer to center-stage in the overall conflicts that you’ll find with DayZ, even if they are somewhat irritating to shoot at thanks to ARMA2′s buggy AI.
At any rate, stay tuned for the third and final part of my DayZ discussion, where I’ll go over some of the player interactions I’ve experienced since my first and rather painful meeting. How’s everyone else liking the new zombies?