“Two of my Scariest Gaming Experiences Lately” or “Mannequins and Zombies = Paranoia”
1. Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line is a bloody, bloody game. It has an interesting storyline, and some moral complexity to it that blatantly masquerades as gratuitous violence. But it works. There is this one section of the game where you are fighting your way through this massive multistory mall in a devastated and crumbling Dubai. You are separated from your team, fighting through a department store. In truly on-rails style, the game forces you to go through a room with a light that flickers on for a second before plunging the room into pitch blackness, and then repeats this pattern. You are up against a heavy, a massively armored unit, the Spec Ops’ version of the Juggernaut from Modern Warfare.
The only thing that lights up the room when it is dark is your muzzle flash, and the heavy takes a lot of rounds to go down. The freaky part is that you keep shooting at the advancing heavy, but every time the lights flicker on, you realize you have been shooting at a store mannequin, which promptly shatters. The heavy, however, is still coming at you, but from a different side now and always a bit closer. It is a claustrophobic, mania-inducing moment, and it plays into the consistently deteriorating mental condition of the main protagonist Walker, played to perfection by voice artist superhero, Nolan North.
The easiest thing to do when you are in imminent danger of dying in DayZ is to hit Alt+F4. your character immediately disappears from the world and you can log into another server to save him. This is because the hive server saves your position in the world, so no matter which game server you log into, you are in the same location. Got 30 zombies on you? Hit that treeline and Alt+F4. Then log into a different server, and viola, no zombies. Under fire from some unknown sniper? Alt+F4 and move to a different server. It is the pussy’s way of playing the game. The game is in alpha, so it is not technically “illegal”. A worse form of this technique is to reposition yourself closer to the enemy on a different server and then log into the prior server to kill them. This is called “ghosting” and it is a mechanic that completely breaks the game.
That being said, I faced off against an Alt+F4 ghoster. I was in Cherno, going through an apartment building. He entered the same building. I am not one for shooting at people on sight, but I am not stupid. So I immediately dove for cover, which was smart because before I could ask him if he was friendly, he had fired several MP5 rounds at me. I use third person to spot his exact location out in the hallway when he suddenly disconnected. Cursing, I went around the rest of the apartment looking for goods. I move onto the apartment building next door. As I am clearing the first room, I hear movement, I look around. A player has just logged into the doorway, aiming his MP5 at the building where I first saw this asshole. So he essentially ghosted from another server to train his weapon at the entrance to the building in the hopes to nail me.
Unfortunately my shuffling also gave me away. He turns. I fire, he sprays and prays. He dies in one hit, thank you Lee Enfield! I am at 4,600 health and bleeding with a broken bone. I am lying about 10 feet from the entrance to the building. The Lee Enfield is loud. I have very little time before zombies attack the house, or worse, another bandit decides to investigate. I have very little time and some quick decisions to make. I decided to use morphine first, shooting while prone is very hard, I should be able to at least move around. The first two zombies enter the building and growl at the sight of me in the very first room. The morphine is administered, and my bone is no longer broken, but it was a bad idea. My blood has fallen below 3,000, the zombies are just a few feet away and I am at risk of losing consciousness.
Suddenly, an hourglass appears, and I fall unconscious, still bleeding, zombies advancing.
It has to be the most nerve-wrecking moment of my gaming experience. I am unconscious for only 4-5 seconds (thank god), but it passes by so slowly. I get up with 1,500 health and immediately shoot the zombie that is closest. A new bullet enters the chamber. I shoot the one behind it, no doubt attracting additional zombies, but at least I am not in any danger of being mauled to death while on low health. I frantically open by backpack and apply a bandage to stem the bleeding. With my world spinning, I manage to stop the bleeding with 114 health to spare. I am damn near dead, but not quite yet. I make my way upstairs as quietly as I can, and go prone in the room at the end of the hallway to avoid any zombies detecting me.
How on earth, I ask myself, will I ever get out of this one? This ladies and gentlemen, this feeling of elation and adrenaline, is what DayZ is all about!