7 Days to Die (Console) Review

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Posted July 7, 2016 by Adeem Khan in Video Games

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Developer: The Fun Pimps

Publisher: Telltale Games

Release Date: June 28th, 2016

Platforms:  PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Within a few hours of playing 7 Days to Die I knew this was not a good game. In those few hours I was disconnected from multiple online games, experienced constant slowdowns, and had the game freeze on me twice. If you’re the kind of person who is easily frustrated by those technical problems, this is not the game for you. But if you’re a little more patient, and have a friend or two to play with, you might just end up having a ton of fun.

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7 Days to Die should not have been released in its current state. With patches already out and some fixes already announced, it’s clear the developers knew about the technical mess the game is, but decided to release it anyway. I don’t blame them. The biggest thing the game has going for it is that it’s the only game like it on PS4 at the moment (not counting Minecraft), and it’s one of the very few games like it on Xbox One. While the crafting heavy, zombie survival genre is oversaturated on PC, console players have been waiting for ports for what seems like forever.

With Day Z and H1Z1 already announced for consoles and Ark: Survival Evolved already out on Xbox One and coming to PS4 soon, there will eventually be no place for games like 7 Days to Die. Its competitors offer better gameplay, more robust features, better graphics, and larger online modes. 7 Days to Die reached its success on PC by coming in the genre early—and they’re trying replicate the same success on consoles.

As someone who doesn’t have a good gaming capable PC, I’ve been watching the genre grow from the sidelines with envy. With Day Z and Ark being delayed constantly for consoles, I was itching for an open-world survival experience, and 7 Days to Die came out at the perfect time.

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7 Days to Die is at its best when playing with friends; thankfully, the game provides a good amount of options to do just that. You can play online with up to four friends or randoms, and you can also play splitscreen with two players. (I don’t have a lot of friends who also bought the game, so if you’re on PS4 you can turn on Shareplay and then use splitscreen to play online with someone who doesn’t have a copy of the game.) The game doesn’t feature a dedicated server like most of it’s competitors, so if you’re playing online the host has a clear advantage.

Online and splitscreen make the technical problems of the game worse, leading to even weirder glitches and worse framerate. But sometimes, grouping up with your pals and jumping into the apocalypse is fun enough to overlook these problems. Sure the slowdowns were annoying, but I still had fun using my friend as bait to lead a bear into my trap. Sure it was annoying when the bear glitched through the door and entered our house and killed both of us, but the laughter following it made it all worth it.

As much fun I had playing the game online or splitscreen with my friends, I had an equal amount of frustration playing solo. Playing solo I treated the game less as an apocalyptic playground and more as the survival game it was built to be. Monsters glitching through defenses was no longer fun, but just plain frustrating. The constant slowdowns while trying to fight a group of zombies lost me a couple fights and almost lost me a controller. One of the worst problems I had with this game was when the game froze while I was moving a rare item into my storage chest; when I restarted the game the item had disappeared.

Apart from the obvious technical problems, the game just lacks polish all around. One of the most annoying examples is the audio in this game. It’s very uneven with rain and thunderstorms being ridiculously loud. A zombie can be heard from far away and it sounds like they’re right next to your ear. I had to keep the TV remote close by while playing this game and constantly fidget with the volume.

One of the things I have to commend the developers with is that the controls feel really nice. They take a while to get used to and there’s no in-game tutorial to teach you, but once you get the hang of it, it feels great.

Final Verdict:

7 Days to Die is not a good game. It’s a rushed port and a technical mess that looks like an early PS3 game. But if you’re willing to look over all that and have some friends to spend the day with, there is some genuine fun times that you can have with this game.

 


About the Author

Adeem Khan