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The Dead Have Risen Early: DAYZ Early Access Now On Steam

The standalone version of the hiking, baked-beans eating, and occasional zombie simulator DayZ has finally appeared in its embryonic form. Like a groggy phoenix rising from the ashes of a weekend bender, the standalone alpha snuck onto Steam’s back door last night with relatively small fanfare. It’s is the first fully playable version of the game outside of downloading the client directly from DayZ‘s website, and does not require ARMA 2.

It also boasts fully enabled multiplayer servers, making good on its promise to stay the course in its brutally difficult MMO framework. It’s still not going to protect you from other players though, and it’ll be seen how well this version of DayZ stands against the onslaught of hackers (which are obnoxiously common in the old versions). And you’re still getting the full game when you get early access, with the promise of continual updates up to and surpassing the final release.

Here’s a wonderfully depressing look at the alpha:

 

 

And you thought it was going to be different. Oh you. What the trailer doesn’t appropriately capture is the abject sense of overwhelming panic when you’re down the last few drops of health, you’ve eaten your last can of beans, and you got separated from your group because they needed to study for their trig finals. The last moment of the trailer appropriately captures how I feel at that moment, and I’m sure in the future I’ll be finding the best places in DayZ to blow my brains out, swandiving into a screenshot-ready repose.

This is also the first time I’ve ever seen a developer almost actively warn people away from a game with this sternly stated message:

WARNING: THIS GAME IS EARLY ACCESS ALPHA. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME AND ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE WITH SERIOUS ISSUES AND POSSIBLE INTERRUPTIONS OF GAME FUNCTIONING.

ALL CAPS. SERIOUS BUSINESS. At least they’re putting their cards on the table so I can stab them in the hand, shoot their face, and loot their corpse for a few more precious hours of life, only to have it all end pathetically when I fall of a roof and hit a dogshed. That actually happened to me in DayZ once by the way, cruel betrayal followed by karmic retribution. That and a hundred other terrifying moments of wonderfully tense, engaging, and unscripted euphoria. It’s an amazingly dramatic experience, created all by your choices.

DayZ is out now on Steam for $29.99 for early alpha access.

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Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte is the Video Games Editor of ScreenInvasion.com: a class warrior poet who writes about all things video games. He's sure everything is not under control and is not going to be okay. For a good time, follow his angry rants and smart thoughts on Twitter: @carlwilhoyte.