This is a game that has received a lot of hate following its PS4 release and straight away I’m going to say I believe that hate is undeserved. I can see why people may have issues with the game and it certainly isn’t for everyone, but with that being said it has a lot of potential and it is already thoroughly enjoyable. Despite this, I do not believe it was ready for release and should have been held back until it’s in a more ‘retail ready’ state. The game needs work and will hopefully be seeing the regular updates the PC version picks up.
Right off the bat you will spawn in a random area of the pre-made game world or a randomly generated game world (you choose which of the 2) and your first thought is going to be “Man, this is one ugly looking game” but fear not it does start to grow on you… maybe. The visuals are a turn-off and some may say the game’s downfall. If you can look passed some sub-par graphics, however, you may just enjoy yourself.
After this, you will receive a few basic quests teaching you the primary crafting mechanics. Then that’s it, you’re on your own, no tutorial or helpful companion just a post-apocalyptic sandbox strewn with zombies. It’s one of the few zombie games I’ve played that actually builds up any tension passed jump scares as you constantly have the lingering fear of dying and losing everything in your inventory plus a portion of your health and stamina bar. 7 Days To Die is brutally unforgiving and it’s actually nice to see that for once, no hand holding or nursing through the early stages of the game.
Now the game does offer single-player, co-op split-screen and online multiplayer modes. Playing with other people is by far the most enjoyable option, however, single player is still a viable way to amuse yourself. My first single-player experience only saw me survive until day 3 where I was quite thirsty so decided I would go get some water from a nearby river… which gave me dysentery… and I proceeded to poop myself to death. There are a lot of things like this you have to consider whilst playing 7 Days To Die, eat some bad food and you get food poisoning, wear the wrong clothes and you’ll freeze/burn to death, misjudge a fall and you’ll break your leg… oh and there’s zombies too but in my personal experiences it’s the environment that you need to be particularly wary of.
I’ve also played a fair few hours of split-screen at home and have found that to be a thoroughly entertaining way to pass the time. Playing with another person really does amplify the fun of the zombie apocalypse. The only thing lacking here is the ability to quick transfer items or trade with whomever you’re playing with. If you want to give someone an item you have to drop it and they pick it up. Which seems fine, however, I have already experienced issues with this, for example, I was playing with my brother who became infected and needed antibiotics. I had some on me so dropped them for him to pick up and use. It turns out antibiotics are very small and we couldn’t find them anywhere.
I’ve been quite strong on the positives so far but it’s high time we get onto the games weaker points. As previously mentioned it is by no means a pretty game as you can see in the screenshots included in this review. Perhaps the biggest issue with the game is frame rate drops, they are frustrating and really overshadow some of the game’s better attributes. Your game will frequently grind to a halt for a second, which should be something that gets patched fairly soon as it’s not really something the developers can ignore for too long.
When using any kind of ranged weapons you will not receive the aim assist you are used to in most FPS games which at first is a little annoying but it doesn’t take long to get used to it, for the most part the zombies are quite slow and aiming isn’t really an issue.
Now for the hordes, these come on every 7th night to test your base and your survival abilities. Basically, a large group of zombies appears and all come straight in your direction, this is one of the foundations of the game and adds a sense of tension and urgency for preparation in the days leading up to the horde. Each horde will also continue to be harder than the one prior to it as you progress through the weeks.
Finally, let’s have a look at the crafting, this I would say is 7 Days To Die’s strongest point. The crafting includes traps, guns, vehicles, clothing and a lot of very block based Minecraft-style building. The freedom in crafting is impressive and gives you lots of reasons to keep playing and trying out new things. To really experience the crafting you can also use the ‘creative’ mode where you won’t have to collect resources and can build to your hearts content.
7 Days To Die is a game with a lot of potential which sadly it just isn’t quite reaching yet for the majority of gamers. If you want to buy it because you love FPS games, don’t, if you want to buy it because you love zombie games, don’t. I would only recommend this game to anyone who enjoys survival games with a lot of emphasis on ‘survival’, personally, I really enjoy these types of games and have had (and will continue to have) a lot of fun with 7 Days To Die. Admittedly I did think £30 was a lot for this game and picked it up on Ebay for £20 instead, despite enjoying myself I stand by that decision as in it’s current state the game should be looking more at the £15-£20 range until it’s been polished and fixed up a bit more. If you’re interested in this game but have been put off by poor reviews I would urge you to give it a shot and try it out for yourself.
Disclaimer: This review was conducted using a retail copy bought at the expense of the reviewer. This does not influence the content nor the final score of the review.