7 Days to Die Review

Ever since Microsoft announced the Early Access support on Xbox One, a wave of games have been released, all the way from game critic Ben Croshaw’s The Long Dark to dinosaur and more adventurer ARK: Survival Evolved. But ironically, there’s been a majority of games released on the storefronts as a complete product, that have more than just a couple of glaring flaws. Typically it’s a stealth release, almost like when a movie is released without pre-release reviews because the distributor knows it’s going to get a bad reception.

I assumed the long in alpha 7 Days to Die would curb these trends, as not only did it have a hefty marketing campaign going into release (just look up the game’s live action trailer!) but it was also being published by Telltale, one of the first retail releases from the company besides their licensed point and clicks and Jackbox Party Packs. Instead, the title 7 Days to Die seems rather fitting for the game’s lifecycle. Here’s exactly why.

Gameplay:

You’d be surprised if you expect to make this in the first couple of hours

On top of 7 Days to Die being a bad game, it’s also a cliched one. It’s randomly generated (depending on the player’s preference), includes crafting, and even has a creative mode. However, the game has one unique feature that I haven’t seen much of in zombie games recently. If players survive up until the 7th night, there in for the hardest the game has to offer, including overly aggressive AI, bigger hordes, and tougher enemies. It’s kind of like Dying Light mixed with Don’t Starve’s speediness. Yet, the game squanders this chance at redemption, due to the host of other issues.

7 Days to Die’s lousy combat doesn’t make up for it’s other flaws, and the one unique feature only brings a small dose of individuality to the table. Crafting feels improper with some bad reticle aiming, and it’s hard to tell when enemies have died in your beginning hours. It could be a good yet cheesy romp between friends, but this is a full $30 game we are talking about here, and not everyone I know is built on cash for novelties like this.

While I appreciate the enemy variety, fighting the enemies themselves is otherwordly clunky

Story & Design:

Bows are one of the more reliable weapons

Every once in a while playing Minecraft, you’ll accidentally destroy a block instead of the enemy you were trying to attack. However, you don’t think much of it as it isn’t a consistent problem. In 7 Days to Die, this is not the case. Frequent deaths arise from a lack of proper depth perception and aiming, leaving anything tactical or well thought out the drain. I understand zombies are dumb, but 7 Days to Die takes this to a whole nother level.

As bad as 7 Days to Die can be, some reasonable ounces of effort were poured into it’s vast weapon selection. While this doesn’t go the same way for characters, anybody can take their own route whether it be guns blazing, clubbing, or more unique ways to approach your predators. Of course, this doesn’t completely pan out due to the poor controls, but every time you do land an attack right, you get a sad pinch of what the game could be.

Menu layouts are a bit Skyrim reminiscent

Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:

Textures are awful, no matter the scenario

The more you play 7 Days to Die, the more you’ll realize why they relied on live action marketing. The real game last-gen as hell, and some could see that as a compliment. For people that have been burned out on zombie games before, a negative like this would be the ultimate killer as immersion is key nowadays. Nevertheless, this is the least of 7 Days to Die’s problems in the presentation forefront.

I understand why games like Just Cause 3 and Fallout 4 can have a couple hiccups on console due to their size, but even 7 Days to Die is a complete travesty in this respect. There’s a framerate drop nearly every time you do something important, and the sound effects are a disaster in and of itself. Certain things are too loud, and others too quiet, leaving a huge sense of unevenness.

Conclusion:

After having to commit myself to going through the unfortunate things 7 Days to Die offers, I looked up more to see why it was in this seemingly unfinished state. Turns out, the developers who ported this also worked on the PC version of Arkham Knight. If this really is the case, I’m surprised there isn’t more controversial traction about refunds or store removals. 7 Days to Die simply does everything wrong in nearly every way.

7 Days to Die gets a 3/10 (Painful)

We’d like to thank Telltale Games for giving us a code!

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