Zoom Zoom Zoombies: DayZ In Arma 3

Even zombies can't help but stop to admire higher-res textures.

Dean “Rocket” Hall has no plans to port DayZ into Arma 3‘s shiny new MAXIMUM GRAPHICSABILITYROCKABILLY engine, but fans? Well, they’re free to do as they please. And so, the Zoombies mod was born. It is, for all intents and purposes, the DayZ Arma 2 mod transferred directly into Arma 3. Same models, weapons, and systems, but with lots of sleek, seductive makeup for the zombies and glorious goodies like a streamlined inventory. Sounds like quite the thing, huh? It’s not quite DayZ Standalone, but bravo nonetheless.

The mod’s actually been around for a little while, but it still shares many of vanilla DayZ’s sticking points. PCG points out that guns feel weightier and a few additions to your movement arsenal make moment-to-moment zombo-creeping feel much better, but many creaky animations are still exactly the same – as are some glitches. Also, for better or worse, zombies apparently have trouble with Arma 3’s new physics engine, so they sometimes randomly face-plant into a pile of unquenched brain lust. The poor things.

Installation requires Arma 2, Operation Arrowhead, and Arma 3, so it takes some doing. Also, Bohemia’s updates have been known to break the mod, so if you’re in the neighborhood for reliable entertainment, you might want to look elsewhere. Further, it’s worth noting that a very small team is working on Zoombies, so progress has been understandably sporadic.

Warts or not, however, Zoombies still sounds pretty intriguing. Has anyone in the knowledge-devouring, opinion moaning RPS shamble horde given it a try? Is it worth all the fuss?


  1. DarkLiberator says:

    It is pretty glitchy and has some weird black flashing bugs for me, but IMO it was worth it the second I killed a zombie and its body ragdolled across the street instead of merely falling over. The lighting is pretty good too. The textures really shine with this engine.

  2. Xantonze says:

    It’s pretty neat, graphically far better than the original mod, and the Arma 3 inventory is reallys helpful.
    The only problem = other players. Gone are the days when you could talk to people before getting shot at, and check if they were friendly and whatnot. Now, everybody just shoots on sight, and it has become a very tiresome deathmach mod.

    • ViktorBerg says:

      So long as there is more reward to killing people rather than too cooperating with them, deathmatching will be prevalent. I hope they fix that somewhat in DayZ standalone, or the game won’t even be worth buying to begin with, unless you want a mix of arma 2 and FFA deathmatch with “smarter” zombies.

      But anyway, how does the mod handle darkness and the new lighting effects? Do zombies see better when players are in a circle of light at night?

    • Flamepreacher says:

      I’m hoping that someone will create a co-op style Day Z mod personally using the fantastic ARMA 3 engine.

      I like Day Z but as mentioned above it’s degenerated from an exciting adventure, where you had no idea what would happen each session and produced endless anecdotes, into a very dull TDM.

      • jonahcutter says:

        Chernarus Apocalypse is a zombie coop for Arma 2. Can’t imagine it (or something similar) wouldn’t eventually make it’s way to 3.

    • L3TUC3 says:

      While zombies appear to be a common enemy at first glance, they’re actually just a minor inconvenience on the route to your next lootspawn, be it a player or location. Once kitted out, you’re pretty much out of stuff to do and all that’s left is gibbing bambi’s as they’re slightly harder to kill than a zombie

      My final foray in DayZ was a grand survival story of me and my best friend trying to find medical supplies. My friend managed to drop out of a deerstand and break his leg. We had no healing stuff so all that was left was to start a slow and arduous crawl to the nearest hospital. After a good three hours of crawling we close to the city and creep (no other way for him anyway) to the hospital, carefully avoiding the Z’s and taking them out quietly where necessary. We cried in elation when the hospital was overstocked with supplies and after patching my buddy up we ransacked the place to live a quiet life up in the woods.

      Then we both got sniped as we exited the hospital.


      • GAmbrose says:

        You crawled for 3 hours real time? How is that fun?

        • Lobster9 says:

          Contextual Tension!

        • Jexiah8bit says:

          Immersion and role playing – immersion and role playing.

        • L3TUC3 says:

          We did come across a few things that kept the trip interesting. We found a cow for the first time, which we just had to turn into edibles, which required wood and fire. Then we stumbled on someone’s (deserted) camp in the woods. Wasn’t much there. A few cabins that we checked out for items of interest. There’s plenty to do (and avoid) going from A to B.

          I mostly scouted ahead while my buddy inched his way towards the city.

          If I was playing solo I would probably just hit respawn.

    • Synesthesia says:

      So much this. I think there are a few things that can be done. First of all, as the guy above said, as long as it is more rewarding to kill players, it will happen. One of the things that fixed this used to be persistent humanity. It created a real sense of factions, and survivors tended to look out for each other. I vividly remember seeing the game suddenly changing into a deathmatch when everybody respawned as a survivor. Trust was dead, just like that.

      Re-adding that, or a similar mechanic, might go a long way killing the deathmatch mechanics. However, i don’t trust the DayZ crew addressing this, them having not said a single word about it since starting working on the standalone, as far as i know.

      Also, as of now, the only interaction you can have with other players is shooting at them. Or healing them, but only if you are close. A more detailed gestures menu, or directed “shouting” via VON (Maybe a cone of sound that also alerts zombies?) might help with non lethal player interaction. Waving, surrendering, dropping your weapon without fiddling with a menu 30 seconds, that sort of thing.

      Finally, of course, environment. Violent fauna and harder zombies might make it a bit harder to shoot at each other in a city. Also violent fauna might make for an awesome minigame outside the cities, to break the marathon simulator down a little. Just my two cents.

      • Donjo says:

        They same to be taking a strange stance with the whole thing – not wanted to influence player behaviour with overt graphical markers but also (seemingly) influencing behaviour due to more subtle mechanics – reward for killing others. I really *really* hope they manage to get it together but I’m dubious.

      • Baines says:

        Zombies might never work in such a game. They just don’t have the inherent danger level to counter players killing players. Bringing zombies up to that degree of danger will probably just have people complaining that the game is cheating, enemies are overpowered, or just not zombies anymore.

        It is just too easy and too safe to find a spot where you can stake out a building and snipe anyone who enters or exits. It is too easy and too safe to kill other people when you see them, and too dangerous to let them live.

        Maybe a STALKER-style environment would work better. There you could at least have a larger variety of AI enemies with different advantages and disadvantages, as well as the terrain itself. You could have monsters do things that you can’t easily justify zombies doing.

    • SelfEsteemFund says:

      I miss the early days of the mod so much. The whole game for me was about the tensions that arise when meeting other players or pursuing them and their friends, not knowing if they’re friendly and trying to work them out over mic or in chat and the betrayals that always follow. The mind games were the whole game, if I want to play deathmatch I’ll play Quake Live TDM.

  3. SooSiaal says:

    I much more prefer dead nation, pretty much like dayz but using the stratis map for now,and actually using the arma 3 movement/shooty stuff,and will soon start using the arma 3 weapons instead of the arma 2 ones it is using now.

  4. Low Life says:

    Entirely off topic, but the Prime World ad that makes the entire page’s background colour white is really annoying.

  5. El_MUERkO says:

    “It’s not quite DayZ Standalone”

    It may not be but within a week of the standalone game being released it’s map will be ported to ARMA3.

  6. engion3 says:

    Why is he not making DayZ with the new engine?

    • SooSiaal says:

      Because he made the wrong choice of sticking to the old engine

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Perhaps because building a game on an unfinished engine is a bad idea that tends to kill projects. Apparently even when it’s an in-house engine.

  7. Cik says:

    Not very glitchy at all with the most recent patch, and the engine is far superior than Arma2. We dont need Rocket; he certainly made the wrong choice by ignoring Arma3, but hey. . .his loss and Pwnoz0r’s gain.

    • L3TUC3 says:

      Rocket went with the forked A2AO engine because he needed to take the sand out of the sandbox.

      A3’s architecture is still very open and based on script execution on both the local client and on the server. This is great for modders to make impressive content and create unique experiences. But it requires a gentleman’s agreement not to be abused in multiplayer. This works in private servers, but not so much in public ones. Guess what happens if you run a lot of persistent public ones?

      Rocket needs to rein this engine feature in if he wants his game to be successful. Hackers (scripters rather) are the no1 non-gameplay related reason for frustrating times experienced, not to mention they can give themselves a huge advantage that ought not be possible with a persistent character setup. Spawning yourself phat loot removes one of the game’s major objectives (scavenging is no longer needed and you circumvent the random loot spawn mechanic). Survival then becomes trivial and the game pointless.

      By boxing the game in he can control the variables better, tune it to what he thinks dayz need and the ability to deal with those who step outside the boundaries. The A2 engine will probably not receive a lot more updates so all the work he puts in is less likely to interfere with regular BI developments concerning it. While the A3 one is still very much a work in progress for maybe years to come, and any development from Rocket might be a lost cause because of the differing ideologies for the two games.

      I think Rocket made the right choice as he was able to start working right away without being stalled by A3’s development. That’s not to say that improvements in A3 will not some day come to DayZ standalone.

  8. GnarlyBob says:

    Well, not having played DAYZ at all, this remedy is just a suggestion. I am WAITING for the standalone to come out and hope this suggestion is implemented in some form.

    IF a particular player has more intent on killing the NOOBS (new player spawns) than THE ZOMBIES, perhaps a flag could be set where this player/account has this tendency and future logins will will put him on a server with like minded individuals, AND depending on number (of dead noobs) / time (alive) he picks up malfunctioning weapons or faulty ammo.

    Limit his killing of noobs/zombies by hand/knife. Or let a noob defend this player from the ZOMBIE hoard that would descend on him after his weapon explodes that alerts all the zombies within a particular (large) radius. And maybe the zombies spawn rate would increase, or dead zombies pick themselves off the ground and continue the stalk. Malfunctioning ammo?

    This of course is from an outsiders perspective that is STILL WAITING for the standalone.

  9. ViktorBerg says:

    Cooperation should be encouraged by having actions and content that are only accessible by more than one person. You want to build a base? You have to have at least 2-3 people to carry the heavy stuff simultaneously, etc. Want to raid a heavily zombie-infested area for loot? Make zombies actually threatening enough to a point where a single person will have a very hard time dealing with more than 2-3 at a time. Introducing player specialization will make every different player irreplaceable (as much as I don’t like the idea of introducing “classes” into a game like DayZ, this is the only hardcoded way to force cooperation without feeling unnatural).