Sunday, November 30, 2014

An in Depth Look at: 7 Days to Die (Alpha 10)

The industry has been overrun by the zombie market for quite some time now. Year after year a whole slew of undead entertainment is thrown at our faces as developers continue to milk the horde for all its worth. My most recent adventure into zombie territory is an indie title currently standing in alpha, yet has gotten quite a bit attention over the course of its development. 

7 Days to Die is yet another sandbox, zombie, survival title created by a small studio that goes by the name The Fun Pimps. Though the overall concept has been explored all too much these past few years, 7 Days to Die offers something the rest of the market has only slightly touched on. 7 Days to Die offers a lot of what the competition is holding but adds intricate building features as you would see in a game such as Minecraft as well as an in depth crafting system. Scouring wastelands for food and supplies has become a tedious task that we take part in all too often, but having the ability to build and fortify structures in order to take shelter from the horde is a concept that has been greatly overlooked. Unlike Minecraft, building gorgeous structures in 7 Days to Die holds purpose. You are not just building shelter to hide from explosive green creatures or angry spiders. Your mighty fortress will be built in an intuitive manner in order to keep wave after wave of vicious undead from tearing you limb from limb. Since long nights can breed such a hostile environment the game holds tremendous focus on providing the player with ample opportunity to upgrade and reinforce structures in order to create as much breathing room as possible. Players will choose from various building materials to make walls and reinforce them with metal plating to give themselves enough time to clean out invaders before they tear through the players walls.  This can be an invigorating experience and having the creative freedom to construct your own defense in the manner that you see fit provides hours of game play as you watch your handmade structures evolve into zombie death traps. 

Every one of the countless items you will find in the wastes serves a purpose and this makes exploring the virtually endless maps of 7 Days to Die quite enjoyable. You will sneak through dilapidated cities, kill your way through infested villages, and hunt for game in numerous environments all while scavenging for weapons, tools, crafting materials and nourishment. The expansive crafting system in 7 Days to Die is impressive. Players use crafting materials to create a seemingly endless amount of items such as weapons, meals, building materials, traps and much more. Over time you will find yourself in a field of storage chests filled with crafted goods and the materials to make them. The crafting and building in this game is some of its most endearing qualities and is largely responsible for me returning to the game, having now dumped over a hundred hours into it.

7 Days to Die features a day / night cycle and allows the host to determine the length of each. In game you will follow a course of thirty days until the server resets the calendar. As more days pass hordes will grow in size and the game will get increasingly more difficult. This of course encourages players to start building and fortifying early in the week as to not be caught face to face with a horde of fifty zombies and nowhere to run, but zombies are not the only threat here. Large falls will land players a broken leg, hindering movement until it heals (hopefully with the aid of a splint). Hunger and dehydration will force a player to an untimely end and facing disease will cripple a players stamina. This forces you to play smart and be weary of your surroundings as the harsh conditions can seriously hinder your chances of survival.

Being in alpha, 7 Days to Die is currently afloat in a sea of bugs and glitches. This is to be expected so early in development, but if wonky doors, falling through maps and broken items are the bane of your existence you may be better off waiting for a later version. In it's current state the game is visually uninspiring and lacks sound quality as well as any music whatsoever. But it seems The Fun Pimps have been working diligently on improving the game and getting it ready for a proper release.

7 Days to Die has a lot to offer. Though the game is still in early development it's easy to see how 7 Days to Die will evolve into an extremely in depth and gratifying experience. Those who enjoy building, crafting and killing zombies will find countless hours of entertainment here and will likely come back for more as the game evolves. With obvious potential, 7 Days to Die could very well end up being a game that is often talked about as development continues.