In this zombie game par excellence, the greatest threat is not the undead horde but other players trying to stay alive.
Initially responsible for a surge in sales of military sim "Arma II," the 2012 custom modification "DayZ" let players do what they wanted in a post-apocalytic survival setting.
But with resources scarce, the temptation is for the game's players to turn on each other, whether motivated by aggression, self-protection, or misunderstanding.
As such, it draws on themes similar to those found in "The Walking Dead" and "The Last of Us," while the weekend's Steam launch of "Rust" cites "DayZ" as a significant influence -- "[We decided to] make a rough estimation of it in less than a month" -- and controversy surrounded 2012 release "War Z," now renamed "Infestation Survivor Stories," which was accused of capitalizing on "DayZ" hype with a poor clone.
Now granted an Early Access release via the Steam Network on December 16, the standalone version of "DayZ" does not need "Arma II" or its expansions in order to run.
Rather, its team promises a "gritty, authentic, open-world survival horror hybrid-MMO" within 230 sq. km of a post-Soviet state.
Though the game is launching at $29, with price increases as "DayZ" improves, developer Bohemia Interactive advises interested parties not to purchase at this early stage unless they are "prepared to handle serious issues and possible interruptions of game functioning"; reaching a stage where all key features are present "will take more than one year from current stage."
Features to be implemented include transport vehicles, diverse animal wildlife, and player-constructed shelters.