As I sat contemplating my many hours in the DayZ mod for Arma II, I began wishing for something a little more team-based and focused on survival instead of finding gear just so you can waste other players. A few days later, I came across 7 Days To Die. Needless to say, I freaked out…like, a lot. Being a huge fan of Minecraft and an avid player of DayZ, a cross between the two made me feel like the gaming gods were smiling upon me.
Perhaps I should explain a bit. Imagine the zombie-slaying survival of DayZ, mix it with the crafting power of Minecraft, and you have a pretty basic idea of what 7 Days To Die is like. For those of you who don’t know what either of those games are, shame on you. Just imagine a huge open world where everywhere is open to you. Buildings full of loot. Combining items to make other items. The list goes on. Now add zombies into the mix and you have 7 Days To Die.
As the creators of the game put it, “7 Days to Die is an open world, voxel-based, sandbox game that is a unique mash up of First Person Shooter, Survival Horror, Tower Defense and Role Playing Games combining combat, crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth.” Key word being unique. This game seems to have a little something for everyone.
Unlike DayZ or Minecraft, 7 Days To Die will feature a full campaign storyline which you can complete solo or co-op with others. Set during the aftermath of World War III, an unknown plague sweeps the earth, converting people into the hive-minded, living dead and it’s up to you to survive and search for the answers about what really started it.
For you sandbox lovers, there is a multiplayer “Zombie Nomad” mode, which presumably is an objective-free survival mode.
Now that we’ve gotten the overview out of the way, let’s break into the features shall we?
- Points of Interest – If you’re a fan of open world games, you know what points of interest are. 7 Days To Die is full of hundreds of caves, cities, campsites, skyscrapers, you name it. Also, each building is fully explorable, inside and out.
- Dynamic Story Generation – It’s not entirely sure what this will look like, but I would assume it will give the game a fresh experience with every play through. Meaning the story will change based on what you do as the character.
- Basic Survival – Food? Check. Water? Check. Survival horror takes on a whole new meaning as you have to make sure you don’t starve to death. Be sure to keep an eye on your stamina meter too. It would be a shame if you were too tired to run from that horde of zombies behind you.
- Day and Night Game Play – What’s more frightening than zombies during the day? Zombies at night. Especially these zombies. During the day, the light slows them down to a walk, making them extremely easy to avoid, but as soon as the sun goes down, you had better be prepared, because these suckers go nuts! I hope you have your running shoes on.
- Looting, Mining, and Crafting – A feature I am particularly looking forward to. In 7 Days To Die, you will have the ability to dig mines and use different materials to craft weapons, tools, and defenses to help you survive the zombie horde. Anything from spiked clubs to landmines formed out of hubcaps. You’re going to need everything you can get to survive the night.
- Relentless and Special Enemies – You think that little door can stop them? Think again. These zombies will tear the world apart to get to you.
- Block Physics and Stability – This feature sets the game apart from others like Minecraft. If you dig a tunnel and fail to support it sufficiently, you better prepare for it falling on your head.
- Item Quality and Food/Water Purity – Another cool feature, if you use items, they get worn out. Also, food and water have different purity levels. The higher the purity, the higher the benefits.
- XP and Skill Trees – Yeah, I have mad nunchuck skills and spent the summer in Alaska hunting wolverines. Level up your character and tailor their skills to what’s right for you.
- Stealth and Distraction System – Is it just me, or does this game has a crap-load of features? Anyway, I hope you feel like Sam Fisher, because sneaking, distracting, and attracting are all important parts of 7 Days To Die. Throw rocks, hide your scent, and more to avoid the nasty monsters.
- Solo, Cooperative, and Multiplayer – Pretty self-explanatory. However, the Zombie Nomad mode will allow players to be zombies, as well as humans and bandits. I’m not too sure about this feature, but I’m hoping they can pull it off.
- Creative User Tools – Just a creative mode. Build your own world to show off your creativity or play with friends.
If that doesn’t make you drool all over the floor, I don’t know what will. Still in the pre-alpha stage, 7 Days To Die is rapidly growing in popularity and has already been Green Lit on Steam and has surpassed its Kickstarter goal. If you would still like to back the game, there is still a few hours left in its Kickstarter campaign, so you had better hurry!