REVIEW: DayZ’s “Livonia” DLC Only Adds Beauty (Xbox One)

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DayZ Livonia

Bohemia Interactive’s DayZ is an unforgiving, open-world survival sandbox video game. You are stranded in the post-soviet country of Chernarus which was struck by an unknown virus. The majority of the population has been infected and display characteristics of zombies. You are one of the few survivors who are immune to the infection. You must survive at all costs, scavenging for tools, weapons, food, and shelter. However, that is the least of your problems. There are others like you, with a similar mission for survival. 

Now, I am no stranger to survival games, even though this was my first time playing DayZ. While I love and enjoy the game-type, I enjoy them, even more, when they give me direction in where to go and what’s the next goal I need to tackle next. Booting up the game, I am given the choice to create my character, view an introduction video, and view brief tutorials on how things work. Despite the introduction video and brief tutorials, they offer very little help on how to play the game.

The introduction video shows the basics you need to survive: gathering food, looking for weapons, letting me know that melee weapons were best because although I may find a firearm, bullets are scarce. The tutorial also showed me what the health system looks like, how to melee, how to fire a gun, a basic overview of the infected and how they move, how the inventory worked, and to search high and low for loot.

Now DayZ has been out for a while, and Bohemia just released their first DLC map, Livonia. Based on the Arma 3 Contact Expansion map, Livonia is set five years after the outbreak that nearly destroyed Chernarus. It is decked out with large green areas, heavily forested zones, with lakes and rivers. Apparently this is the best place to build a base, scavenge for food, and scout for unwanted presences. But the problem of them all is the edition of bears.

DayZ Livonia

Jumping in a high population server of 60 players, I figured things would go zero to a hundred real quick but I was only met with silence. In many instances and times, I played this game, I only came across one other player. Now I am pretty sure that each time I respawned I did not explore the entire map but where were all these people hiding? When reading about DayZ what made the concept interesting was this game being player versus player versus everything. It should make for an exciting time, right? Unfortunately, it was not!

Dropped in a sea of green fields, I could see the forested area and a few structures that looked like houses. It makes sense to scavenge for supplies where there were once people. Upon reaching my destination there were a few infested roaming the property. The silence and their moans set the tone and atmosphere of the game. You can take this infected head-on or sneak by until you are adequately equipped. The homes were bare but I was able to find a melee weapon. After taking care of the roaming infected I looked around to see what trouble I could get into.

Unfortunately, DayZ Livonia does not give you a map to see what you have explored or a compass to inform you of the direction you’re facing or heading in. Many times I saw myself turned around and visiting places I already saw in Livonia’s sea of green.

In a server of 60 people and making sure I went into a high traffic server, I only ran across one person. Adding to the disappointment, I encountered not a single bear. The only animals I encountered were a goat on a farm and a few deer grazing in the forest. Many of those times I followed those deer in hopes to encounter the grizzly predator to no avail. Of course, each Title Update has it’s patch notes and bug fixes, however, DayZ “Livonia” tries to sell you on fighting bears alongside all the other dangers of this crafted world. While exploring I didn’t even see a habitat for the bears or any sign that they were lurking about.

Playing Livonia, I didn’t run into any bugs and gameplay was smooth. Unfortunately with no in-depth tutorial, like opening a can of spaghetti or building a campfire to keep warm, I failed horribly at surviving. Livonia only offered a beautiful and silent grave for my character multiple times. Trying different servers and not encountering any players, I believe DayZ is a sandbox game best played with friends. Hopefully Bohemia Interactive will also increase the bear population in their latest DLC.

DayZ Livonia is available on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

DayZ: Livonia DLC
  • 4/10
    Rating - 4/10
4/10

TL;DR

Playing Livonia, I didn’t run into any bugs and gameplay was smooth. Unfortunately with no in-depth tutorial, like opening a can of spaghetti or building a campfire to keep warm, I failed horribly at surviving. Livonia only offered a beautiful and silent grave for my character multiple times. Trying different servers and not encountering any players, I believe DayZ is a sandbox game best played with friends. Hopefully Bohemia Interactive will also increase the bear population in their latest DLC.