To all of my viewers: Buy it now... Oak's Quick Look video at the bottom of this review.
This game is a great example of Early Access games. Low price point. Very playable game. Plenty of content. Clear vision. Thoughtful dev team.
Most important factor: The game is fun and the mechanics are smooth. It’s not easy to combine multiple genres of games and come out with something that is isn’t confusing to the senses. I didn’t feel like I was playing a roguelike one minute, an RPG the next, a Strategy the next, an Adventure the next and an ARPG the next. Each time the mode of the gameplay changed ever so slightly, it was always appropriate to the situation in the game. Because of this, the game moved along fluently and without breaking immersion. The story held tight as a result.
Strong points of the game that made me enjoy my time:
• It’s a survival game with varying loot drops, like common, uncommon, etc. Those who are loot mongers like me and enjoy the loot variations of Diablo, Borderlands and Zigfrak will enjoy that fact immensely.
• The camera swings easily, the shots are true, and the interaction is spot-on.
• Great atmosphere from the wonderfully-appropriate music and sound effects right down to the creepy shadows that hide zombies and dirty look of the screen (which is indeed adjustable to your liking by the way). When you’re outside, it feels like it. When you are inside, the confinement adds to the claustrophobic life or death situation you are in.
• The gun reticule is appropriate to the gun you are using. If you’re using a pistol, the reticule is closer to your character; use a rifle and you get a longer aiming reticule and better accuracy. A great way to simulate aim difference in a top-down game.
• You can go it alone or bring in survivors to your fold and form a squad. You can then interact with the survivors in your squad much like Baldur’s Gate, Might and Magic, etc., by transferring items, sharing the carry load, specializing each member in ranged or melee, completely separate skill trees and so on. I highly suggest creating a squad. It really adds to the game play.
• An intense and well-written story that is gritty, but not too over-the-top set just after WW2 in New York. You consistently have a sense of purpose in the game. I was very surprised by the research the dev team put into character names. One such name is described in my Quick Look vid.
• There isn’t a CHANCE that you will get infected. You ARE infected and have to manage that by gathering a serum to keep your infection at bay. This same serum is used as currency to barter with NPCs for upgrades and supplies. There are consequences to your actions here.
• I can’t fall down open sewer grates to my death. The character stops at the edge. +1
• You are rewarded for exploring. I went off the beaten path a few times and was rewarded with a loot container. When you loot a container or object, there is a chance you will fail. There is a progress bar that counts down as you hold your spacebar to simulate time taken to loot. If you fail your attempt, you may loot again, but it takes longer each time afterward. This really adds to the “Oh Crap” factor when zombies are nearby. Loved it.
• When you are outside, you start incurring a tiredness penalty. The more tired you are, the slower your health and stamina regenerates. Nice touch. You can rest up in clearly marked buildings on the map (and mini-map) by going inside and getting out of the weather.
• There are varying mobs. Such as common, elite, boss, etc. Each tougher mob drops appropriate loot. And, you have a proficiency level in your stats that gives you a BONUS when killing each mob type after you have leveled up your kill count with that particular mob. Very, very cool.
There are more, but some are surprises that I don’t want to spoil.
What I didn’t like about the game:
The fact that the text sometimes auto-scrolls and I missed some of the story. I was quickly contacted by the dev after my review vid and told that I could have just paused the game. Very true and that wiped out the only thing I didn’t like.
All in all, I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a survival experience with good atmosphere, story and mechanics. This game is well put together. Here’s the kicker: At the time of this review, it was still in Early Access. Very impressive and very exciting for us. :) I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this game.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLYnFzq97WM&list=UUb8-Xfh-YYjBhRtvEaJBZsA