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“PC PowerPlay 2012 Game of the Year”
award goes to…
Like death in the game’s own openly hostile environment, you probably didn’t see this coming. Unless you did, in which case, well done – you get a can of beans and a chance to die another day. Those still left asking how DayZ, a mod for ARMA II no less, can win a Game of the Year award, may recall PCPP’s 2010 GOTY was controversially awarded to Minecraft – before its own official version 1.0 launch. It’s only fair that we afford DayZ the same opportunity. PCPP is nothing if not inclusive. Stay away from our beans, though.
The most significant thing to happen to PC gaming in 2012
More importantly, DayZ is the most significant thing to happen to PC gaming in 2012. It is the game that absorbed us the most, throwing us into its simple survival tweaks and leaving us with some of the most incredible stories to ever arise from a PC game. DayZ leverages everything great and unique about the platform to allow harrowing experiences to craft themselves, whilst leaving player interaction completely in the hands of the players. Your life is forfeit to the whims of others, as can theirs be to yours.
In these respects, DayZ is both a game the way they used to make ‘em, and yet it is unlike anything we’ve played before. In every sense, (really, the best sense) it is a hardcore PC game that does not compromise. It is the product of a single man’s vision; one that was time and time again dismissed as futile – something that would never catch on. But it did, and the infection has spread.
Over 1.3 million players, each with an average life expectancy of just over an hour, have killed more than two billion zombies across DayZ’s complex server architecture. The mod’s success re-launched ARMA II – a two-year-old game – putting it not just at the top of Steam’s best-sellers list for months, but back onto retail shelves. It upheaved Bohemia Interactive, rupturing its projected development cycles as it rightly realigned itself to bottle that lightning. DayZ’s effect on the industry and PC gamers worldwide is akin to that of Counter-Strike over twelve years ago. Hell, the mod made it to #5 in our Top 100 PC games of all time list earlier this year.
Whether or not it’s a full “game” yet doesn’t matter: DayZ is the best thing we’ve played in 2012.