survival horror

DayZ patch to add machetes, clapping, penalties for server-hopping

Tom Senior at

The experimental beta branch of DayZ is enjoying a new raft of features and fixes, a continuation of Bohemia's battle to wrestle DayZ from wonky-as-balls-but-still-great to just 'great'. The team are patching on two fronts, adding long-planned features and coming up with adaptive fixes to alter the way alpha players are currently exploiting the game. It means that as well as machetes and better sawed-off shotguns, there will soon be time penalties for swapping servers too quickly.

That ought to deter players who hop onto an empty server to raid the loot-heavy airfield, and then hop back to a populated server to use their gear on hapless bambis. That sort of thing makes our resident DayZ fan, Andy, very angry indeed. He may take solace from the fact we'll soon be able to paint our crash helmets different colours, point, and clap, though the full hokey-cokey emote is sadly yet to materialise. Full notes below.


DayZ Diaries: the one where Andy decides never to trust anyone ever again

Andy Kelly at

Every Tuesday, DayZ Diaries recounts Andy's adventures in post-apocalyptic survival sim DayZ, where beans and friends are frequently in short supply.

In last week's diary I spoke with some relish about my first foray into the thrilling world of cold-hearted banditry. But then the update happened and my character was reset. So here I am, back on the beach in a t-shirt, thirsty, unarmed, and helpless. But I don't mind, because some of the best stories in DayZ emerge when you're at the bottom of the food chain.

Arma 3 survival-horror mod 2017 releases new trailer

Patrick Carlson at

A new in-development mod for Arma 3 called 2017 looks like an altogether grim take on the future of humanity. Planned as a full-conversion of Arma 3 and its giant Altis map, 2017 has a new teaser trailer this week that gives us some good insight into the mod's post-apocalyptic atmosphere.


Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition comes to Steam on February 27

Emanuel Maiberg at

I've played through Resident Evil 4 on Gamecube at least three times. Today, Capcom announced that it’s bringing the ultimate, high definition version the game to Steam on February 27 for $20, meaning I’ll definitely play through it again. It’s really that good.


DayZ diaries: the one where Andy turns to the dark side

Andy Kelly at

One of the worst ways to die in DayZ is being shot by an unseen player. There you are, minding your own business, merrily looting a building, when some invisible bastard kills you with a Mosin. I’ve always cursed those players, but last night I became one.


More of the best DayZ videos so far: a DayZ dance-off, gas station roulette and trouserless cultists

Tom Senior at

We can't stop watching videos of the horrifying, hilarious and fascinating adventures of DayZ players enjoying the shonky but somehow-still-really-entertaining alpha. Last week we rounded up a few of our favourites, but they keep on coming, so it's time for a second compendium. Read on for an explosive game of DayZ roulette, a dance-off at gunpoint, a couple of good samaritans and another weird cult.


DayZ diaries: the one where Ben force-feeds Andy a rotten banana

Andy Kelly at

I’m with a group of friends in the southern coastal town of Kamyshovo. We’ve been running down the coast for what feels like hours, and we’re all dying of thirst and/or hunger. Then, up ahead on the main road, we see another player. We all point our guns at the stranger, even though we don’t have any ammo, but he waves and says he’s friendly. Amazingly, it’s Chris. By sheer chance, I’ve bumped into someone I know in the vast expanse of Chernarus. He’s in dire need of food and water too, so we decide to hike west towards the city of Elektrozavodsk to try and find life-saving beans.


The best DayZ videos so far: the gentleman bandit, heroic high fives and more

Tom Senior at

DayZ has surpassed 400,000 sales after less than a month in alpha. That's enough players to generate plenty of horrifying and hilarious survival stories. Luckily for us, a few have been caught on camera. We've picked out a few of our favourites and gathered them below to offer a glimpse of the weirder side of Bohemia's survival horror sandbox. Read on to see one man's grand quest for a DayZ high five, and an encounter with a nightmarish musical killer.


Diary: one hour in DayZ's Christmas ceasefire

Tom Senior at

Last week DayZ players on Reddit proposed a Christmas ceasefire to promote harmony and good will in this cheerful season of giving and eating until you explode. How's that going, then? I dipped into DayZ for an hour to see if the festive spirit has softened the relentlessly brutal survivalist nightmare of DayZ. Will I have a super happy rainbow fun time with a mob of new friends, or get horribly axe murdered by a stranger? I think we all probably already know the answer to that one.


Day Z Early Access has 200,000 survivors already

Tom Senior at

DayZ hasn't been on Steam Early Access for long, but it's spreading faster than a deadly necrotic infection. According to the big counter on the DayZ site, the multiplayer zombie survival horror game now has 201,514 survivors. It sprang straight to the top of the Steam sales chart minutes after release and, according to a tweet from developer Peter Nespesny, surpassed 150,000 survivors in 24 hours. Oh, and has 34,000 concurrent players on Steam. Blimey.


UPDATED: DayZ Standalone version delayed due to bugs and poor optimization

Perry Vandell at

Arma III’s release had its fair share of hitches, but it appears as though the bugs and optimizations issues plaguing DayZ Standalone's development are of a different breed—enough to push back the game's launch window.

The Forest trailer shows continued survival, panicked combat and questionable effigies

Phil Savage at

Here's a second trailer for The Forest, an upcoming open-world survival game being developed by Endnight Games (née SKS Games). In the first, we saw the direct aftermath of the plane crash that left the player's character stranded on an inhospitable island. Now we move forward a few weeks. A basic shelter has been built, supplies are coming together, limbs are erected into a challenging art installation, and monsters subsequently attack. Typical philistines.


Sidescrolling sci-fi survival horror Dark Matter hits Steam and GOG.com

Tom Sykes at

InterWave Studios' Dark Matter has been fairly quiet for the past year or so, but out of the blue the 2D sci-fi survival horror/Metroidvania has turned up on Steam and GOG.com. It's a game about crafting, about light and darkness, and of course about shooting creepy-crawly aliens in dimly lit hallways. Trailer after the break.


Halloween has a survival horror fangame, and it's bloody, brilliant

Tom Sykes at

As a big fan of eighties slashers and survival horrors, I have a weird feeling that indie horror game Halloween was made specifically for me, perhaps after some sort of psychic interference by developers Pig Farmer Games. As the name suggests, it's pretty much Halloween The Game, and if any of John Carpenter's lawyers are watching: look at that shiny distraction over there. As for the rest of us: you're going to want to play this, particularly if (like me) you're a video nasty or a Resident Evil fan.


The Dead Linger, and now they're decomposing all over Steam Early Access

Tom Sykes at

The Dead Linger promises an entire procedurally generated planet full of zombies, the ability to "interact and explore every item, weapon, object, and building that you can see", and the chance to actually suffer infection after you've been bitten, something that's bugged me in zombie games from day one. Sandswept Studios' open world game has been available to pre-order (giving you access to the alpha) for a while now, and now it's shuffled its way to Steam Early Access.

The Evil Within gameplay trailer shows that hiding trumps chainsaws (good to know)

Tom Sykes at

I can't think of a situation in life that can't be solved by hiding. Tough exam coming up? Simply hide under some coats and hope that somehow everything will work out. Stole a joke from The Simpsons? Simply hide under the bed until Matt Groening stops hammering on your door. Stocky Leatherface-type dude chasing you down with a chainsaw, in a 12-minute trailer for the 2014-bound horror game The Evil Within? Simply hide in a locker until he goes away. Then you can flee outside to find that...some sort of apocalyptic event has occurred. Where the Hell are you going to hide to solve that?


State of Decay: a life-or-permadeath fight for survival in a world of zombies

Chris Schilling at

State of Decay is a game with zombies. It’s not a game about zombies. That’s an important distinction to make, because, as Undead Labs’ Jeff Strain – an industry veteran who co-founded ArenaNet and was lead programmer on a little-known MMO called World of Warcraft – points out, the very best zombie fiction is focused on the choices and compromises we make in such dire circumstances.

“We’ve been watching zombie movies and post-apocalyptic movies for ages,” he says. “From Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead and its remake to Zombieland, it struck me that what made them all compelling was that [they were] about the decisions people had to take, the relationships they forged, and the sacrifices they had to make to survive.”

You’ll experience all of that as you explore State of Decay’s large open world. While it’s a game with a distinct beginning and endgame, its focus is on unscripted events, its systems naturally producing emergent narratives. You’ll befriend AI survivors who fight alongside you as allies, while essentially doubling as extra lives. There’s safety in numbers, of course, but would you be better spreading your resources less thinly over a smaller, close-knit group?


The Evil Within trailer shows bad omens, ignores them

Phil Savage at

An asylum surrounded by abandoned police cars, a main character rushing to the scene, the unmistakable sense that Bad Things are afoot. But what happens next? Is it: a) cheery resolution, joviality and picnics, or b) mounting dread, gore, and bursting limb monsters? I've got my suspicions. Let's find out if they're correct as we go through The Evil Within's Tokyo Game Show trailer.


Outlast review

Christopher Livingston at

Outlast, the first-person survival horror game by Red Barrels, is dark. Not just in terms of its content, which features a gore-splattered insane asylum packed with murderous lunatics and their victims, but in terms of its lighting – or lack thereof.

Many of the corridors, rooms, basements, sewers and even outdoor areas you’ll navigate are pitch black. The only way to see is by using the night vision setting of the video camera you’ve brought with you, which runs on a series of slowly draining batteries.


Dead Island: Riptide review

Cara Ellison at

Dead Island: Riptide, the maybes-equel or sort-of-expansionpack to co-op zombie RPG Dead Island, shipwrecks you once again – on a new Dead Island island that looks and plays exactly the same as the last Dead Island island. Its open world tropical sandbox initially seems promising: it’s stunningly beautiful, filled with silly weapons with which to slash wandering zombies on your way through its flimsy plot, and it has a new stereotype: an Australian man.

Unfortunately, playing it is a lot like leaving one screeching hen party in Barbados only to end up at a squalling hen party in Hawaii, but with boats, a knock-off 50 Cent (20 Cent?!) and then it rains on you. (They’ve added weather, at least.)