Zombies are in these days, and there's no shortage of games featuring lurching hordes of walkers. Right now, none might be as popular as Day Z. Amazingly, the game isn't a standalone release; it's a mod for military shooter ArmA II. Day Z hasn't hit even beta yet, either. The alpha test was released in April, and according to creator Dean Hall, there are more than 420,000 players already.
Bit-Tech has a bunch of interesting stats on the game, which is reportedly adding 10,000 players a day. During a 24-hour period, Day Z's 1,000 servers will host 110,000 players—22,000 of them concurrently during peak hours. That's pretty impressive considering Hall says the mod was initially designed for 100 simultaneous players on two servers.
What makes Day Z intriguing is that it's not just another zombie shooter. The trailer makes that abundantly clear:
Day Z seems more geared toward survival than mowing down herds of the undead. You start with few supplies and need to worry about things like eating and drinking while navigating the massive open world. There's a sophisticated medical system that gives non-fatal wounds real consequences, and ammunition seems to be in short supply.
You'll have to worry about more than just zombies, too. There are no goals, no objectives, and no missions. Survivors are free to roam the landscape and do as they see fit, which means some will be gunning for you. The Day Z site reveals that there have been 1.7 player murders for every 100 zombie kills.
Day Z looks unique among the deluge of me-too zombie properties. It's available exclusively for the PC, but you'll need a copy of ArmA II: Combined Operations first. The game costs just $30 through Amazon or Steam.