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The Arma 2 multiplayer zombie mod DayZ continues to accumulate new players. The counter on the game's website announced today that over one million unique players have now ventured into Chernarus.
In DayZ, players start on the beach of a massive, former Soviet state. This country's populace has been struck by a mysterious infection that has turned them into bloodthirsty undead. The few survivors of this state must scavenge for supplies while fending off zombies and each other.
A new player starts out with no weapon and a few supplies. You have to sneak past zombies and find weapons so you can defend yourself. You'll also need food and water in order to stay alive. You share this open-world with dozens of other players, some of whom might try to kill you for your supplies. Your progress is saved when you log out, so this is a game meant to be played over several days.
DayZ really stands out because of how unforgiving it is. Health doesn't regenerate so if you get hurt, you have to find and use medical supplies to keep yourself upright. If you die, you lose all of your equipment. The mod's website says that the average lifespan of a player is 49 minutes. Quick deaths, like an unexpected pack of zombies or a bandit with a sniper rifle, lurk around every corner. These dangers make success in the game really gratifying, though.
It's worth mentioning that this mod is in alpha. Subsequently, it's a bit rough. The inventory system, for example, is a fucking horror show. In spite of the glitchy or underdeveloped parts of the game, though, it can be quite entertaining. Probably the scariest zombie game I've ever played.
In order to play DayZ, you need to own Arma 2 and its expansion Operation Arrowhead. Arma 2 Combined Operations, a bundle of both, costs $30 on Steam. DayZ has been a huge boon to Arma 2's sales, with Combined Operation currently the second best-selling game on the digital store.