Crawling its way on to PS4, DayZ finally gets on to Sony’s consoles but is it dead good or just limbless?
When there’s no more room in hell, the dead apparently go to Russia. The premise of DayZ is a simple one. You’re stuck in a post-soviet state wilderness with an infection that happens to turn people into brain sucking shambling zombies and you need to do anything to survive. Oh, and a bunch of other people are along for the ride. With a finite number of resources, you can guess what happens next.
Before PUBG was a thing, DayZ existed on PC in a sort of alpha state for what seems like years and a beta for even longer. It provided a unique world of multiplayer survival and zombie killing that paved the way for the Battle Royale genre to come. Now it comes to PS4 and still manages to feel like it’s in a beta state after all these years.
If you can get past the first half hour of the game without any hand-holding or tutorials (bar a few static screens), understand the messy complicated inventory system and work out how to survive then you’ll still have zombies, other players and general survival against the odds to contend with. Like a zombie lover, it’s not an easy game to love unless you put the work in (and try not to get bitten), it looks pretty bland and slightly last gen graphically and the frame rate is choppy even with the lack of graphical polish. But get past this and there’s something special about this wilderness that you won’t see in other games and this will be where the game comes alive.
The map is huge, I mean really, really big and it’s quite easy to get lost in the wilderness among forests of trees, watching the wildlife pass by and forgetting that there are even any other players around. Buildings dot the surroundings but are, themselves, fairly basic and spaced out far apart that they offer little in the way of protection. When you do come across the zombies then it’s often a case of deploying strategy to trap or avoid them rather than rushing head first into them. This is a long and drawn out game with moments of action and panic. It works because it’s fairly unique, despite its many flaws.
So DayZ is really not going to be for everyone, you need to be pretty forgiving to get past the graphics, frame rate and general old-fashioned systems, but dig deep and you may find something of interest here, particularly for fans of tough survival games.