7 Days to Die – PC (P)Review

7 Days to Die – PC (P)Review
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Genre: Early access zombie surival FPS
Developer: The Fun Pimps
Publisher: The fun Pimps Entertainment LLC
Release Date: December 13th, 2013
Edited by AlexKnight2005

For the start of this review, I’d like to first state, this is an early access game, and I’ve played multiple versions of 7 days to die from Alpha 16 in 2018 to the current alpha 19.5 version, including the Darkness Falls mod making my playtime for this game 300+ hours.

The game is similar to other sandbox games in the way that you can collect resources, craft gear, build structures, and kill mobs. The things I’ve enjoyed about 7D2D is that they are constantly trying new things to make the game better, and they do try to listen to players, one example is they added in twitch integration for 19.5, which allows twitch viewers to help or hinder the twitch player via a point system.

They are constantly updating the zombie A.I. to make them harder to deal with via loopholes in their A.I. There are many different types of Zombies, some only spawning in particular biomes. Examples of these burn victim zombies are found in burned houses, burnt forest biome, and in many wasteland POIs. There are also different “flavors” of the same zombie, from normal, feral, radiated. Some zombies only spawn at higher levels and during horde nights. Speaking of horde night, it’s every 7 DAYS! It’s the namesake, and it gets harder the stronger you get and the longer your game goes on. This is caused by what the game calls the “game stage” which is an accumulation of multiple factors from character level, the biome you’re in, and days you’ve survived without dying also factors in. Generally, each biome is home to at least one trader, depending on the size of your world.
Now biomes are another thing that we should discuss because they all feel very different so let us discuss the different biomes and things you find there. Deserts are hot, they use up your water faster, and they have some tough enemies to contend with when you first start the game. The zombie vultures are fast and annoying while being somewhat hard to hit, although they have low health, which means they die quickly. The occasional snake can torment you as the snakes tend to sneak up on you, and coyotes will run at you and bite you, then run away. The desert also has non-hostile creatures like rabbits, chickens, doe, and stags. The humanoid zombies are all the normal types of zombies.

Forests have good weather, so you don’t have to worry about heat or the cold most of the time, it is a great area to start the game off. The forest area also has a lot more animals than the other biomes, it has bears, boars, wolves, dire wolves, rabbits, chickens, as well as the zombie bears, zombie dogs, vultures (rarely), and Grace, a giant zombie boar that is a boss monster. It has most of the zombie variants, if not all of the various maps that you can use. Also, in some versions of the game, part of the forest biome is the plains, which are slightly warmer than the forest with lots of yellowed grass. The bears are the scariest thing you might encounter early on as they have a whopping 1600 health! Only one creature has more health than the living bear, and that is the boss mob Grace, who has 2000 health.

Snowy forest biome is not an easy starting place in the game, it isn’t an easy place to make a home or base either as the cold temperature makes you need to eat more often, and you need to keep warm with coffee or sit next to something warm like a campfire or furnace that is on. The zombies that spawn here are most of the normal types, but the scariest of all is the lumberjack zombies as they have a decent amount of health, and they don’t shamble like some of the easier zombies as they walk with a purpose and that purpose is your death! The special creature of the mountain biome is the mountain lion which is fast and aggressive. It does have some advantages though if you are willing to risk these factors early on, you will find water EVERYWHERE since you need to use snow to make murky water in which you can then boil to drink. Blueberries are also plentiful in the snowy forest biome, as you will have that as a decent food source.

Burnt forest biome is not a bad place to start if you spawn there. It’s got a decent amount of resources that can help you get a good head start as the burn victim zombies are slow and aren’t hard to kill though they can set you on fire which is an inconvenience. The burning forest also has piles of smoldering wood that can set you on fire as well. I have used this as a starting place for a game, and I was able to see the zombies coming as well as, find animals to kill for food, although water is a bit harder to find in this area. I also was never in need of wood as the burnt trees are everywhere. They are talking about combining this biome with the wasteland biome in the Alpha 20 update.

Wasteland biome is the most dangerous one of all, and it has danger around every corner. Starting it has random landmines across the land also, it spawns the most dangerous of zombies like cops, wights, and the feral versions of zombies even at low game stages during the day. Bears and zombie bears can spawn here, you also can run into packs of zombie dogs, as well as vultures being extremely common in this biome, and as well, you sometimes can come across the occasional bear. There are very few plants, very few trees, and very few areas to find water. This is a biome for those that want a challenge.
The sounds of the game are a great fit for the type of game. The traders have good voice lines though they do get repetitive if you’ve been to that trader a lot. The chainsaw, augur, bike, minibike, motorcycle, gyrocopter, and 4×4 truck all sound great though after a while, sometimes the augur and chainsaw can be grating when you’re having to dig out a lot of materials or cut down a lot of trees. The zombies sound like zombies, and the animals sound pretty good as well, as you can tell if you hear a bear, wolf, or mountain lion near you unless they sneak up on you.
Using a controller works fine as they did make the game console although I do prefer a mouse and keyboard. Controls are fairly quick to learn on mouse and keyboard and are similar to other Sandbox

games.
The graphics are good I wouldn’t say they are the best but remember they’re working on a lot of things, and I do know they’ve got plans to upgrade thing

The future is looking bright with Alpha 20, as they are adding more POIs, more weapons, changing zombie looks, and making all gear part of sets like you might find in an RPG. This is a great addition since it will make it so you want to obtain all the same type of gear, and it will make characters feel different based on what set you are wearing. Some sets have bonuses to armor for wearing them, and some of these sets will be better for crafting, while other sets may be better for using specific weaponry. They’ve shown a few sets off during live streams, but so far it’s looking to be a great addition. Another thing coming in the future is that they are upgrading the way the random world generation works, making it more customizable than it currently is. The current random world generation is one of its weak points, I mean you can make a world and have it be completely crazy and random, but you sometimes end up with some bad generation that isn’t fun to play on.

Now there are some other things I’d like to talk about when it comes to 7 Days to Die. You can play older versions of the game if there are certain features you loved from that version. You can play as far back as version 8.8 stable via looking under the properties-> betas and looking at the drop-down menu. Also, in-game mods, you can find tons of mods and overhauls to the game.
As I stated at the beginning of this review, I’ve been playing the Darkness Falls mod, and it adds back old creatures that were removed (like hornets), new creatures, zombies, and new versions of zombies, it makes the beginning stages of the game a lot harder, in fact, I just played the first Horde Night of my Darkness Falls playthrough and WOW was it more intense than I expected! It also forces you to use skills to level them. One good example is when you level your harvesting skill (Mining/Digging/Tree Cutting), you gain the ability to put ranks into a skill called Miner 69er, it does more block damage, and you gain more resources when you are collecting them.

Overall I would say that 7 Days to Die is a very good game. When I first started playing, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it since I don’t care for “zombie” games, but I started playing with a group of friends, and it was fun killing zombies, looting POIs, building a base, and just harvesting resources. The game has a good balance of combat, building, and gathering for an open-world game.

Pros:

  • They listen to the player base.
  • You get to blow off zombie body parts with your weapons.
  • The Zombie A.I. makes the Zombies a challenge.
  • The driving is fun.
  • The resource gathering and building things not being a huge chore.
  • You can make the game as hard or as easy as you want it to be through mods.

Cons:

  • Trader voice lines get repetitive from NPC’s.
  • Augur and chainsaw sounds get a bit annoying when you are gathering a ton of resources.
  • Zombie A.I. sometimes they do some WEIRD stuff.
  • The current random world generation is a bit iffy at times.