It came out rather suddenly, especially since there wasn’t any build up for the release. The Xbox One version went through extensive development, while this version was just teased a number of times for this particular year. We weren’t given any visual previews, and it just sort of arrived which was neat for sure.
That context aside, it brings the full experience to this particular console. You're able to play in servers of up to sixty players as you try to survive from the undead horde, the general environment and mostly the other people. When it comes to the zombies, they're fairly deadly at the current moment. They have a long range lock, and they're not very passive. It can actually get annoying as they group up easily, there's a fair density in cities. You’ll have to be careful on noise, but even despite that they’re very alert currently.
The monsters chase for quite awhile. They're also rather tough at this point, taking a beating while causing bleeding with the right strikes. This leads into the environmental aspect of the game. You can get sick, injured through cuts or just die of starvation. You need to take care of your given character, and the game has a variety of mechanics that are behind this. If you're thirsty, you can collect water from lakes or ponds. Doing this may however make you sick. You can eat food raw, but cooking it at a campfire you've crafted will benefit you greatly. To make a campfire you'll actually have to hack at a tree for wood, then ignite it with certain items you’ve scavenged.
You can grow food from seeds through farming, collect water in containers or even bury items with a shovel to stash them. It goes further by allowing you to build minor bases, this is time consuming however. Cars are also something you can fix up to drive, a tedious method. The final aspect of this is others, people are typically the main threat to your life and they shoot on sight. There are sixty people, and most are hostile. In this version they're always aiming to gather loot through violence. Occasionally you'll meet nice people, or just cautious folks. You can interact violently, with gestures or just sort of watch one another go by. The social interactions are the intriguing part of this experience, and they work well. You need to remember that the game is permadeath too. When you die, the character is dead and you'll get a new random person to play as.
I’ve played across the various platforms the game is based on, for this review I’m focusing on the base Playstation 4 release. It runs horribly, with constant screen tearing and frame drops. Zombies sometimes spawn on roof tops and it’s really hard to fight others due to the performance. It can cause a bit of a motion sickness with how badly it runs. Textures load in slowly at times and this is a drag as the whole core experience is here.
There are many buggy elements of play. That's just how DayZ is though, that's the name it has made for itself. The UI is slick, and smooth. It works well for dragging items around, and combining things. You do a lot of combining as you manually load bullets into magazines, combine items to craft and have to directly interact with almost every object to do things within the game. It’s worth noting that on this version of the game, nametags show up during conversation, a Playstation Network rule.
You can craft basic items, even work on fixing complex objects such as vehicles. They go all in here; with many pieces making up a car, assuming you can even find the main chassis. Survival management is a big part of the game, it’s not too difficult in this however. Over time; depending on much you move, you'll need to keep fed and not be thirsty as well. You can get cut and end up bleeding, or you could catch a horrible disease. Try not to eat folks, it'll make you go crazy if you consume too much. For a tip, rags are helpful for those scratches you get. Don't want to see too much blood rapidly drip from your character.
The environments are fairly solid here, they have a realistic and calming look. There are thousands of trees, a number of cities and some strange side sites to visit. You could find castles, lost military zones or even venture along sandy beaches. A lot of the game is learning where you are in this massive map, and then understanding where to gather loot from. You start with some alright items, and will need to find more as you play. Even when you find items, they could be damaged or become damaged over time through wear and tear.
It can be hard to loot, and the game is difficult to learn at the start. It takes time to get all of the mechanics, and to understand what you're doing. That's why I consider this to be a niche survival game, it's not for everyone. I'll mention that it has day and night cycles, with the latter being accelerated time wise. It can also rain at this point, causing health issues for characters. The game is played largely in third person, but it can be switched to first person at any time. Hardcore servers are present for only first person. The servers are also hyper crowded at this point.
DayZ Playstation 4 provides the full zombie survival experience, but does so with awful performance and many bugs. It leaves a lot to be desired as it just doesn’t run very well. It can be hard to play, especially during important segments of combat. The towns are the worst for this, but aside from frame drops it’s just constantly screen tearing on the base console.
The interactions with others are usually interesting, and definitely brutal from what I’ve seen thus far. It's not at all a friendly community. The survival elements are great, it's exciting to learn about the many things you can do. They have the basics here and they need to get it running better going forward. It's also fascinating to see disease, bleeding, and other environmental issues come into the mix quite often when playing this.
The clouds are solid, and the environment itself is quite lovely. I wish there was more atmosphere in terms of noise, as it's rather quiet. Still, it's that way for a reason. Moving past core elements, the guns are fine in this. The hit detection is alright, but the performance issues make them hard to use. There are many types of items to find. This doesn't just cover guns, but there are many apparel options and various types of loot to gather. Some is directly helpful, other items are for novelty.
The inventory is awesome here, the control scheme is generally fine once you get used to it. This isn't for everyone though, it's for a specific type of individual as a niche game. You have to balance basic survival elements against some rather dangerous zombies and it takes time. It's not a fast paced game, it takes patience and the desire to learn mechanics that will assist you with survival within the game.
Read our The Division 2 Review
View our DayZ Hub
DayZ Review on Playstation 4
Review Code Provided by Evolve PR