7 Days to Die Early Access Review
by Marcus Estrada
Back in August ‘13, 7 Days to Die was successfully funded on Kickstarter to the tune of over $500,000. The game was defined as a sort of survival FPS with crafting, zombies, and a sandbox world. This mishmash of genre conventions was just too much for gamers to ignore which propelled it to over 200% the funding goal. By December, an early version of 7 Days to Die was brought to Steam Early Access. As of this review, the game is still in Early Access but has seen copious updates since.
Players can enter the zombie-infested landscape alone or with friends (or strangers). Whichever is the case, they’re transported to a post-apocalyptic sort of world with nothing but a backpack and map. From there the task is simple – survive. How you do that across a sprawling map is up to you. It is imperative to scavenge from trash, discarded backpacks, cars, and even rotting corpses to hopefully find items of use. Sometimes there is a can of food, a valuable piece of metal for scrap, or a weapon. Even when there’s no weapon available it may be possible to craft one via various bits and bobs.
Crafting is fairly simple thanks to a built-in crafting menu on the inventory screen. At any point you can see all available recipes. Anything that can be crafted with current items is also highlighted for ease of use. It’s a little surprising to see that some crafting has a long timer on it though. What this means is you can’t sit still disassembling metal objects for scrap in the middle of a zombie-infested forest. Instead, find somewhere safe first!
That’s much easier said than done. Zombies are incredibly pesky creatures and always seem to be where you most want to go. For example, interested in a cool two story house and all the goodies it may contain? Sorry, there’s a ton of zombies guarding the perimeter. There’s likely also a few stashed around in the house for good measure. This is the case regardless of difficulty set prior to creating a world to play in.
If you create your own world, the player has tremendous control over difficulty. Not only is there a main difficulty setting but also toggles for whether zombies can run or not. Similarly, drop rates can be increased or decreased, as well as player strength and damage. This mass of options might be daunting for some players though and a more user-friendly setup would be appreciated. Speaking of which, if you don’t have at least a little technical knowhow with setting up servers or LANs in the past then you won’t be able to create a world and just play with a friend. Thankfully there’s no lack of servers open to anyone for friends to jump into.
As it stands, 7 Days to Die is a fairly competent game despite being in alpha. Yes, there is a lot of roughness around the edges, but not so much to keep players from enjoying it. I would recommend it if you have friends to adventure with. The biggest issue is decreasing the barrier to entry in regards to playing with online friends. Sprucing up the animation, map variation, and audio quality/cues would go a long way as well. The zombie genre is super saturated and yet 7 Days to Die stands out as an interesting game to watch evolve.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg” ]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]