Hands-on with the new standalone DayZ: A promising overhaul

DayZ

By on June 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm

So many zombie games, and so little quality. Fortunately, the stand-alone version of DayZ has shown that it has the ability to stand above the crowd and deliver what was so great about the original mod in a polished package.

In a hands-on demo played by games.on.net on the E3 show floor today, we saw a variety of new features and tweaks, including new animations and a much cleaner and sophisticated inventory system.

The game features a new character model on a new skeleton, with new clothing as well – simple jeans and a t-shirt. There are even new animations, including a sprint crouch.

The biggest and most sophisticated change is the menu system. Unlike ARMA II’s clunky and unintuitive interface, DayZ is simply drag and drop. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone confused by the system, even with no prior knowledge.

Another major change is the crafting system. When two items can be combined, they will turn orange in the inventory menu. Items like maps can be put together, and even basic movements like adding purification tablets to water. Once they’ve been combined, the player receives a message telling them they’ve combined two items, and what they’ve made.

This is a great piece of feedback, and even provides some motivation. Once you’ve done something right, you’ll want to keep playing.

The plethora of little changes make the game simply more exciting. There are plenty more enterable buildings, and subsequently more loot. Zombies can now make a fairly scary jumping attack once they reach a certain range, and there are plenty of new buildings as well in various areas of the map.

Even loot can be picked up in two different ways now, by simply picking up gear after looking at it, or using the gear/inventory menu. Weapons have mostly stayed the same, with the focus being on dirty and simple weaponry. In our particular build, we used an AK-47.

However, the game is still in a very early stage of development – closed alpha. There were plenty of rough animations in the demo we played on the show floor, bodies falling through walls and so on. There is plenty to be added.

Bohemia Interactive says the project is now at an “exciting stage of development”, with new content being added all the time. It’s simply a matter of deciding which pieces of content, such as vehicles, will make it into the final release.

Bohemia stresses the development has taken so long due to the amount of work it takes to create a stand-alone version of the game. Not only does it have to include all the infrastructure from ARMA II, but DLC as well. That is an enormous undertaking, and is essentially like creating multiple versions of a game at the same time.

This is still DayZ, but improved. Understandably, some users may not like any of the changes and prefer the old-fashioned way. But with at least one uninspired zombie clone announced at this year’s E3 already, it’s good to know the best zombie title in the business has maintained its edge.

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33 comments (Leave your own)

But it’s not on the ArmA 3 engine.

Like. Seriously. It’s now a step backwards.

Also, was the map still Chernarus? If still Chernarus, scrap the whole goddamn thing, do it properly and release it in two years time. By that time we’ll all be hungry to play it again because for me and most people I know who played Dayz, we’re over it.

 

A revamped Chenarus isn’t a bad thing. It’s also something they’ve stated the whole time, it’s going to be Chenarus.

I agree on the ArmA 3 bit though. They had the opportunity to do it right. Currently they haven’t. It’s a big mistake. No point releasing on ArmA 2.5 when 3 will be out soon.

 

I think they massively screwed this up, the original plan was to get something out quickly and capitalise on the success of Day z which wasn’t a bad plan however they took to long, now when it’s released we’re not expecting a mine-craft style game that’s constantly improving we’re expecting a finished title free of any game breaking bugs and that is a big enough improvement over day z-arma edition to justify paying for.

I really think what they have needs to be ported to arma 3 to be succesful, I just can’t see people paying for what they are already getting for free and with how easy it is to port mods to arma 3 I can see free mod versions on arma 3.

 

“Even loot can be picked up in two different ways now, by simply picking up gear after looking at it, or using the gear/inventory menu.”

can already do that now, often resulting in dropping something you want to keep and sometimes having it disappear.

 

Yep, this is definitely GoN. Read article and think “wow that sounds pretty damn cool!” Read comments and mostly see “whine whine not Arma III engine whine whine…”

 

The 11 minute video I saw is pretty damn underwhelming to be honest. Not sure if I’ll be getting it at this point .

 

Never played DayZ. Yet I actually like the concept. So a more polished version may be ideal for me.

HOWEVER. I still don’t want to see ultra fast, unlimited stamina zombies turning the whole survival aspect to a run till you drop sort of game. Fingers crossed they improve it.

 

vcatkiller: Yep, this is definitely GoN. Read article and think “wow that sounds pretty damn cool!” Read comments and mostly see “whine whine not Arma III engine whine whine…”

You mean, yes this is every website ever.

It’s not ArmA 3, that’s right and that sucks. ArmA 3 is gorgeous with super-smoother character animations. If I lived within the world of Chernarus I’d probably sleep outside in the open rather than spend 5 minutes trying to fit through the doorway to my house.

 

pretty much 6 months too late, will just stick to arma 3 :D

 

Murray Hibble,

Yeah because they totally haven’t fixed any of the problems with Arma II have they?

And I swear, if any of you whiners turn around in the future and comment they prefer gameplay to good graphics I am totally linking to this thread.

 

vcatkiller:
Murray Hibble,

Yeah because they totally haven’t fixed any of the problems with Arma II have they?

And I swear, if any of you whiners turn around in the future and comment they prefer gameplay to good graphics I am totally linking to this thread.

I do prefer game-play over graphics, but in this case the movement and … well everything in arma 3 is better than arma 2 I can only base my opinion off my experience, sure they might have fixed alot of that but why not just use the new engine ?
The original purpose was to get something out ASAP and have a Minecraft style experience where it was constantly improving, however now we’re seeing a stand alone game that seemingly is going for a “it’s done when it’s done approach”.

Again why would I pay any amount for something that I can already get for free ?

 

It would be great if it was an English native country as trying to translate Russian signs and such for navigation grind’s my gears

 

The dev has stated the game will take as long as it takes.

And vcatkiller, so true. If there is one constant, it is that the GON community always reaffirms people will complain about anything.

 

vcatkiller:
Murray Hibble,

Yeah because they totally haven’t fixed any of the problems with Arma II have they?

And I swear, if any of you whiners turn around in the future and comment they prefer gameplay to good graphics I am totally linking to this thread.

Link away, the simple fact is that ArmA 3 has addressed the movement issues with ArmA 2. Not just graphics, personally I think ArmA 3′s graphics are a bit shiny with not enough specular detail, but then I’m picky.

 

It will be quiet disappointing if Arma 3 is being all shiny and new and DayZ inherits the messy Arma 2 engine for years to come. Have to say Arma 3 is uncharacteristically polished and smooth for Bohemia, let alone for an alpha.

 

my big questions is performance.. if it can have 10fps more than arma3 on lowest settings.. that would really help me out. WarZ ran pretty well for the last 6months but they did a recent update that forces dynamic shadows and lighting to be on even on lowest setting and now its not playable in citys for me once again. oh gee

I was under the understanding that Arma2/3 use same engine and DayZ Standalone uses the same engine also but skips on some of the Arma3 upgrades like water tech.

 

Murray Hibble: You mean, yes this is every website ever.

It’s not ArmA 3, that’s right and that sucks. ArmA 3 is gorgeous with super-smoother character animations. If I lived within the world of Chernarus I’d probably sleep outside in the open rather than spend 5 minutes trying to fit through the doorway to my house.

Unlike all the other cheap showy rubbish produced nowadays day-z doesn’t rely on flashy graphics and cheap gimmicks. The fact that it is using the ARMA2 engine as opposed to the ARMA3 engine will make very little difference to the experience you will have with the final product.

Even the mod in it’s appallingly buggy state, rife with hackers and poorly behaved preteen players is the most enjoyable gaming experience I have had for quite some time, day-z was actually the game that finished BF3 off for me. I had much more fun playing a game with real depth and atmosphere instead of one with pretty pictures (if you consider lens flare and blue tinges pretty that is) and tacky gimmicks.

 

Meh, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Bohemia it’s that they’re shonky devs, they’re the Brad Mcquaid of military shooters… all their time is spent daydreaming and not enough making games.

Before christmas they claimed the serverside was done and they were nearing launch, 5 months into the new year they admit it’s only just “finished” and they’re just now making some content.

TBH I’m past the point where i really care about when it releases, a pair of pants and different colour helmets are minor changes, the looting system is the same as always (they’ve just increased the area in which you can see an item via the inv screen without standing right on top of it.

The buildings and loot spawns in them don’t impress me much either, I still haven’t seen anything that makes me go “HOLY SHIT I WANT THAT!” from a year and a half of development.

Pretty disappointed with their E3 showing, they’ve been given a chance that VERY few in the game industry ever even dream of getting, and they’ve pretty much wasted it.

If the zombies are laggy and bugged on a single player client I don’t even want to know how they run over the net.

 

shuth:
The dev has stated the game will take as long as it takes.

And vcatkiller, so true. If there is one constant, it is that the GON community always reaffirms people will complain about anything.

A community of thousands of gamers will usually generate a variety of opinions across a large number of topics … surely not ?

 

I cant see why on earth they are not using Arma 3 engine? It completely baffles me.

You have a bunch of people yelling at COD for using the same engine for 10 years straight and not advancing… but here is a developer.. developing a game.. that’s on an older engine for no valid reason. The fact is Bohemia updated the engine for Arma 3 for a reason.. its better! Everything from animations, physics, handling, terrain, etc. Everything. It baffles me. Seeing how easy it has been to port Chernarus to the Arma 3 engine makes me think they will do it last minute to shock everyone.

The most important thing to me.. The Arma 3 map is looking to be a thousand time more suited to a game like DayZ and ffs you can go into every single building in the entire game!!! That is all I want.

All good if they dont do it though.. ill just play Zoombies.

 
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