There’s finally a reason to be interested in zombie games again.

For that, we need to thank Dean Hall, the creator of DayZ, a new mod that is taking the internet gaming community by storm.

DayZ is a mod for a military shooter called ArmA II. If you haven’t heard of ArmA, you’ll probably be shocked that the game was #1 on Steam‘s sales chart yesterday. That’s right: this mod is so popular that it has been grabbing PC gamer’s attention on the same week that Diablo III launched.

The reason? DayZ is a no holds barred zombie apocalypse simulation with only one objective: survive.

While zombie-themed video games have been extremely popular over the past few years, such as Left 4 Dead and Dead Island, DayZ stands apart from the rest due to its extreme difficulty and realistic approach to zombie survival.

Equipped with only a pistol, flares, painkillers, beans and a canteen, players have to wander through DayZ‘s ridiculously large map in order to stumble upon more food, equipment and weapons.

If killing zombies is what you’re into, you’ll be happy to know that each game has a ton of the living dead crawling over the map. Exactly how many? Hall and the DayZ team won’t specify, but in the latest patch notes they had this to say: “Re: Zombie Numbers…. hahah… you’re all f*****. deeply f*****. Good luck.”

Zombies aren’t the only things to look out for in DayZ; the game also demands you keep an eye on the other 49 players trying to survive alongside you. Additional players aren’t always what they seem: with DayZ‘s permadeath structure, other players can take you out in order to steal your stuff. Of course, the best method of zombie survival is probably to stick together, but the ability to kill your human brethren adds a level of morality to DayZ that has not before been seen in the zombie genre.

In order to play, you must have a copy of ArmA II as well the “Operation Arrowhead” expansion. Once installed, check out Something Awful for what seems to be the most popular DayZ set-up guide.

Oh, and good luck. I guarantee you’re going to need it.

Austin Regimbal is a former host of Dashboard: The Xbox Show on Aside from covering game trailers for GAMEBREAKER, Austin has also written for KXLY 4, Spokane, WA's ABC affiliate.
  • fallos24

    you guys hit it right on the spot!!

    • Austin Regimbal


  • Corey

    I’ve been really really interested in trying this out since hearing about it a few days ago.  I’d say there’s two main things holding me back: having to get the base game and xpac, and I’d really want to play a game like this with a friend (of course, we’d have to find eachother with the initial random spawn) but can’t find one to join in.  Then there’s the minor points that I’ve purchased a lot of games lately and backed quite a few projects on Kickstarter…moneymoneymoney…

    However, the few first-hand experiences recounted by other reviewers have been quite positive about how immersive an experience this is to the point that you really experience fear and paranoia as GG mentioned. You guys don’t even really touch on the bandit system, that it’s a persistant world with day/night cycle, and it even saves your progress and location when you log out and log in to a different server.  You literally survive with real survival tactics…hunt, cook, eat, fill your canteens with fresh water sources, or scavenge around town for canned food and whatnot…the complexity to this mod sounds insane.  I’m definitely keeping an eye on this, and maybe sometime I will finally pick up the base games so I can play it.  Or hopefully it really will be recognized for how good of an experience it can be, and it’ll be picked up and produced as a standalone game with updated graphics and whatever content the creator still has in mind for the future of the game (bigger world? more players per server? different locations? crafting? character customization? etc)  Really as is, it doesn’t seem far off from being a true sandbox zombie survival mmo (now go kill zombies and collect 10 rotting tongues! jk).

    Also, MikeB made mention of this being used for Gameplay in the future.  I really hope that’ll come true :D
    Gary: any chance you’ll be making videos of your experiences in Day Z?

  • Xoa Wolf

    This looks like a AMAZING game/mod

    • Van de Ven Jeff

       Correction, this IS an amazing mod. Also the community is awesome!

  • M_5hizzle

    This game (or well, mod) is AMAZING! Looked into it after Gary mentioned it on twitter the other day, and WOW, it is great! Haven’t touched Diablo III since I installed this yesterday.

    If this interests you at all and you aren’t sure if you can run this, people have recommended downloading the free version of Arma 2 on steam and running that. If that plays well, you should be able to handle DayZ. ALSO – for a very easy and fast install I used the launcher at it made downloading and installing extremely easy.

    Plus, the digital download version of this on Amazon is on sale for  only $15, can’t beat that.

    Did I mention this is a great mod?

  • Fuzzy

    If you guys aren’t convinced about how awesome this mod is yet check out this video 

  • Tsjernobyl

    Holy… Played arma alot for a couple of years, but this really looks amazing.

    Would love to see some streams of this from gbtv.

    Watch this video:

  • Craig Gafoor

    i just watched some videos of this mod and your correct gary its FRIGGING EPIC! haha hope the game devs out there have taken not and we can expect more of this in the future :-)
    saw one video with a bunch working as a team and an epic one with 2 guys robbing a guy of his guns which was SOOOOOO FUNNY hahahah look on youtube for
    “Arma 2 DayZ Mod robbed at gunpoint and killed MUST SEE” its so funny guys hahaha
    real deal how shit would hit fan if there was a zombie apocalypse! no mercy….the words from the guy on voip…just put the gun down….and the noobie trying to be nice and make a chat to the robbers hahah reminds me of my youth growing up in the hood lols quality total classic! thing is i hear the game needs an epic good computer to run it and even though im on a sli PC iv seen some people talking about specs to run it and am concerned ill be getting attacked in a fps lagfest :-( anyways thanks for the heads up ill keep an eye out a year or so from now for something along these lines that does not need a kray supercomputer to run it :-P

  • Justin Klammer

    Downloading Arma 2 just to play this mod. I’m gonna get so scared and die over and over …. I’m EXCITED!

  • Hicks64

    Arma 2 is $9.99 on Amazon ( Reading up on the mod now, thanks for letting us know about this gamebreaker!

  • H S

    I played OFP and Arma from 2002- 2010 and never played a game more realistic than this. Best game I ever played and the most too.

    Not for the light hearted, game takes a lot to learn.

  • Angel Rivera

    oh no they got a netflix banner lol.

  • Timothy Lochner

    I really hope that is taking note of this game.

  • Jack

    I would love to play this but sadly can’t spare $30 :(

    • FantomBlu

      It’s only $15 @twitter-118016663:disqus  amazon. :)

  • FantomBlu

    Damn you Gary! I’ve now spent 6 straight hrs playing this. I hate to nyquil myself to get me away from 

  • BossFi

    So simple but amazing experience. Just need a new standalone nextgen game now to be developed along the same lines. Will be a success!

  • Ronny Sunrock

    Come on! Zombies are so last year ><

    • Xenthis

      Wow- you obviously haven’t played this game. It’s amazing.

  • Sicarius09

    Undead Labs have been developing an open world Zombie Game since 2009. They will be releasing titles: Class 3 and Class 4.

  • Dennis Schmidt

    Hah…. “realistic approach to zombie survival”

  • James Watts

    This mod is what I wanted Dead Island to be.

  • Jason Lowe

    Yea I’ve been playing for 3+ days now and its fantastic, I really hope Rocket gets some funding or more backing from Bohemia Interactive Studio. 

    This concept / idea would be freaking awesome as a sandbox MMO (and I’m not talking your typical MMO with quests, levels, and things like that).  And some people may be like well isn’t it kind of a MMO now, yes, but very small scale, and it is still a MOD that is in alpha (of another game entirely build for a different vision / purpose). 

    Imagine how incredible this concept / idea could pan out to be as a MMO, as its own game built from the ground up (for this purpose, FOR DAY Z) rather than only being a Mod slapped on top of a different game.

    They would have to make it exactly how it is now, just bigger and more in depth, bigger servers as a MMO that can hold a lot more players & zombies at once.  Rocket needs to get on this, I would have no issue throwing money at something like this!

    • FantomBlu

      I too have been playing this for 2+days now, and I’m totally hooked. All my raiding and other gaming obligations have been ground to a screeching halt! I do love the idea that a big company doing a game like this would be incredible. On the other hand, I fear that if they did, it would be a super stripped down version of what we’re playing now. What we’re playing now feels raw, real and untamed and i LOVE it. I hope that with the popularity this is getting, that future updates don’t dumb it down either.

  • H S

    Just FYI guys, if you know your constellations and have the time and date, you can navigate by the stars at night. 

  • Jack

    damn amazon.. have waited 35 hours because their networks are either overrun or complete crap.. why o why steam why u no go on sale!!

  • Orlando Rentals

    Been playing since since April 11, so I guess I’m a “vet” player at this point.
    I haven’t played a zombie shooter since Resident Evil 2 on PS2, over a decade ago.
    I had given up Arma2:CA for almost 6 months already, when my buddies found this game and dragged us all back in to the Arma universe.

    DayZ is a crazy addictive game for those who don’t like linear storyline games, who don’t like people, and who like to steal other people’s loot and worry about revenge for weeks on end.  

    THe gameplay allows for crazy suicidal berserker sessions that last 20 minutes, or you can get serious about lurking in the shadows and try to live for a week at a time, knowing you can get popped randomly at any moment.

    I tend to do one long life character, and when I get killed, respawn and do several berserker short lifetime sessions for the change of pace.  Both are heckuva lot of fun.

  • bwian_maximus

    is the purchase for $14.99 still viable for those of us in the UK, is there any reasons why the same game on amazon uk costs more?

  • Thomas Monahan

    I would love to see Gary and the Game Breaker Crew play/record their adventures in DayZ. I hope they don’t accidentally shoot each other,..don’t think W A (Space) will work in DayZ =)

    • DoctorOverlord

      I agree!  I think this would make a hilarious video, like the GBTV crew thrown into the Walking Dead set :)  

  • Zombie Apocalypse

    Arma is one of the best fps out there and seeing a zombie mod is absolutely amazing!

  • Felipe Ignacio