Welcome to the Dayz Fallujah Review. DayZ is a free survival horror sandbox mod for tactical military simulator, ArmA 2. Utilizing the popular map Chernarus, players have embarked on countless journeys through its hostile terrains – scavenging, slaying, surviving. It was inevitable that players would eventually want to see DayZ running on some of ArmA 2′s other popular maps, and so some players set out to achieve just that. Several maps now support DayZ and are running on private servers.

While not officially supported by the DayZ development team, now that the standalone has been secured – Rocket seems to be okay with these maps, and private hives in general, as long as they try to stick to the original vision. I recently sat down to try out the new maps that have begun popping up on private servers, the first map I tried was DayZ Utes - a PvP focused map, then I tried the tropical Lingor Island. My last adventure took me to the scorching desert of Takistan, and today I won't be venturing far as I hit the streets Fallujah.

Fallujah is a suburban city map based on the real world city in Iraq, utilizing satellite pictures and road maps to recreate the city in almost it's real size and scale. A 10x10km map hosts a 4x4km city with more than 3,000 buildings - over which half appear to be enterable and many more at least roof access. Fallujah is essentially the same size as Lingor Island, for those who have played the jungle map and is the biggest city I have seen on any map so far, and I won't lie - it's already my favourite map for DayZ and ArmA 2.

With tight-packed streets, exposed patches of open areas, tight alleyways and more, Fallujah provides the most unique environment for the DayZ mod - making most of what you know about surviving in DayZ irrelevant. If you come across bandits, chances are you are going to be in a close quarters battle, which is very different to fighting in open-spaced environments and much more deadly. Those who like to move fast will find plenty of cover, while bandits will find plenty of ambush and vantage points at their disposal.

Putting survivors in confined streets, especially on such a large suburban map means that there are plenty of places enemies can be hiding with very limited visibility for those on the ground. With most of the buildings in the city offering access to the roof or a raised position of some sort, players on the receiving end will be walking in to a survivor's nightmare. After your first time walking on to a roof or balcony and getting a glimpse at the scale of the city, you then realize just how many points a potential sniper could be located.

Those who truly want to dominate this city will be required to take a more tactical approach, either by slowing down and remaining in a constant stealth mode or by being agile, pre-planning routes, moving with purpose and never stopping. The infected provide a different type of threat now as well, although easy to lose in the streets, players will find themselves having to constantly check corners or face running directly into a zombie.

There are thousands of little alleyways, streets, gardens, fields and places for the infected to hide, and those who don't check their corners and use at least basic tactical awareness will soon find themselves dead or in a very bad situation. The other thing that may trip some players up is the loot spawns, while the loot is very well balanced considering how many buildings there are - most will have no idea what buildings are worthwhile and which aren't, remember that feeling?

Fallujah really rewards explorers and adventurers, with so many little hidden spots and a very confusing map for those unfamiliar - the city rewards those who take the time to get to know its streets well. For some, you may find the perfect vantage points for an ambush, and others may find the perfect location for a base - hidden deep within the back streets.

Places of note are the military airport in the south and a military base in the north. My time in Fallujah left me with mostly civilian weapons, which was the same for most other survivors I came across. This felt great, and realistic to say the least - people I was coming across had little more than a makarov and a shotgun or lee enfield, an AK at most.

If you're like me and you always wished DayZ had cities that were realistically sized, DayZ Fallujah is a must try. With intense close-quarters combat and a whole new set of unique challenges, survivors will find that Fallujah rekindles some of those old feelings, moments, and senarios that may not happen so often anymore.

With so many new maps being released, Fallujah is currently my top pick out of the unofficial maps and will definitely find a home in my server list. To play DayZ Fallujah, I recommend using DayZ Commander to keep the map up-to-date and to easily find servers to play on. For more information about DayZ, visit our game page.