I wish it didn’t take 7 days…
Let’s get this out of the game early. 7 Days to Die isn’t very good. In fact, it’s not even finished. I’ll explain a few things through the course of the review, but I’ve decided to take a different tact for this one. Here is my 7 days with 7 Days to Die…
Game: 7 Days to Die
Developer: The Fun Pimps
Publisher: Telltale Games
(Review code provided by publisher)
I boot the game up. I’m greeted by eerie music, with an option to join or start a new game. Choosing to start a new one, I’m given a character select screen. I choose my character, even though every single one seems to look like very small variations on a similar theme. The world takes an age to load. I start, and I’m greeted by a frozen forest, with an abandoned car in front of me. I make my way towards it and the game immediately hitches. After a good second or so, I’m back in control. I loot everything in the car. An arrowhead and an air filter. Turning to my right, I see a crudely modelled house. I go in. I make my way to the bathroom, where I’m able to loot the toilet. I receive a bottle of murky water, and a human turd. I start to think this might be some sort of metaphor. I go outside and continue to explore, not much of interest is found.
It dawns on me that I’m probably naked. After punching a tree to get some wood, and finding some stones, I craft myself an axe. I then proceed to run around punching plants and begin crafting some clothing before night sets in.
I hear a moan. I look behind me and there’s a zombie. A blue, shambling, poorly designed zombie. I attempt to hack at it with my makeshift stone axe. It doesn’t work. He hits me. I run away. Another zombie comes into my eyeline, but it might as well be the same one. Heck, it’s the same character model. A third appears. Looking like an undead lumberjack boyband, they lunge at me with all the skill and grace of a troupe of medicated hippos. I get away from them, only for the screen to tell me I’m “in an irradiated area”, and I immediately die.
I hit respawn. I’m catapulted into a different world, one where the sun shines and there is no snow on the ground. I’m forced to craft everything again from scratch, and I struggle to remember what I did previously. The crafting menu makes no sense. The entire menu structure makes no sense. Select with X, but view with Triangle. Hit Up to craft. Hit up to equip. Equip every item of clothing you craft manually. Confused, I set out to try and obtain more items. In doing so I somehow manage to injure myself to the point I’m bleeding out. I have no idea how this has happened. There’s no collision detection on things such as the spikes that have been set up outside my house, so I don’t know whether I’ve hit them or not. I eventually gather enough resources to craft a bed roll, lay it down in my house and make my way outside again. I walk in the vicinity of the aforementioned spikes. I immediately die. I give up.
I spawn in my bed. Night time is coming in. I make my way round the fields outside, and gather plenty of resources. I spend the evening crafting as the sky turns an odd shade of purple, then black. With next to no lighting I decide to head back to my house, and craft. All night. I take a moment to wonder how, regardless of what I’m doing, the game will hitch up for at least a second at least once a minute. Encounter a zombie who runs repeatedly at the front door. Doesn’t do anything other than gargle and scream. I continue to craft.
Suddenly, I “get” the game. It’s well paced, the controls now make sense, I feel like I’m contributing to the world, and the multiplayer appears fast and smooth. Brilliantly, a number of my friends also own the game, and we have a fun night, playing and laughing until the small hours.
Realise Day 4 was actually spent playing Rainbow Six: Siege.
Alternate between not having enough tools to craft the things I want, avoiding slow paced zombies that pose little to no threat in small numbers, but don’t get generated in big enough groups to cause a problem. Punch a lot of flowers and trees. Become further bemused at how a game this technically incompetent can pass the certification process for a console.
I have to force myself to boot the game up. Starting afresh, I breeze through the tutorial again (I say tutorial, it doesn’t actually tell you how to do things, merely has some demands in the top right of the screen, as you’re left to flounder your way through it). I get to a lake, and find that not only do the zombies just carry on walking across the lake bed (a la Pirates of the Caribbean), but there’s no effects on the water at all. In fact, if you hover your head around the waterline, it just looks the same on top and underneath. I walk on top of the water for a bit, climb up a ladder and the floor collapses underneath me. It’s shocking. The game feels criminally unfinished, so I turn it off and do some googling to find out a bit more on the game before writing this review. It turns out the game is being sold on Steam as a game that’s STILL IN ALPHA, IN EARLY ACCESS. Frustrated, annoyed and dumbstruck, I delete the game from my PS4. I go back to Rainbow Six: Siege and all is well with the world.
I am absolutely staggered that Telltale have put their name to this game, as releasing this under the guise of it being a finished product is disgusting. I don’t follow too much in terms of the Steam Greenlight/Early Access scene, and genuinely didn’t know that this was an unfinished product. It’s being released at a ‘budget’ price of £30, with “DLC Packs” included. Here’s a tip, guys. If you want to hock DLC for a game, make sure it’s finished before you let it dribble out onto consoles. There was a point where every man and his dog was making a PC game trying to capture some of the DayZ market, and this feels like a rushed hangover of that time. In time, this could change. However, 7 Days to Die is being released and marketed as a completed game on consoles, and we are reviewing it as such. It is a buggy, glitch-ridden mess of a game, which looks like an A-Level project and has less atmosphere than the moon. The fact that it’s being released and pushed in this state is, quite simply, unforgivable.