It's a highly popular mod on armed assault 2 combined ops, to the point that arma2 has peeked a couple of times to top1 most played games on steam ( which was never the case before, because arma 2 is a hardcore warsim ), most gamers buy the game just for the mod.
The game mod is a combination between zombie apocalypse, stalker/fallout and hungergames ( battleroyale ) on a 250km^2 island based on the real thing. There 100+ servers with 50 player slots and there is one master server that saves your location/gear/health and extras such as vehicles so you can join freely on another server to continue your game.
The mod though in alpha is the best thing if you like the whole walking dead type of experience, but it's brutal and unforgiving. Not to mention that to even run this you will need a medium to high end pc. The game is enjoyed in single player experience but also when you band together with a group of friends.
The first time you play your character will start on a island on the coast ( south or eastern in this czech/ post-soviet based setting )
And you will die within 10 minutes. ( That's the actual average life span of a character in DayZ ). So don't worry a lot of knowledge, skill or experience is required to make a character able to survive longer. But the longer you survive the bigger the fear becomes that he might eventually find his demise as permadeath is just one mistake away. 15 days is my record.
- You start with just a handgun and ammo to survive a few zombie attacks, food and drinks for an hour and a small backpack for extra items. You don't have a compass, map, cutting knife, watch, lighter....tools you need to survive.
- Items can be found in any town, police/fire station, army camp, barn ...basicly anything with a roof over it spawns random stuff. Unfortuantly the buildings that can be entered even in a town are scarse ( fallout level ). So you really must get a eye for which building type has biggest chance of being open.
- Your constantly forced to keep moving and scavenge but the risks will be bigger and bigger, but unlike fallout vegas hardcore mode it will never get tedious. In fact the longer you survive the more you have to lose. Greater awards can be founds in malls in large towns, airfields, military bases, but risks are greater 2.
- You can logout after your character is saved but if you logon later the character will be hungy and thirsty while not playing. He wont die or die just after login back in but logging out without having spare food and drink will make the game harder on the login. It might sound nasty but it all works towards the necessity to survive feeling.
- Zombies can be shot but noise attracts more, the bigger and better your gun the more sound it will make.
You will need to learn to sneak past zombies, of course with risk of getting spotted while in to deep behind enemy lines.
Crouching is best to sneak but there are zombies that prefer to lie down ( most likely of missing limbs ) and the grass grows pretty high in arma 2. Zombie numbers depend on location a barn filled with food and maybe chance of finding old winchester will have around 7 zombies at most, making a mishap in a town will most likely be your last mistake as 200 zombies will rush you from all sides ( a good moment to shoot your fellow survivor in the leg and make a run for it walking dead style ). In a open field 3 zombies can easily kill you...so guess what 200 zombies can do.
- You are not alone on the server there are survivors. You can communicate with them using in game speech ( with arma 2's lipsync function, so the character is actually speaking your words ) or type text in chat. A survivor is just another player, he can be friendly, scared for his life, out to kill you for your can of beans, your beautifull rifle or just for fun. Players that kill other players to often become known as bandits. Bandits also have a different character skin and killing them doesn't turn you into one. Making friends in early characters life is the best idea and avoid em completely later unless you can share a ts channel with em. Always avoid groups even the friendliest players turn into merciless monsters in groups towards outsiders.
- You can find tents and vehicles that will be saved with you. Tents are placed where you can store items and join another server without losing that extra portion of items, it's basicly your diablo chest :). Vehicles makes traveling and meeting up with people easier, your even capable to find choppers. But these vehicles are very rare, hard to repair and maybe even harder to maintain and make a hell of a noice.
- Damage is really dynamic. A grenade can knock you out and leave damage to your hearing, falling of a ladder and you can injure your tendon or snap your bones. 2 much damage and you can start bleeding or your heart rate can suffer. You got bandages, pain killers etc to keep yourself and your friends alive. If you lose to much blood you vision gets blurry, darker and your view distance narrows in or you might even faint. This will not go away on it's own..time to risk your life and/or your friend in patching you back up with the necessary item scavenging.
- You will need to learn real map learning skills. I once played with a guy who played battlefield 2 project reality and had a car so he could read road maps. ArmA 2 is bit harder than that and roadmap reading is not the same as pinpointing your position between 2 forest lines in the middle of nowhere :D. Your going to need to develop experience with this.
All in all the game really pulls you in. Unfortuatly the game does not come without problems in it's alpha stage, so the goal is limited to surviving in a sandbox zombie game.
ArmA 2 the main engine is not bug free either, your standing in shallow water to refuel you waterbottle and all of sudden your gear gets wet and useless ( even when not submerged ), you fall of a ladder because of an animation bug that can occur if your holding a pistol while climbing, GUI exspecially surrounding picking up slots and dragging stuff from you inv. to your bagback is all pretty difficult and can end up throwing away items if you doing it wrong without you realising.
All in all the best zombie survival experience. Here some vids please know that the level of seriousness of playing this results in the level of survivability :D
A more serious try on survival during night time
A more ....how to get you friends online and start running away frantically and shooting everything on side aproach :D