Just when you though Chernarus was getting stale, getting a little boring (as you might do, if you’ve put over 300 hours into it so far), along comes Lingor Island, a different map for the DayZ mod that I’ve sung praises about before.
One of the things I never liked about DayZ when playing the Chernarus map was that more than half of the buildings weren’t enterable. Only a select few kinds of buildings were enterable and contained loot, and once you identified those buildings (barns, factories, shopping centers and so on), that was half the battle. No more sneaking around small towns in order to find a can of beans, no more scoping out a town before approaching. Knowing the map and being familiar with the buildings and the loot contained within is a huge advantage, especially in DayZ — and Chernarus didn’t have enough of that.
Enter Lingor Island. Pretty much every building is enterable and spawns loot, and there’s many more building types. It’s exactly the same game, built on exactly the same ARMA 2 engine. It’s a mod of a mod, if you will — simply a different environment in which to fight zombies, gear up, and survive encounters with other players. And I’ve had the most enjoyable DayZ experiences thus far in it — not in Chernarus, the original and only “sanctioned” map — but in Lingor Island, the unofficial Russian map.
Lingor Island is laid out in roughly the same way as Chernarus, only a little smaller. There are three main cities — Maruko in the north east, San Arulco in the middle, and Calamar in the south — and many, many smaller towns dotted all around the map. Instead of the dense forests and wide open plains of Chernarus, Lingor Island features dense, thick jungle areas that separate the various military bases, the multiple airports (three or four, at least), and even the various islands.
Of course, being an island, Lingor also has much more water than Chernarus. Hope you packed your swimming trunks, because depending on where you want to go and sometimes even where you spawn, you might have to swim a little to get to land. It’s not uncommon to swim across a rive to get to the other side, because the only road across isn’t for a few kilometers in either direction.
But the best part about Lingor Island isn’t the multitude of enterable buildings, more vehicles, or even the lush jungle environment. Unlike Chernarus, Lingor Island isn’t about the survival aspects of DayZ. No, no — in my mind, Lingor is all about the player vs player mechanics. Ask anyone that’s played DayZ for any period of time about what their most intense, most adrenaline-fuelled experiences in Chernarus will be, and most of the time, their answer will be the times they came across other players. Forget asking if people are friendly, because in Lingor, the goal isn’t to survive, the goal is to gear up and hunt down other players with extreme prejudice.
Lingor Island is DayZ, deathmatch-style. You see people, and you make it your mission to hunt them down. It’s crazy good fun, super intense, and means you’ll die, a lot.
Because the towns in Lingor are all pretty closely spaced, right from the get go you’re thrown into the most brutal PvP arena. Going solo probably isn’t recommended, but you might be able to get the jump on people easier. If you’re in a group, you can hunt people down via comms — the only downside being you might have to share the loot afterwards.
Sometimes you’ll spend a few hours gearing up, maybe kill a few people, and be feeling pretty good about yourself, when suddenly, without warning, you’re dead. No shot that you heard, no idea where the shot came from, and now faced with the dreaded words: YOU ARE DEAD.
Forget setting up a camp and hoarding gear — the map isn’t big enough to hide things that well, and vehicles make it even smaller. Besides, there are enough military-grade loot spawns for that to not be necessary anyway — if you can’t find a good primary weapon and sidearm and enough food/water to last you for a few days within an hour or so, you don’t know the map well enough.
So if you’re getting bored of Chernarus, there’s good news on two fronts. For one, you can play Lingor Island as a sort of holiday; I haven’t played vanilla DayZ in weeks because Lingor Island is simply too much fun in terms of player-vs-player combat. And two, Rocket has said the current Chernarus map won’t be the one included as part of the standalone game released later this year — it will be kind of the same, but modified with a few other features and more buildings. Chernarus 2.0, if you will.
But until then, there’s Lingor Island, players to kill, and that sort of thing. Now, if you’ll excuse me…