My digital avatar looked down at the crumbling town from the heavily-forested ridgeline. I didn’t spy any movement in the settlement but was still leery of entering it since I’d just joined the server and was unarmed. Towns always tend to draw other players since they contained more loot than usual.
Thunder sounded in the distance and rain began to fall, putting an end to my hesitation; I needed shelter. I ran down the slope as a storm began to engulf the area. The sudden change in weather also impeded my vision greatly since the rain fell in dark sheets. I could hear the gravelly moans of zombies but didn’t see any; maybe they were as blind as me.
I ran into the first building I could, which was an old house. Luckily, I found some supplies on its second floor that enabled me to cobble together a fire for much-needed warmth. I planned on clearing the rest of the building for any food and water I could find.
But then I looked through the misty, second-floor window, and saw them. A couple of heavily armed men approached my building. There wasn’t any time to put out the fire—they’d probably already noticed it anyway. Would I run down the stairs and slip out the back door? Or, would I meet the men downstairs and attempt to befriend them?
That was my first game of playing in DayZ’s DLC map of Livonia and it really drove home the fact that due to its smaller size (163 square kilometers instead of the 230 km2 of the original map), player encounters are more likely.
However, if one still wants some relative privacy, Livonia’s forests certainly offer a higher degree of density. The first base I built was cleverly secreted in such a forest and I never encountered any other players, just a few bears. By the way, if you haven’t heard already, bears are one of the major new editions to both Livonia and the base game’s map of Chenarus.
As described on Livonia’s Steam page:
“This Eastern European terrain covers the southern Topolin-Nadbór region of the larger Polish-speaking country of Livonia. The new topography brings lush green landscapes, dense forests, overgrown fields, winding rivers, serene lakes, murky swamps, an array of dilapidated structures, and various remnants of an abandoned society.”
Livonia’s topography doesn’t seem extremely different from the base game’s map, but it does offer a different layout for those who may have grown tired of Chenarus’ (Livonia is based on the Arma 3 Contact Expansion map). Besides that, there does seem to be more vehicles that spawn in, and they’re relatively easy to fix up.
One thing that Livonia has going for it is its sense of atmosphere. When you enter the map’s dilapidated towns, you’ll frequently hear the creepy moans of zombies, if you don’t see them first. Just as in the base game, there’s a full day/night cycle at play, and the nights are pitch-black.
Whenever I found myself stuck out in the open during nocturnal hours, I had to decide whether I wanted to turn on my flashlight so that I could see any zombie threats around me, or keep it off so that hostile players in the area couldn’t detect me as easily. The dark nights can really put you into some precarious situations.
Just as in other survival games of this sort (such as SCUM, Miscreated), player encounters can be tense since you never know if they are the kill-on-sight types, or friendly. But this is part of the uncertainty that I find fun and allows for some really cool (or not so cool if you die) and emergent gameplay moments.
In all, DayZ Livonia is a pretty nice accompaniment to the base game. It offers a completely different layout, as well as more frequent player interactions.
DayZ Livonia has some pretty good looking graphics that make its survival gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
Visit CyberpowerPC’s website to check out all of the other great deals as well!
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