Monday, September 5, 2016

7 Days To Die Review

7 Days To Die is a Kickstarter-funded survival horror, post-apocalyptic, open world video game with zombies by The Fun Pimps and published by Telltale Publishing. Originally it was released for PC on Steam Early Access on December 13, 2013, and in June 2016 on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The PC version is currently rated at 7.3 on Metacritic while the Xbox One is at 5.0 and the PlayStation 4 at 5.7. Is this game as bad as the reviews make it out to be?? Let's find out.

Before I begin my review I want you to know that I have played this game long enough to get a good grasp on how it plays. As of this writing, I'm at 70 in-game days which equates to about 60 hours so you cannot say I didn't give the game a chance. Also, I'm going into this game without knowing anything about it, no videos or reviews.

7 Days To Die started life on Kickstarter and it's the first video game I've played to come from it. This game is published by Telltale who makes many games that I like, but to the best of my knowledge, this is the first game that they only published and not created. Unfortunately, like their own games, this one has some issues but we'll get to that soon enough.


Right from the beginning, I want to say that there is a lot to like about 7 Days To Die. The easiest way to explain this game is that it plays just like Minecraft set in the world of Fallout. This game has a realistic look compared to Minecraft and is set in the post-apocalyptic world like Fallout.

Everything in the game can be collected, destroyed, mined etc just like in Minecraft but in this game, the world is more realistic physics in that you can't have blocks floating around with nothing holding them up. If you place blocks without supports in 7 Days those blocks will collapse. The crafting in this game is also much more in depth then with Minecraft but I'll be getting into that later.

Combat can be fun, as long as you do not fight something above your pay grade. The first time that a feral zombie attacked me it took forever to kill him and you'll want to fight them because they drop rare gun parts.

Feral Zombie

The feral zombie is the toughest enemy I've faced so far. One of the nice things about this game is when you start off you'll only be fighting the basic zombies. As the days go by you'll start to run into some of the tougher guys like the frozen lumberjack or the feral zombie. The enemies level don't scale with you so as you level up they will be easier to kill. Also watch out for the fat cops because when they take enough damage they explode, as me how I found that out.

Dead frozen lumberjack

There is also wildlife that you'll come across. You'll see animals like boar or deer that you'll want to kill for their meat, fat, and leather. When an animal senses you it will hop away from you and it is very hard to kill it without some kind of projectile weapon. Another thing about the animals is when they run from you, especially the deer, they have this jumping animation that is just terrible looking, I mean really really bad.

There are also dangerous animals you'll encounter like wild dogs. Be careful of the wild dogs because while they aren't super tough to fight alone, in a group they can kill you pretty quick. You'll also encounter bears. One bear found it's way into my house and I wasn't going to have that so I attacked it and that bear destroyed me.

The bear is mocking me.
Eventually, I had to get it to chase me to get him out of my house. In 7 Days To Die bears are tough. They are so tough that it's the only enemy that I've come across that I haven't killed. Until you level up and get some good weapons do not get into any bears way.

You'll find that every day around noon a plane flies by and drops off a crate containing medical supplies and weapons including schematics. In the beginning, you'll want to find the crates and I'll give you a tip on finding them. When the plane flies over you'll be able to see the crate on your map but before you can get to it it will disappear so what you'll want to do is as soon as the plane drops the crate quickly go into your map and put a marker on it so you can find it. Unless it's very close to you-you won't reach it before it disappears from your map.

You'll find some that have landed underwater.
The nice thing about the supply crates is that if you don't go after them they won't disappear so you can also grab it later. When you do get close to one it will show up on your compass thing, look at the picture above, it's the yellow marker.

7 Days To Die is pretty tame until night hits, that's when all the bad zombies swarm you and attack. During the day the zombies stumble around like George Romero's Dawn Of The Dead. At night they run like in Zack Snyder's Dawn Of The Dead remake. You'll need to build yourself a sturdy structure before those zombies show up because they will tear it apart quickly. It can be terrifying to be outside when the sun sets and the zombies go nuts after you.


Without question, the biggest problem with this game is the temperature system. Your character needs to protect himself from temperature variations. If you enter a cold area you'll need to bundle up. If you head into the desert you'll need to remove your clothes. Water also affects your character, if you start overheating you'll need to find the closest body of water and jump in to cool down. When you are racing around or even sitting down next to a fire you'll begin getting hot. If you become too hot or cold eventually you will die from it. I like how this temperature system is supposed to work, however, it is completely broken. Putting on any clothes will make you run too hot. I'd find cool clothes to wear like cowboy hats, army helmets or a slick leather duster but I can't wear them because my body will jump up to 110 degrees in a handful of seconds.

No joke, even this is too many clothes.

Now you'll be thinking that it's not a huge deal, I just won't look cool while traveling through the wastes but you'd be wrong, and now I'll tell you why you're wrong.... Armor. With the current temperature bug, you can't wear armor so you have to plan out combat way before you throw your first punch. Most zombies can kill you with a few hits and the more zombies there are only makes it worse. Some of the baddies like the frozen lumberjacks are real tough and will kill you before you even know what's happened.

Until I started to get my hands on better weapons I'd just have to run from zombies because facing them would always be a losing proposition. This almost had me quit playing this game but I marched on and once I had projectile weapons it became easier.

I mentioned earlier the crafting system and in 7 Days there are tons of things to salvage parts from to create whatever you'll need. The name of the game when crafting is schematics. If you want to construct something then you'll need the schematics to them which sounds fine right? The problem being that it can take forever to find the ones you'll need. Other times you'll have the schematic you want to create from but you're missing an ingredient and you're stuck until you find it. I was one part away from crafting my sweet chopper until I finally found it, on day 62. Over 50 hours into the game before I could ride in style, I do not know if this is as intended by the creators but it's very frustrating.

My sick chopper.
So you're saying I don't need to create guns I can just find them. That's great and all but when your shotgun breaks from use you cannot repair it until you have the schematic. Now you have your schematic for you scattergun but if you don't have the schematic for the ammo you can't shoot it. Again it's true you can find ammo but good luck. And finally you have the schematic for your shotgun shells but you can't create shotgun shells until you have the schematic for buckshot. Are you done yet??? Nope. You've got the schematic for the shotgun, shotgun shells, buckshot and you're thinking it's time to kick some zombie ass right!?! Well, you can't make ammo until you find a pair of calipers and you cannot craft them you can only find them and they are pretty rare. Sixty hours into the game and I haven't found a pair yet so I can't use guns. Like I said this could all be the way the designers wanted it but come on guys, have a heart.

Learn to love the blunderbuss cause you're going to be stuck with it for awhile.


I understand that this game is very ambitious so I'll let it slide on the graphics front. Since you can create or destroy everything in the game I realize that it wouldn't be very playable if the graphics were as slick as say Fallout 4 but...

These graphics look like Nintendo 64 textures. Sometimes when a game loads a new area the graphics will look like this before it all loads but these rocks looked like that a good minute after I came across them.

In this picture you can see a supply crate landing, there is no animation at all just the static picture seen above. If the crate at least looked good I wouldn't mind it so much but it just looks terrible.

Here you can see some flying zombies and this game isn't supposed to have flying zombies in it.

Am I being a jerk about how these things about the look? Yes, but this is a completed game and it's just not acceptable, to me at least.

7 Days To Die also has a multiplayer mode where you can fight with real humans but from what I've read it doesn't work right now, I could be wrong about this because I didn't try it.


Overall I really liked this game even with all the bad things I mentioned. If the bugs were fixed, especially the heat problem, I think this game would be great. I've noticed that the game's price has already been lowered which isn't a good sign.

In its current form I would rate 7 Days To Die a 5 out of 10. Since the makers released this as a completed game I think my issues are valid. If future updates fix the issues I had with this game I think it could be an 8 or 9. If this game sounds interesting to you you'll probably like it just know going in it has some problems right now.

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