Check out DayZ, gaming's newest zombie obsession

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.