Holy shit. So I decided to do a run to the airfield for loot. Horrible idea because, although I saw no players, the place was crawling with zombies. I did end up replacing my AKM for an M4, if only because it's apparently not as loud. Anyway, on the way back South running toward Stary Sobor, I start hearing a few gunshots, but they sound real weak like they're pretty far off in the distance. So I keep an eye out for the general direction they're coming from, and continue running. As I'm moving through some trees, a few more shots fire off, and I start hearing them crack off the ground and trees around me. I immediately stand up and sprint, and look round to see if I can see the shooter, which I can't. The shots are also attracting zombies, so I'm having to dodge two things now. I just about make it behind a truck to cover his fire so I can turn and take out the wave of zombies that have been approaching. After they were all dealt with, I sprint down into Stary and hide in a building and waited for about five minutes. I didn't hear any further shots, so either he didn't follow me or I lost him.
But man, the sound design in that small encounter was just phenomenal. It's not a new sound for me to hear in video games, but it's the first time I remember that hearing the rounds crack off the trees actually mattered, and it's one of the first times where the sound surprises you and splits the silence. The more I play the game, the more small things just keep revealing themselves that destroy me with happiness.