Title: 7 Days to Die
Available On: Xbox One, PS4, Linux, Windows, OSX
Developer: The Fun Pimps
Genre: Survival Horror
Official Site: http://7daystodie.com/
Release Date: June 28th, 2016 (2013 for Windows, OSX
Where To Buy: Steam, PSN, Xbox Store
I continue to find myself staring a blank screen absolutely perplexed at how to write a review for 7 Days to Die. Not because I don’t have anything to say but because I get caught up in the preconceived idea of what I’m supposed to write. I’m supposed to analyze the graphics, gameplay, multiplayer, story and so on. Ultimately it all feels very tedious because for the most part… no one really cares. I mean really, how many times have you gone to check out a game review and did a quick speed read and checked the score? So again, I find myself having just played 7 Days to Die and pondering what to write, especially after reading largely negatives. Well instead of trying to be very analytical in this writing, I’m just going to flat out tell you what I think.
I didn’t like 7 Days to Die that much when I first played it. After a brief tutorial, I found myself wandering around aimlessly… constantly dehydrated, overheated and hungry. I did drink some water I found thinking it would quench my thirst and cool me off, but it just gave me dysentery. Dysentery!? I haven’t had that since Oregon Trail. I just didn’t get it.
I felt like the game did a very poor job in explaining what I needed to do to survive and I constantly found myself meeting my demise without even having a fair fight. I wasn’t dying because I was battling a horde of zombies and went down with guns blazing. I was dying because I didn’t know how to cure an infection or because I couldn’t cool myself when I was overheated. While sitting and stewing over another death, I found myself remembering an article one of our writers posted not long ago, “The Video Game Tutorial Needs to Die.” I’m not some spoiled gamer who needs everything explained to him… I got this.
Once I committed myself to really figuring out how to play the game, it became much more challenging and fun. Just the other day I had my significant other come out and give me “The Look.” You gamer guys know what I’m talking about. It’s when you said you’d be coming to bed shortly and five hours later she gets up to use the bathroom and realizes you’re still playing. Yes, I was playing for the purpose of my review but I became hooked. I had to have my area ready for when the next horde came and the excitement of preparing is what kept me awake. I am notorious among my friends… excuse me, acquaintances for falling asleep during gameplay. Yet here I was at 4 AM, still wide awake and playing.
Does 7 Days to Die have its problems? Absolutely. As a critic, it’s easy to point out the negatives of this console port. The graphics are very shoddy and the frame rates sloppier than a cucumber coated in petroleum jelly… that reference is none of your business. When I was playing I found the game lag for about a second every so often. In some cases, that resulted in the distance between a zombie and I rapidly closing and me taking damage. In another instance I found the sound of my SMG firing stuck on a loop which directed me to focus all my attention on turning the sound off.
The user interface I also found clunky and hard to use. You’ll end up using the controller like you would a mouse, having to scroll and click through a number of different menus. It took me some getting used to especially intense situations. The Multiplayer is also worthless unless you or your friends… err acquaintances are hosting the game. 7 Days to Die does not currently have dedicated servers on the console. Therefore, if you join a games with random players and the host quits, then you’re done. After a few times of running through the mandatory tutorial, I stuck to single player and playing with friends.
7 Days to Die has been compared to Minecraft in terms of open world sandbox but more realistic. The real monkey in the wrench here comes after the first 7 days… the horde. As long as you don’t get yourself cornered when traveling during the day, the zombies are largely a nuisance and easy to dispatch. The horde, however, is a different breed entirely. If you’re holding up in a wooden structure, you better hope you have a second level with no access because chances are they’re getting in. This is what made the game really fun for me – finding a way to protect my base, build stronger materials and better weapons. As the weeks go on in your survival, the horde will continue to become stronger every 7 days.
7 Days to Die also has a “Creative Mode” which eliminates the horde. This mode I feel is best to get a handle on the building process and figuring out what’s what. It is important to note that you have all your structures supported in some way. Unlike Minecraft where blocks can essentially float, here they will collapse to the ground. If a horde comes along and destroys a good portion of your walls, it’s possible your building could collapse.
The console port of 7 Days to Die is buggy and problematic but ultimately can be a lot of fun. I found myself initially disappointed in what 7 Days to Die is, compared to what it could be. After some play, though, I found myself not only having fun but enjoying finding the bugs and glitches. This game won’t be for everyone but for me… I’m about to go and play now.
Have you played 7 Days to Die? Did the issues with the console version turn you off to the experience completely or were they tolerable? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
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- Gameplay: In the same vein as Minecraft but with a lot more bugs
- Graphics: Textures at times take long to load
- Sound: Decent directional sound, occasionally glitched action sounds
- Presentation: Open world sandbox survival horror with a twist.
- Fun with friends
- The Horde
- No dedicated servers
- Bugs galore
- Mandatory tutorial