Do you watch shows like the Walking Dead and ever quietly contemplate about the circumstances of those survivors and then think to yourself “Damn, I could survive much longer and a lot better than those pansies!” Have you ever found yourself playing a game like Minecraft and thought “This whole game would be a lot better if there were just zombies – everywhere, and all the time!” Well, I bring to you the knowledge of a game that may have the answers to your very specific needs.
Describing itself as the survival, horde crafting game, I would like to introduce you to 7 Days to Die. The Walking Dead meets Minecraft zombie apocalypse simulator that wants to see you get ahead….or stone cold dead!
To put it into its simplest terms, this game is about survival, pure and simple. There is no hand holding, very minimal guidance and a lot of opportunities to meet your death peddling maker with your chosen avatar as you attempt to stave off the furious flesh frenzy of the zombie hordes whilst ensuring you have enough supplies to last you each and every day.
You will need to scavenge, forage, hunt, gather, craft, hoard and fortify if you even want to think about making it past the first week. And on the seventh night of the seventh day is when the poop really hits the fan that you don’t have because you prioritised taking that bottle of water and first aid kit over useless house trinkets. The moon rises and the shroud of night descends; the walking, crawling and ravenous dead will be at your door wanting nothing more than to feast on your flesh. Nummy!
It sounds like a challenge and to be blunt, it is. There is a stark focus on it being a grimly realistic portrayal of what it could actually be like to try to survive if the undead ever claim the earth. If you do not eat you will succumb to starvation, so you will need to break into the abandoned homes of the long since dead locals in the hopes that they left behind some tins of tuna or an old ham sandwich (watch out for that food poisoning). You can die of thirst too, so what should you do? Drink some water from that nearby lake of course, but wait! Now you have dysentery because it’s filthy. Then go and find yourself a cooking pot and some wood to burn so you can purify it for consumption. Then you had better hope you found some vitamins or you’ll be pooping fluids until you are a dried out husk that looks as pretty as a shrivelled scrotum. That stray zombie that you passed by took a nibble out of your elbow and so you are suffering from an infection that is causing you to overheat and thus dehydrate. Best find some antibiotics quick before you perish. There isn’t any rest for the wicked and medical supplies don’t grow on trees!
There are also some basic role-playing game mechanics that allow you to level up your character and improve skills from various disciplines. I would recommend putting your first points into the Scavenging, The Camel and The Survivor skills. This will improve you potential to find some decent loot and slow down your characters constant need for food and water. The more skills you have the better but as with most RPG’s, you will be a dainty, fragile, little flower in the beginning.
You are thrust into this harsh and unforgiving world with naught but some underwear to conceal your naughty bits. It is up to you to literally learn how to take care of yourself or you will die and you will die quickly and often. But if any of this seems like it might be just the sadistically enjoyable experience for you then I think that you will have yourself a grand old time and this game really shines when played with other people. The option to join in a multiplayer server is there but me and my fiancé have opted to forge ahead and battle the forces of Z together in split screen mode and we have settled into our own little habits and routines quite nicely.
She likes to roam and so she sets out every morning in search of fresh supplies, areas of interest and to gather some of the basics that we will need to keep us strong from day to day. She has become the scout, the harvester and the forager of our partnership. I on the other hand have become the builder, the constructor, who likes to gather massive quantities of materials like wood, fibres, stone and iron so that I can fortify our home base that we have occupied from day one. I have transformed our home and turned into a solid fortress of wood and iron that can withstand the ferocity of that seventh night assault, at least for now. When we have to venture into more dangerous territory to undertake more lengthy excursions to scavenge and resupply, we travel together. She takes her pickaxe and I bring my bow and quiver of arrows and together we bring home the bacon. After ten days of battling the elements and fighting the dead, we have a fridge full of food and water, a cupboard filled with medication and a decent supply of materials and weapon parts that will be the basis for our impending arsenal of mass devastation. We have even made plans to take a nearby farm and turn it into a stronghold that can withstand the greatest of attacks. I am already in the preparation stages of building a wall so thick and high that you would need a few of those Gargantuars from Plants vs Zombies to make a dent. And if we fail, we die and it will be our fault…..mostly.
To sum up this game, it has the depth of a zombie apocalypse simulator and it gives you the tools to help you survive in any way you see fit be it that of a self-sufficient hermit, a wandering nomad or an explorative hunter who stalks the land and goes to ground for the night. It is not the prettiest game at all. It handles awkwardly in the beginning and it has some rough edges in the form of minor glitches and issues but the potential is here for it to become more with future updates. I won’t lie and say that it is a user friendly game, it can take some getting used to but once you get the hang of the crafting mechanics and how the combat system works it can become an addictive game as you strive to see how long you can survive. And again I recommend you bring a friend along for the ride. There have been reports of users suffering with long loading times and a few other bugs (you can check online for yourself for clarification) but our experience of it has been relatively smooth with no crashes and only a couple of visual and technical hiccups.
7 Days to Die has been available for the PC players for a while now and it has just recently launched for the PS4 and Xbox One. It’s an ugly game but a satisfying one nonetheless and if you can get past the first few frustrating hours then you will find a good game with decent depth and some great potential for the future. If you are unsure about it then I suggest you look into the details of the game a little further and seek the opinions of others who may have played it.
You have just seven days to thrive or seven nights until you die, but we didn’t. Not that night and I say bring on the next. My awesome, spiked, iron fortifications of stubborn fortitude await the next horde that wishes to try its luck.
Forged From Reverie.