It is fantastic to see Rebuild return to my screen, now in the form of a full browser title as opposed to a flash game. I had always been a fan of the series and I was delighted to see its triumphant return.
I had not been a backer for the game, having only discovered its existance about three days before it's official Steam debut. I was however immediately excited, so I eagerly awaited the game and had it purchased within an hour or so of its release. I spent a short time playing it, just to get the gist of how everything worked, what had been changed, what was the same and all that stuff.
First thing I noticed which I was mildly disappointed about was the graphics. Whilst they are pleasant to look at, that proves to be its downfall in my eyes. The first and second games were ultimately horror games with a lot of grim aspects which the graphics complimented. The people shown always looked ragged and realistic, which I felt sucked me into the experience. While it's still too early to say if the game's dark tone has changed, it currently appears to have become slightly more cartoonish and less gritty. Now, this doesn't ruin the game in any way, but it does kind of disappoint me.
The music also disappointed me slightly, being less dark in tone than the original. Of course this is personal preference and it in no way spoils the experience, but it does still warrant mentioning. It grows mildly repetitive, so it may be nice if future updates were to perhaps add multiple tracks or an extended version, just to keep up variety. As for general audio, there isn't any major emphasis which I understand and appreciate. The audio isn't where the heart of the game lies.
The gameplay itself is interesting. I switched the game to turn-based because that's how I had become familiar with the series. It is nice to see a game which gives the option between real time and turn based. When I got into the game, I could see that many mechanics had been made far more complex. In the originals, you were to click on a building, select a task which you wished to perform on that building, you would select the number of people you wished to perform that task and as you added more, the estimated time to completion got smaller. Now we have a combination of a variant of that and a click-and-drag system, in which icons of the characters are clicked and dragged to areas on the map. While it does work quite effectively, there was occassionally mild confusion when I for example, sent several people out on a single mission and was unsure of how to select them individually again. I don't know if I missed something, disabled something or if the tutorial simply needs a little tweaking. For the most part, things can be sorted through trial and error.
As can be seen immediately, many features of the game are still locked. Zombie attacks are only implimented in the sense that you are given an alert and then told that the feature has yet to be implimented. Character customisation is still extremely limited, which I hope will be changed with proceeding updates as it became slightly awkward as many characters looked nearly alike.
Construction now requires materials, which is a new aspect to gameplay. Buildings can be demolished to scavenge for new materials which can then be used to create new buildings which are of more use. I suspect that there are more ways to gather materials, but unfortunately my play session was not very long.
Overall, I consider this to be a very good addition to the series which is let down purely by the fact that it is beta, which can hardly be claimed as the fault of anyone. I shall reccomend it on the basis of future updates. Fans of the original should pick up this title immediately, whilst those unfamiliar should perhaps wait a while until the game has been updated a little more.