7 Days to Die
This is a difficult review to give. 7 Days to Die has been available and horribly buggy on the PC for a very long time, and now has found its way onto consoles for reasons that are difficult to fathom. That sentiment is reflected in the fact that that it feels patently offensive to release a game that is so fundamentally broken, so unashamedly unfinished and such a downright miserable experience from the moment you press start that even a casual gamer who may not know any better will feel like they just got mugged. The best advice to give to anyone considering purchasing this mess is to take note of the name the developers decided to call themselves – The Fun Pimps. Doing business with pimps, fun or otherwise, generally leads to great unhappiness.
One can only imagine that this game became a reality to capitalize on the current goodwill The Walking Dead franchise has brought to the zombie genre of gaming and entertainment. It seems pointless to even try and detail the feature set of this thing as even the relatively simple act of utilizing anything in the game will likely lead to the game freezing, crashing or otherwise glitching out. In the spirit of what may have been intended, here are some details…
It starts with a great idea. Surviving in the zombie apocalypse. With the entire world around you destroyed, you are left with nothing but your wits and whatever may be at hand to defend yourself and live to see another day. You start by trying to live through a single day, followed by a further seven days and so on. Only through being a cunning opportunist with very honed skills will you make it through the hordes of undead that are coming for you. To be brutally honest, you likely have a better chance of surviving your first night in a real zombie apocalypse than you have of getting this game to work.
Day one of the apocalypse feels like a tutorial of sorts. You are tasked with finding wood, rocks and plants in order to create the seminal tools required for survival and sustenance. Surviving the first night sees any and all further assistance disappear, and best of luck to you. Through various methods and exploration, players will quickly learn how to manage their inventory of food, water and makeshift weaponry… that is, if you haven’t decided to give up altogether. By the time you complete the first day of gameplay, you will likely have suffered through more glitches, freezes and even showstopping crash bugs then you have ever experienced and will likely close out and move on with your life. These words are not written with a light pen, as this title’s review was labored over for weeks in the hope of some patching to fix the various issues. None came that made any kind of appreciable difference.
Graphically, the game’s textures are of such a low resolution that it is reminiscent of the original version of DOOM when a player would run right up against a wall. To add an extra layer of insult to the whole thing, these textures are repeated all over the place. Crafting much needed items is done through the crafting menu, and even simply navigating this thing to get anything done is like being on a game show (no whammies, no whammies… CRAFT!). Once you find the recipe for a particular item, go into the crafting menu and press up on the d pad to begin item creation. This usually takes a bit of time to complete and, most of the time, result in some sort of glitch that will require a restart of the whole game. Every click in these menus feels like a game of craps.
Zero effort was made to optimize this “PC version on a console” port for a game controller. Any attempt at scoring a headshot against any zombie better be executed with near Navy-Seal style accuracy or you’re going to fail and, very likely, be swarmed by the advancing horde. While this may be a breeze with a mouse and keyboard, the thumbsticks of a typical gaming pad will make this an exercise in frustration. This is not a statement of a gaming skill learning curve, as gamers of any skill from novice to “Counter Strike Tournament Champion” are going to be aggravated in a major way.
It is with a heavy heart that I tell you, dear reader, to avoid this game at all costs. It barely qualifies as the sum of the features it claims, and this port was given absolutely zero effort in making it functional for a console audience. Robbing a real “fun pimp” of thirty dollars will provide you with a more satisfying experience in survival horror than this thing will.
Reviewed By: Russell Garbutt
Publisher: Telltale Publishing
This review is based on a digital copy of 7 Days to Die for the Xbox One provided by Telltale Publishing.