DayZ might interject a dose of high danger, but beyond that it’s the ultimate cozy game.
That’s right. I said it. I’m not going to act like I didn’t write that headline in that specific way, hoping to entice you to click into this Frankenstein’s monster of a video game take, but I also really believe it.
I know that technically cozy games are supposed to be devoid of danger or a sense of loss, and DayZ can be that way most of the time. It’s like that old show you go back to every time your brain needs a break. You just want to enjoy something comfortable and fun, but every once in a while you open the door to the supply closet, and another survivor is waiting to blast you away with a KA-M.
The majority of my time spent playing the game is excellent. The experience can range from taking a relaxing stroll through the frigid wilderness of Chernarus, crouch walking past zombies in an abandoned military base, or chopping down trees to build a massive base that will eventually be ripped apart by other players while you sleep. The result will ALWAYS be death or disappointment, but the path you take to get there is one of the most relaxing experiences in gaming today. The main gist of what DayZ has to offer is “gather supplies, build a base, and survive.” It really is set up to be the ultimate cozy game.
Would you like to go hunting for elk, build a campfire, and enjoy conversations with your friends around a warm fire while you grill some food? Do you want to take a nice walk along the cold beaches and enjoy the breeze while doing meditative exercises? How about going for a pleasant drive through the Chernarus landscape, enjoying everything the country has to offer, from rolling hills to mountainscapes? DayZ provides all of those things, and also, a bear just might randomly spawn behind you and kill you before you have a chance to react.
Is there a little bit of danger and a sense of loss in DayZ? Absolutely, but I really think THAT is the key to making this the ultimate cozy game. I’m relaxing and enjoying myself most of the time, listening to the wind blow the trees while I farm building supplies. Still, when you see another survivor, those rare and exhilarating moments of danger are some of my favorite ever in a game. The combat in DayZ can be few and far between, but it’s the most exciting and adrenaline-inducing experience I’ve ever had. No video games combat has made me shake afterward the way DayZ’s does, but those small moments make the tranquil ones THAT much more enjoyable.
The juxtaposition of calm and danger within the scope of this game makes each of those moments much more intense and immersive. That’s why DayZ is the ultimate cozy game.
There’s nothing I like more than curling up on my couch with a blanket and my controller and spending my time turning huge logs into wood planks while I listen to the soft Chernarus air blow through my hair.
Until I’m eventually running for my life to the nearest building because a pack of wolves found me and started howling, that is. That is actual terror.
Next on “Josh’s Weird Takes,” a 10-page, long-form essay on why Frasier is the greatest TV show of all time. I’m just kidding… or am I?