It's no secret that Dayz's standalone release has been nothing short of a dumpster fire. Staying in alpha for FOUR YEARS and still being in beta to this day. While they made their money off the game, they certainly didn't make any friends in the community. Lack of regular updates, a poor engine and stale gameplay has irritated many. This is where SCUM comes in.
SCUM is a multiplayer online survival game with both PvP and PvE aspects, developed by a Croatian studio by the name of Gamepires. To summarize the concept of the game, It's TV show, where convicted criminals are tossed onto an island to survive and fight for the entertainment of others.
Much like Dayz, you spend the majority of the game looting buildings and supply drops to find food, water, and weapons to fight off people, Puppets (What the game calls zombies), as well as wildlife. The big difference between the two is how big of an emphasis there is on survival. You must find food and water to survive. These mechanics go far and beyond those of Dayz. You have to pay attention to stomach, intestine, and colon volume. Everything you eat must be digested before it's properly converted into usable energy. You must try to balance your caloric intake vs your calorie usage. Funny enough you also have to urinate and defecate on your own. Every type of food you eat can change something. You have to worry about your vitamin and mineral levels. All of these things can be found and tracked in your metabolism menu.
I bet you were wondering why the games version of zombies are referred to as puppets. This is because there is a small chip in the back of every convicts head. When a convict dies, this chip reanimates their corpse. The zombies are relatively simple, they walk around and try to kick the crap out of you when they see you. To my knowledge they don't hunger for human flesh. Generally a bullet through the skull or a well placed spear will kill in one shot, but the melee isn't quite as easy. You can't really aim where you are hitting, so it's a bit of a crapshoot on how long it takes to kill a Puppet. Puppets increase in density as you move closer to higher loot areas. Not only do you have to deal with puppets, but these high loot areas are also guarded by very large killer robots who will shoot on site. These are referred to as mechs.
The gun mechanics feel very similar to Dayz as well as melee. Everything else just feels better. SCUM is what everybody who played Dayz wished it would become. The game is updated rather often, and in my six hours of gameplay I haven't really gotten bored. Definitely check this game out. For the price of twenty USD it's not only cheaper than Dayz, but its better.