DayZ's upcoming arctic expansion will let you freeze, burn, starve, and get eaten by zombies all at once

Marquee zombie survival shooter DayZ has a new expansion coming this fall, its first in nearly five years. DayZ Frostline will introduce the frigid new Sakhal archipelago, a sprawling 83km² map—that's about 32 square miles of frigid islands and volcanic peaks. A debut trailer and screenshots show off industrial facilities, mines, pipelines, and oil derricks in tundra environments. Those same shots, however, are interspersed with steaming sulfurous pools, volcano cones, and rugged rocky shorelines.

The snowy, chilly terrain will certainly be a change from DayZ's default setting, with much harsher climate to contend with and prepare for being a central theme in how Frostline is being described. There are new creatures to hunt, of course—reindeer, arctic hares, and wolves feature in the screenshots—and zombies, I imagine, don't care nearly as much about the cold. 

Or maybe they do, actually. I don't know: The store page and announcement don't even say the word zombie once. I guess Bohemia knows that the real threat in DayZ has always been other players, not zombies.

"The centerpiece of the expansion is the Sakhal terrain, inviting you to explore its rugged and desolate reaches. Unlike previous locations, you'll play as a survivor seeking refuge in the rumored safe haven of Sakhal, only to face an unforgiving environment frozen both in time and climate. Despite its brutality, Sakhal promises beauty at every perilous turn, with frozen lakes, snow-draped forests, and frosty peaks," says developer Bohemia Interactive.

Frostline will be the first paid expansion for DayZ since the 2019 release of DayZ's Livonia map to middling reception and reviews. Livonia will be made free as it's merged into the base game in the upcoming 1.25 patch. That move has sparked a spree of negative reviews from players frustrated that they paid for a map they say is underpopulated and underplayed, calling the move a cynical decision by Bohemia to promote Frostline as the only DLC for DayZ.

Still, from where I'm standing it's hard to call releasing a second paid expansion in over 10 years on Steam unreasonable. That's about the rate other studios release full $60 games.

You can read the whole Frostline announcement on Steam, where you can also see DayZ Frostline. DayZ Frostline is set to release in the last few months of 2024. 

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.