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7 Days to Die - Review

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The Fun Pimps development team and Telltale Publishing went hand in hand and took a leap of faith by bringing 7 Days to Die (7DTD) to the current generation of console. In a nut shell 7DTD falls in to the survival horror genre and will be judged by the genre and not so much the efforts put in to it as its own title.  I need it to be known that this review is not “hot off the press” but I believe I have had more time to have an educated look at the game and read through a lot of other reviews. Not only will this be an opinion/review piece it will also a bit of a dig at the mentality of today’s media journalists.

“The graphics are terrible.”
“The graphics are garbage.”


The graphics and overall presentation of the game is fine, it's not a world beater and they may not be as fluent as a lot of today's higher budget games but they do as intended. At its core 7DTD has an intricate crafting and survival mechanic that supersedes a lot of the games in what is becoming quite a stacked genre. This style of game is an absolute dime a dozen on PC currently and range from free to play to paid games. With such a watered down selection of hit and miss titles like 7DTD currently out there, I do believe it was a very bold move to try bring this across to consoles. A bold move that needs to be applauded regardless of the perceived success.   

The translation of controls to the console were a little intriguing to begin with, I can’t say "bad", just because it was a control scheme I had never really dealt with before. Of course being a console only gamer at this point, I could have picked many holes in the layout but I went with my better judgement and decided to persevere, soon enough it all become second nature. I would have liked a slightly higher sensitivity on the mouse like pointer that you used the right stick for, but other than that it handled and played like a lot of other titles combined.  


Character movement was a little rigid but by no means “disgusting”. I understand that justifying a lacking aspect of a game by glorifying another should not be common practice but I am going to do it here. The sheer size and accessibility of this game with such a small hard drive footprint is mind boggling. The map size is huge and has many layers including a dynamic weather system, numerous different types of zombies and an absolute monumental amount of crafting options consisting of many different requirements and recipes, so it is hard to fault this game when being predefined by its genre.

An interesting mechanic involving the zombies which so far have barely had a look in and for the love of god are one of, if not the most important aspects of the game. Slap my wrist and call me useless but of course 7DTD is a “Zombie” horror survival game and not just any horror survival game. Now this interesting and almost unique mechanic of the “Blood Moon” which occurs, you guessed it, every 7 days. Of course you already know by now the game runs a cycle of days, each game day is just under a real life hour. Back to the Blood Moon, so every 7 days a Blood Moon will appear and usually an incredible sized horde of zombies will spawn/respawn around the world and more often than not they will be more aggressively seeking you out for this one night. Given it's not so difficult to survive your first encounter with this event, you have the opportunity to now begin to prepare for the end of the next cycle and become just a little more equipped for said barrage.


The greatest height this game reaches is purely surviving, not from the zombies but from the elements and the human condition. The need to drink, eat and maintain a comfortable body temperature is where 90% of the players focus will be most of the time. Taking a relaxed approach to this is a one-way ticket to not having a good time at all. As with reality the major no-no's are drinking dirty water and eating unsanitary food. Doing this will lead to sickness and will have a negative effect on all other essential elements of the game. Basically if you are sick then you won’t regenerate stamina, you lose max health and you become more frequently reliant on the essential items in your inventory, in turn using them faster and stunting longevity within the game. This being said, death is not the be all and end all of the game. You do respawn where you last placed your bed roll but everything you had in your inventory will still be at the place of your demise but you only have one chance to go back and retrieve them. If you die again your items are well, dead to you.

The fact that you can bring along friends and play co-op is in my book a huge winner. Not only in this game but in any game, but specifically in a survival game having an ally or two to rely on is invaluable. Splitting responsibilities amongst yourselves can really lead to a prosperous settlement and really help to prepare for all the bad things that can potentially take place. Having storages filled with food, clothing and supplies really eases the tension of venturing out and pushing past the furthest exploration point. This brings up another unique aspect of the game not often found in this genre, which is a levelling up system. This is not as plain as it sounds, of course XP can be gathered by killing and surviving but individual aspects are levelled up just by doing the day to day tasks that are required to survive. Walking and exploring will help level up stamina related skills and that goes for all aspects of the game like building, fighting, crafting etc. So having multiple people playing and fulfilling different objectives within the level up systems, really helps to evolve your individual importance within the group.


There are a lot of aspects I haven’t even glazed over to give 7DTD more credit but it is these little things that you pick up along the way that really give it that “pop” factor. I haven’t spoken about weapons nor crafting tools or building materials, I haven’t gone into detail how each different class of weapon or tool has a certain purpose and is more effective in that area but all these realisations are so closely based on a reality type situation that it would almost be second nature and not needed to be explained. I will give in and give one example, trust me when I say it is more effective to chop down a tree with an axe than a shovel, now don’t say I never do anything for you.

I set out with the intentions of bringing you a review with a little more feeling as opposed to purely dissecting the game based on value and enjoyment. I have done that and as mentioned this review is not a release day review. 7DTD has been out in the wild now a little while and has had some improvements via patches and updates and will of course get better with more time and work from the devs. It is by far not a perfect game on any measure but it is not the steaming pile of crap the generation Y reviewers have made it out to be either, another thing that needs to be taken into serious consideration also is this game was never a full RRP title. It sells for $50 on the consoles, physical and digitally.

With a bit of luck I have entertained a few of you and hopefully even rubbed a few of you the wrong way, if this is the case feel free to head across to our Facebook page where you will be greeted and treated equally regardless of your beliefs regarding this and any title you may want to discuss.  


SCORE: 7 out of 10

Positives:

  • Truly nerve rattling at times
  • Great survival mechanics
  • Endless crafting options
Negatives:               

  • Has bugs and glitches
  • Will require constant looking after
  • Too many haters
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Genre:  Horror survival
Initial Release:  June 28th 2016
Developer:  The Fun Pimps
Publisher: Telltale Publishing

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