Usually, nothing is worse than playing a game that comes out into the world with random bugs, rough-hewn ideas and a lack of polish. But those same things have arguably made DayZ a chart-topping success story—more than a million copies sold in a month— ever since its standalone alpha version hit Steam a month ago.
Part of the fascination with DayZ over the last two years has been in watching the game learn how to walk. Dean Hall's creation started as a mod to ultra-realistic military shooter Arma II and eventually became its own self-contained release. Like the Walking Dead comic books and games before it—which themselves follow in a long lineage—DayZ re-works typical zombie genre conventions by drawing tension from humans' interactions with each other, not the ravenous undead. The most interesting things in the game revolve around how players treat other players.