VIDEO GAMING

Game review: 7 Days to Die is a disappointing survival game that just gets worse the longer you play

7 Days is a lacklustre, glitch-ridden and time-wasting experience, and it will take a lot less than a week to kill gamers with boredom

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2016, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 July, 2016, 6:00pm

7 Days to Die

The Fun Pimps

2/5 stars

When gamers think of the survival genre, they normally think of exploring haunted houses, escaping zombies and generally getting scared stupid as they attempt to survive. Standard acts of real-life survival – finding shelter, seeking out food, wondering what to do with yourself in this frighteningly desolate environment – are rarely if ever explored, which made 7 Days to Die sound so fascinating.

Maybe that’s why the game is so disappointing, or maybe it’s because of the ridiculously long wait as it languished in Steam Early Access – where users can purchase in-development video games and play unfinished versions – for two-and-a-half years.

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Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because it sucks. Yeah, it’s probably because it sucks. This is the console version, by the way, available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; the full PC/Mac version might never be fully released – mostly because from this shoddy package, it doesn’t look even half completed.

Days starts ambitiously enough, throwing you into empty backwoods and giving you no purpose but to survive – of course, it all quickly falls apart, the backwoods a low-res, badly textured environment that resembles something from two generations back, and the “survival” parts involve you literally punching trees, grass, branches and rocks to craft items.

You eventually can build yourself an axe, club or similar to stop you having to punch your way through your new life, and while the exploration of this sandbox environment can admittedly be pretty cool and clever at rare times, it’s mostly a heap of glitches, time-wasting features, terrible PC-centric controls and a general who-cares attitude.

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And then, just when you think it can’t get any worse, in come the zombies. Yup, they did it – they took a cool concept, put zero effort into its completion and decided to ruin it with the biggest survival stereotype around. They’re slow moving, incredibly stupid and rarely put up a fight, and it’s really only on the seventh day of your journey, when you’re flooded with an absolute throng of them, that they start to matter.

Surprisingly, 7 Days to Die has sold incredibly well on Steam Early Access and I’m sure its console edition will rake in the numbers – but that’s a sad comment on the shoddy nature of this kind of game, and the desperation we players feel for something seemingly fresh and new. It still sucks, though.