We last checked in with DayZ Origins - that's the unofficial spin-off to DayZ, remember - back in March, and it seems the mod's mod has come on a long way since then. There's a ton of new content in Update 1.7.7, but the gist is that it adds a new island (inspired by Will Smith-and-his-dog vehicle I Am Legend, no less), along with a new race of mutants, the power to create player-made towns, and the possibility of people you've killed coming back as vengeful spirits. Wait, what?
DayZ Origins is an unofficial spin-off of Arma 2's now famous zombie survival gametype - a mod of a mod, if you will. It took some flack over using the DayZ name, but its creativity's been praised by DayZ's creator Dean "Rocket" Hall. And given the substantial ambition evident in its latest update, it's not hard to see why.
Origins 1.0 introduced a survivor city where the moneyed elite had holed up, protected by high walls and mercenaries. It created a shared objective for players, who could band together to fight their way in. 1.5 sees the city's occupants fight back, sending sorties of mercenaries to the mainland, making survivors' plight all the more perilous. It also introduces Mad Max-style jury-rigged vehicles - entirely customisable by players. You can jam a plough onto the front of a truck to hoof dead-heads off the road, or even add wheels to a boat to make an amphibious vehicle. There are player-made encampments, too, which can be upgraded over time.
DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has shared his reaction with Eurogamer over the DayZ Origins mod for Arma 2 and its "inspiration" from Rocket's original zombie-survival creation. Though calling the naming similarities between the two mods "a bit problematic," he commended the GamersPlatoon community for "some awesome ideas."
The War Z may have ended up a rushed mess of a game, but people looking for DayZ style zombie survival action (yet inexplicably unwilling to just play DayZ) could now have a new title to try. Despite the name, DayZ Origins has nothing to do with Dean "Rocket" Hall's original, but instead is an Arma 2 mod "inspired" by DayZ. It also claims to give an ultimate end goal to the game of running around an open world, trying not to be eaten by the dead.