Zombie games haven’t quite managed to catch up with the quality of the genre in popular culture yet but there have been some hits – Left 4 Dead captured the frantic, insane speedy zombie fear, Resident Evil was a slower paced survival horror and Day-Z started a bleak, permadeth twitch-streaming craze. 7 Days to Die doesn’t get anywhere near the heights of any of these. In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the worst games I’ve played on the current gen – by some margin.
7 Days to Die is very much a Day-Z clone. It’s bleak zombie survival. The plot is essentially that in 7 days a massive horde of zombies will descend upon you and mess you up. Should you survive, you just have to continue surviving.
The game starts and you’re on a path with a house in front of you. There are no tutorials, no control prompts, nothing. You have a beginner task which is supposed to be a tutorial and does nothing to help. For example, collect wood. How?? I see loads of trees but I have no tools. Wanna know how to do it? You have to punch them.
Punching trees produces wood, punching grass can produce grass seeds, in fact punching everything is the way. Sometimes you will have to do a LOT of punching because you know, things are tough. So punch punch punch. Even the tutorial is a bit lame, it helps you build a house for yourself. Only it doesn’t because if gets you to make three blocks then you have to go do some more punching or chopping (as you can make an axe fairly early on) and repeat. It’s really, really boring.
When you get bored (which will be about 10 mins in) you may want to go for a walk. There are zombies roaming – they’re easy to spot when you’re up close, pop in is pretty bad so you will need to get close for the textures to load. Once loaded you’ll want to kill them and this is literally standing next to them and exchanging blows till they die or you die.
You’ll wish it was you first really. It looks horrific honestly and there is co-op play if you can convince anyone to also buy it, although they probably won’t be your friends for long. The laziness of the PC port really shines through at points as all menus are controlled by using the thumbsticks like a mouse pointer. There’s no need for it really and the whole convoluted system becomes more annoying through this use of the sticks to move a cursor around.
Apparently this has been out on PC since 2013 and some folks actually quite like it. I can only therefore assume the conversion is the main problem here which in some ways makes it worse as consoles are crying out for a game like this done well. Instead I’d just avoid playing it altogether, you’ll be getting rid in minutes anyway.
Reviewed on PS4