After months of waiting, 7 Days to Die was finally released for consoles in New Zealand on July 8th, two weeks after the North American launch of June 28th. During that time I sat in envy as other players got to experience the game. However, I began to avoid all news on the game as reviews were negative and people were slamming the unpolished and glitchy game. Not wanting to spoil my experience I put my self on a 7 Days to Die media black out.
When the game finally arrived, a friend and I jumped straight into it together - excited about the cooperative gameplay. However, we hated it. It was hard and confusing and we wanted out! So where did we go wrong?
Firstly, when you jump into the game for the first time you are given a set of goals on screen giving you some tips and tricks on the games basics. Jokes on you however if you play co-op first because that vital information is missing! The consequence? An hour of chaos.
Without learning these key tasks the game is literally an open world shit-show where you stumble about blindly trying to figure out what the fuck this game is about. Hey, you know how the tutorial teaches you how to mine wood by punching things? That took us around an hour to figure out. Want to build a weapon? A easy task you learn five minutes into the tutorial was never discovered by us as we wondered around the wastelands, deserts and snowfields naked, hungry and punching things. We stumbled across a gun at one stage, which was short lived due to an unfortunate bear eating incident. Even the basic task of creating a bed, and thus creating a spawn point, went undiscovered by us as we yelled, screamed and nearly cried every time we died and spawned even further away from each other and our backpacks.
I am one determined mother fucker though and everything inside of me was telling me that I should love this game so I decided to try again in a single player world and really get my teeth into it. This was the best thing I ever did. I am now obsessed, playing it every chance I get. Forgiving its faults, these are the key reasons why you 7 Days To Die is my new favourite zombie survival game.
You can make the ultimate survival bunker, with zombie moats, traps and underground tunnels!
One of the most important things to do early on in the game is establish a base. If you play Minecraft, or spend most of the time in The Sims creating houses, then you will love this part of the game. I adore being able to make my own fort with all its unique nooks and crannies, underground basements, escape tunnels, moats to trap zombies and more. The potential is endless.
I have made such a variety of bases. I have done up dilapidated houses. Lived in a basement with an escape tunnel, and dug a huge hole and put a bedroll in it. Each base type has its pluses and minuses. Its cool that every time I jump into a new game, I get to create a base from scratch again. I never get sick of it. To be honest though, I am a bit of an amateur. My bases are pretty simple compared to some of the amazing things I have on multiplayer servers. Once, I stumbled across someone's base in a multiplayer game and they had created a massive hole, kind of like a quarry, with a cave to the side of it, it was badass! Well it was until I tried to loot it and got killed by some sort of crazy zombie trap.
I am obsessed with hoarding junk, and there is shit (literally) everywhere.
I spent most of the time in Skyrim and Fallout 3 over-encumbered, slowly walking around trying to find somewhere to stash my goods or sell my trinkets. When the zombie apocalypse finally arrives, I will be inside all your houses taking your stuff and building a mega base of junk. 7 Days to Die does not disappoint when it comes to scavenging - you just need to know where to look. It becomes addictive as hell, as there is always something you need to get your hands on but just can't find. I have spent hours and hours trying to find antibiotics alone (or the ingredients needed to make them).
I remember the joy of stumbling across a corn field, and wasting a whole game day of sunlight picking every piece of corn until my inventory was stacked with them! I have a serious scavenging addiction and I will pick up anything and everything. I once carried three human turds around for an hour in this game in order to put it in my storage container rather than drop it.
My only gripe? Why the fuck are there cars in the game? I can't not search them due to my aforementioned scavenging addiction but have yet to actually find anything in them. Come on!
Explore different biomes, and avoid the ones that piss you off.
The default game map (Navezgane) is massive, and if you get too familiar with it then you can create a random map seed each time you play. I have only played Navezgane, and after a solid 15 hours of gameplay I would estimate that I have only seen about 10% of the map. Some areas are awesome, and some suck balls.
The burnt forest is 100% the worst. It's hot, everything is on fire and the loot is shit. Spawning in there is so bad I will sometimes rage quit and just start again. The desert isn't much better. In fact, it is hotter. You can have your sun hat on and be naked just walking around and the game will still start frantically telling you to rest because you are overheating. Quick tip: Don't ignore these warnings. Once, when I was desperately seeking treasure I thought "nah I will just dig for 1 more minute" and then mid-dig I collapsed and died of heat exhaustion. However, the dessert has heaps of birds nests, which is a must for me as I can never get enough arrows!
I think the best/worst place in the game is the city. There is so much stuff there, but it can be impossible to get due to the large amounts of zombies that reside there. The first time I played I lost my backpack in a house in the city and it was chocka with stuff. I was so upset about potentially losing my bag of goodies I spent the rest of the game running into this city, recovering my goods and taking a few steps out of the area before dying and then repeating the process. I now know to avoid these areas unless I have some sweet weapons, and stealth mode on.
The snow forest is also an area I try avoid. It's extremely cold temperatures are hard to survive early on and it and has the strongest scariest zombies in the game! Those bloody Frozen Lumberjacks who appear from nowhere and kill me literally every time I see them.
Dig for hours and "maybe" discover some treasure.
A new feature to the game is the addition of treasure quests. When looting or killing zombies you can stumble across these maps that give you the vague coordinates to a treasure haul.
I have found two treasure maps in my time, and no treasure. The first map was located in the ass-pit known as the burning forest. I managed to get to the location of the treasure, but was killed by fire zombies before I could even start digging.
The second was in the desert. A pain in the ass, but doable. I put my bedroll down by the hole, a container with hundreds of shovels beside it and I started digging. I died of heat exhaustion and two zombie attacks but kept on digging. After three real life hours I still has no treasure, but I was determined to get it! That was until my dad turned up with free food and that was the end of that adventure.
Love it or hate it, there is something amazing about a scavenger hunt and I think this new gimmick will hook a lot of people like me in. I am actually going to play again tonight with the sole purpose of finding that darn treasure.
Flashback to the 90s, and play some split screen co-op.
Hallelujah! The return of the split screen. As a 90s child, some of my most fond gaming memories are of two player co-op with my little brother. Killing Nazis together and shooting down enemy planes at Pearl Harbour. The game is designed to be played with team members in order to have the most rewarding experience (or so I think) and there is nothing better than having a team of friends helping you scavenge items, build your base and team kill zombies.
As I learnt the hard way however, I suggest you get a couple of hours single player under your belt first to get a grip of the game using the tutorial system (which does not display on the split screen).
If you don't have any friends handy, then the internet offers a range of multiplayer servers for you to join. You can send ally requests and build teams easily. It's definitely the best way to play. Although you gotta be careful man, I became allies with a guy, gave him access to shared resources and then he took everything and wondered off. Another player was helping me loot an area and made me do all the zombie killing and door smashing and then took all the loot for himself! I think the moral of that story is that people are assholes which we already know. All in all though, it has been really awesome having someone to help me loot large areas, assigning someone to collect wood while the other collects and boils water etc makes for a nice we self sustaining clan.
My only gripe is how they pair you into a game - you cannot choose a game to join, it just plops you into a random server. Sometimes this means being placed into a world that is 50+ days into the game, which is quite frustrating to join. I once had to join and quit about 10 games until I was placed in one remotely close to the beginning (Day 11).
Do whatever the fuck you want.
At the end of the day, the most refreshing thing about this game is that there is no story. The goal is simply to survive. I love the freedom this allows (once you get to grips with the mechanics that is). You can take any route. Build a fort, or become a nomad. Kill zombies or avoid them. Kill humans or ally with them. The possibilities are endless so long as you can stay alive. After playing intensive campaigns it is a nice change to take your time and simply build and explore - with the occasional zombie encounter chucked in ;)
Have you played 7 Days to Die on Console yet? What has been your experience so far?
I am always looking for more people to play multiplayer with on PS4 so if you want to play with me then be sure to add me @BonnieFlaps.
Source: 7 Days To Die Gamepedia