Oh what a time it’s been and being I must say. As I write this review of 7 Days To Die it is at a time where we are but weeks from when Alpha 15 is coming and the game is being ported to Xbox One and the Playstation 4. The Playstation 4 port will release on June 28. So, with all that said is it a good buy?
7 Days to Die is a survival, open world, early access game available on Steam. It is one rife with zombies, animals, and zombie animals including bears and dogs. You start your game either in random generation or in the Navezgane map. I have played both and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Navezgane has a lot of buildings, roads, plenty to explore and establish a base somewhere. Random generated maps can have long stretches of road where nothing is seen in regards to buildings, towns, or cities. That can be a big problem at night. Zombies run at night and if you’re not careful you can find yourself overwhelmed and become a meal for any pack that find you if you can’t fend them off. Yes, when you die there is a death camera showing your corpse and zombies eat off it. However, I consider it a criticism because it feels way too much like something out of Jurassic Park. Not very gory unfortunately. Be that as it may, that is what random generation is, it’s random.
Besides surviving, you can craft various items and weaponry. They range from bows, crossbows, clubs, hunting knifes, construction related items, tools, grass clothing, and various armors. The more you do something in game, the better you get at it. This game provides various skills and perks you can level up to improve yourself. You gain skill points from leveling your character and completing quests in the game. Quests and treasure maps have recently been added. They drop at a very rare rate. At this point they range from killing zombies to more specific types, killing wildlife, and quests with certain requirements. Some quests even have an optional time limit for when you complete within a certain time, you get bonus skill points. Treasure maps are quests where you are given a way point to dig at to find a treasure chest. When you are close to the marker your treasure icon starts to flash red. Sometimes it will be easy to find the chest, sometimes not so much. There is a perk to help you shrink the radius to where the chest lies. But don’t think you’ll be able to breeze through everything willy nilly.
You will be fighting zombies one way or another. When you find a town, it will have zombies everywhere. When you’re not looting house, you could be killing a few zombies and looting whatever they have. There are a few kinds of hordes in 7 Days to Die. You have wandering hordes that randomly spawn and go from point a to point b. Heatmap hordes spawn when special zombies called screamers spawn and head to your area because you’re generating too much heat from campfires and forges that are active. If they see you they scream causing zombies to spawn in so killing the screamer quickly counts. The feral horde is what spawns every seven days when night falls. You know a feral horde is coming when you hear a soundbite of a bunch of zombies screaming. They will be running where you’re standing at that moment. You can either run away before you get spotted or brave the horde if you have a well defended base. As the game continues, the hordes grow, be wary.
Biomes, weather, and temperature are also present in this game. Forests, plains, wastelands, deserts, burnt forests, tundra, they’re the many you can find in either a random map or Navezgane. If zombies aren’t trying to kill you, the environment may depending where you are. Hot places like deserts and burnt forests or cold places like the snowy tundra will slay the unprepared so dress accordingly. Rain and snow can play a role too. The wetter you get, the more it decreases your body temperature.
So, is it worth a buy? Personally, I have very much enjoyed playing this unique gem. I have over 1100 hours in it. If you like a game where it’s you or some friends trying to survive and maintain a decent base against hordes of zombies, this could scratch this itch. There are some things I like and some I dislike. I’m looking forward to NPC’s traders and bandits coming. I like that there is a minibike that mostly works for me. You have the ability to put flashlights on guns after reading the proper schematic. Modding is very versatile, something I love. Custom recipes, tinkering with loot tables, changing block strengths, adjusting zombie’s attack reaches and how hard the hit, all found and then some when using Notepad++. I have used a mix of my own personal modding and a neat mod called the Electric Lights Mod by Valmar. It lets you craft your own lights and flashlights.
While modding has helped with what I don’t like about 7 Days to Die. I don’t like how there’s a lack of wildlife. Some quests call for crazy things or zombies that don’t spawn often. The treasure hunter perk doesn’t reduce the radius enough to pinpoint a treasure chest. Quests and treasure maps don’t spawn enough. Minibike parts are too rare. Zombie dogs hit almost too hard even with armor on. Feral hordes seem to be spawning in at more random intervals after a game at least 90 days in. Zombie bears and Feral Walkers have too much hp. Log spikes do too little damage and take too much maintenance especially when they’re upgraded. As I said, modding can address many of my complaints and I have done so. This is an enjoyable game in my opinion and if you like building bases, taking out zombies and dangerous wildlife, and being holed up in a base seeing if you can survive until morning, pick it up.