Review: Prey (2017)

Game: Prey (2017) for PC
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Copy purchased at full retail price.

Many years ago, I purchased one of my first ever single player games for the PC; the original Bioshock. In fact, per steam, it was the second game I ever acquired on the service. I played through that game in one sitting and was simply blown away by nearly every aspect of it. The immersion, the detailed city of rapture, the now iconic story, and the gameplay all combined to create an experience that I trust most people would agree is damn near perfect.

Prey is not Bioshock.

However, Prey borrows a lot of elements of Bioshock and Dishonored (obviously considering the latter made by the same developer). The game has some themes I could easily see in the two Dead Space games because there are only two games in that series (check steam if you don’t believe me). If you enjoyed the story of Bioshock, the gameplay of Dishonored (to an extent), and the atmosphere of Dead Space, then the less-than-perfect melding of these aspects seen in Prey may be right up your alley.

Enough of the preamble; let’s get to the heart of the matter.

I went into Prey knowing virtually nothing aside from what can be seen in the preview video posted by Jesse Cox . When I booted up Prey for the first time I was greeted with the logo of Arkane Studios and immediately regretted my purchase decision. Dishonored 2 was a horribly optimized game that completely stopped working on my computer after the first 30 hours. The game would not open without crashing. It is fixed now but that still seriously soured my opinion of both Arkane and Bethesda. Luckily Prey appears to be extremely well optimized, so maybe Dishonored 2 was a learning experience. Only time will tell.

The Narrative

I like Prey a lot. Let’s get that out of the way. The story and the characters are engaging; in fact, I found myself getting heavily invested in the outcomes of some of the story elements concerning certain NPCs. Genuine remorse, worry, and relief were all felt several times. I tend not to care about NPCs often so that must say something about the writing.

Even so, they kind of ruin the story by quite literally telling you the ending about a third of the way through if you complete the side quest “Who is December?” Sure, they give you hints at the ending throughout the main storyline, but they are at least a bit subtle. They get you thinking and theorycrafting about the story rather than beating you over the head with it out of nowhere. If you don’t want to have the story ruined for you then maybe skip that quest. I knew how the game ended before I even got halfway through. That should never happen.

Gameplay and Mechanics

Desktop 05.17.2017 - 02.28.03.12.png

The gameplay is good. I for some reason received the pre-order bonus for Prey even though I did not pre-order it, which allowed me to get the shotgun a little bit earlier. This shotgun gives you no statistical advantage but looks prettier than the standard model. The standard mimic enemies serve as a very effective tool to keep the tension high at all times. You never know when a chair or a coffee cup is going to try and murder you, and that is a wonderful thing.

chairohfuck.gif

The game features a basic crafting system where you break down anything you can pick up into four different types of crafting material. You shove your garbage into a recycling machine and you get back building material which is basically just a form of currency that you use to craft(Or basically purchase) pretty much everything useful in the game. You can get ammo, health and repair kits, upgrade kits for weapons, replacement weapons for some reason even though I don’t see why you would ever need that, etc.

To make the game progress faster I exploited a very commonly known glitch that allows you to gain an unlimited amount of crafting materials. Even so, I still found myself constantly low on ammo. I can’t imagine how anyone would get through this game normally without simply running away from almost every enemy. And that’s on normal difficulty!

Desktop 05.17.2017 - 13.34.16.14.png

There is a decent amount of gun variety and they all feel quite powerful. I can’t remember the last shooter I played where I was perfectly happy using every weapon in the game. I feel certain other developers could learn from this.

Desktop 05.17.2017 - 13.31.27.13.png

After a certain point in the story, you unlock an item called a Psychoscope which allows you to scan enemies to learn their strengths and weaknesses. You also acquire new abilities you may purchase in the skill tree when you scan a certain number of different types. This skill tree includes a wide range of both passive and active abilities that usually feel hard to choose between. Most of the skills in the 3 skill trees you can unlock before the psychoscope are passive, and most of the alien skills are active abilities. The active skills are basically much less interesting plasmids.

Sequence 01.gif

Visuals and Immersion

The graphics and environments in prey are decent. It certainly isn’t the new Crysis or anything but it is particularly pretty in some places. One aspect of a certain glass-based technology in the game seriously blew my mind the first time I saw it. I won’t be specific because that reveal is awesome, and unlike the game I don’t want to throw spoilers at you. Unfortunately, the creature design in Prey is basically nonexistent. They all look the same aesthetically. That may seem like common sense, but when that aesthetic is “black mass completely void of detail” … just no. You can do better than that. Almost everything else about the enemies in this game is wonderful and well thought out, but they all look just terrible and boring.

The music is wonderful at times though. It reflects the atmosphere nicely.

Desktop 05.17.2017 - 13.47.12.21.png

Prey allows you to choose the sex of Morgan which I found cool. It’s always nice to have that option regardless of what a certain subset of gamers would like you to believe. I chose female because I generally prefer female voices and I wanted to see if the developers cared enough to have that choice matter. In some ways, they failed in this. Most of the time the game recognized that I was playing a female character, but sometimes it used male pronouns to describe Morgan and that broke my immersion whenever It happened. Very disappointing.

misgendered.png

All around I put about 40 hours into Prey and I must say that I enjoyed my experience. I posted on Twitter after a few hours saying that so far the game is a “B” and I still stand by that. The game never dipped below that level of “good but not amazing” but also never managed to soar above it and do something that defied my expectations. As such I believe the game to be about an 8/10

Score: 8/10
If you care about that sort of thing.

Should You Check Out Dead Cells?

logo.png

Have you ever played a game called “Rogue Legacy” by Cellar Door Games? It was a roguelike action platformer that came out a few years ago. I put a few dozen hours into the game after seeing it on some youtube channel and I rather enjoyed my time with it. It was an aesthetically cute game with an interesting progression system where when you die, that character is gone -BUT- you keep your gold on a “descendant” of said character. You’d use this gold to progressively make a better and better character via skill trees and purchased equipment until eventually you have died enough times to clear the randomly generated castle.

Now; what if you took that game, stripped it down, then filled in the blanks with Dark Souls and Bloodbourne? Then you would get Dead Cells by Motion Twin.

skilltree.gif

Dead Cells came out on Steam early access a little over a week ago and since then has received quite a lot of praise, and rightly so. The game is very well executed both mechanically and artistically. Like Rogue Legacy, you steadily upgrade your character every time you play. You do this by spending “Cells” you get from enemies to acquire new weapons, perks, and upgrade already unlocked equipment. This means that every few runs you will have completely new equipment that can drop.

combat.gif

The gameplay is very fast and fluid. Your character feels powerful even with just the starting equipment and no upgrades. After only a few hours of play time I am already at the point where I never feel afraid to take a risk because I know if I just play well enough, any risk will pay off.

This risk-reward is a key component to the gameplay in Dead Cells. Do I want to fully clear out a level to gain the maximum number of cells, or do I want to just run to the exit because I am out of potions and I don’t want to lose everything? Do I take the easy path of levels, or do I go after the more challenging zones which drop more of everything? Every run is different because the answers to these questions aren’t always the same.

iteminfo.jpg

The game features equipment such as turrets, bombs, a teleportation ability (the equivalent of shadow-step in World of Warcraft), traps, etc. You can equip two of these items at any one time. All the items -including the weapons and shields- can have randomly added bonuses on them such as “throw a bomb on use” or “poison enemies on hit” among many others.

sawsnbombs.gif

One balancing issue I have found is that some of the equipment are far too powerful. For instance, the turret I mentioned earlier. I was lucky enough to acquire two of these turrets at the same time during a run, which allowed me to basically skip every fight. All I had to do to win was drop two turrets and then wait while the enemies died helplessly. While fun and very useful for gaining cells, this is clearly not how the game is meant to be played.

Anyway, this Is by no means a review. It wouldn’t be fair to review a game that is very clearly sold as a not finished product. I am merely writing this to help spread the word and let people know that this is a game possibly worth keeping an eye on. I may review the game once it has exited early access, but it is too soon for me to decide that now.

If this article has helped you decide whether Dead Cells is for you, feel free to leave a comment. It is always nice to hear that I have helped with a purchasing decision- especially when it comes to indie games.

Review: Tom Clancy’s The Division

I am very conflicted while writing this review. I am not really sure how I feel about The Division, because I have had such high highs, and such low lows during my time with it. The day The Division came out I planned on playing it for a while taking notes and such before I made my first impressions video which went up on the 9th of March. The Division has such a great introduction to the gameplay and the world that I played it for upwards of 8 hours straight without making a single note or recording a frame of B-roll. When I realized this I felt both upset that I had in some way wasted my time, as well as happy that I enjoyed the game SO much more than I had initially expected I would.

screenshot 1

 

I had played the game for a while during the open beta weekend they had shortly before the game went live and, while I had fun, the fun I had was mostly due to playing with one of my friends for the majority of my experience. Seeing as they bought the game on PS4 and I have it on PC, I was expecting to not have as much fun since for the most part I would be playing alone. Luckily, the beta gameplay wasn’t exactly representative of the final product in that solo gameplay is MUCH more enjoyable in the full release. The Division even gets MORE fun the longer you play it (even solo) up to a point; whereas, most games of this nature tend to have really great first acts and then immediately take a dive in level of quality and content. Take Borderlands 2 as an example: I really love the intro to that game, and I still remember most of my initial experience fondly. But other than the first 5 or so hours of Borderlands 2, I remember virtually nothing outside of one or two boss fights. This level of drop off is what I had expected of The Division, but I actually remember most of what went on.

SS3

Where the story is concerned, I’m sure everybody reading this already knows the premise: an epidemic has occurred in New York City, and you are part of an elite task force secretly sent in to discover the cause and to “take back the city.” This gives it a very “Escape From New York” vibe, if not a much more modern version. Aside from the premise though I don’t really know much more about the story because when I play mindless grindy looter shooters (or really any game that involves pretty much only combat without much dialogue interaction) I tend to want a lot of back ground noise. My background noise for The Division was the GameGrumps playing Wind Waker. God, I love Wind Waker.

So, needless to say I have pretty much no fucking clue what this game is about outside of the intro, and I don’t really care because despite a lot of people insisting this is an RPG, there is 0 dialogue interaction with the player. NPC’s talk at you, not to you. You never have the option to reply, nor does your character ever say a single god damn thing. I wish it did! I wish your character spouted one liners (at least while killing the very large yellow health enemies) so I could feel like John McClane in one of the shittier Die Hard sequels. I know that would be somewhat immersion breaking but sometimes you have to make sacrifices on immersion in order to create a more enjoyable experience. This would also help the game stop taking itself so damned seriously. Yes, we get it, you are trying to be a Tom Clancy game.

Visually speaking, The Division is BEAUTIFUL. I have never played a game that looked as nice as this, even The Witcher 3. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Witcher 3, but The Division takes that level of detail, adds some polish, and then gives you physical interactivity with the environment. You can close doors, shoot individual bricks out of walls, even destroy most of a piece of cover (though I am not sure if this actually effects the quality of the cover, it still looks very nice). I played around with the settings until I found the highest I could go while still never dropping below 60 FPS, and I have virtually no complaints about the fidelity of this games visuals. That is, until the bugs start to come into play.

no world

The bugs all kind of hit me at once sadly. I was originally going to type up my review yesterday (Tuesday in the U.S.) but I decided that I should probably get more into the end game before I attempted my first draft, and holy fuck am I glad I did that because most of yesterday was a shit show. I decided to farm up some money by running main story quests (basically just dungeons, so I’m going to call them dungeons from this point forward.) because there was a really nice looking LMG on a vendor that I wanted, but after a few very quick successful runs the game started feeling like it was disintegrating around me. I went into the dungeon again only to find that 90% of the map didn’t load, causing me to fall through the ground until the game told me I was out of bounds and respawned me at my base. This happened SEVERAL times during the day, and for some reason every time this scenario forced a respawn, I spawned on fire. But oh no this was not the only horrible game breaking bug I faced yesterday. Sometime during the night the game somehow decided that I no longer needed to have any quest markers on my map, which meant that I couldn’t gain any more resources to upgrade my base. This really infuriated me because it took me like two fucking hours to fix. I tried restarting the game, rebooting my computer, joining people’s groups. About the 3rd time I joined somebody’s group we tried doing one of THEIR side missions which luckily somehow fixed my problem. By far one of the most annoying glitches I have faced in a while.

scanner

One thing that really fucking ruined my perception of The Division is the way that Ubisoft decided to waste players’ time with the so-called “Virus Research”. It is going to sound like I am JOKING but I assure you I am not. The developers actually put MULTIPLE missions in the game that are just “run around a gigantic empty building with no enemies or map trying to find the 3 or 4 things you need to click on.”  Who thought this was a good idea? Who, sitting behind their gigantic corporate desk decided that it was ENGAGING GAMEPLAY to run around on an empty map for upwards of 10 minutes doing absolutely nothing? These missions are all on timers of varying lengths, and some of them have timers which are almost twenty minutes long. TWENTY MINUTES? They actually coded a big empty several stories tall building, put nothing in it, and then play tested a mission inside of it and decided “this one takes a really long time to complete, let’s give them a really long timer” instead of saying “hey maybe having them run around a shitty building with nobody to shoot for a 3rd of an hour is a bad idea”. This just goes to show how little Ubisoft values their own customers time. Most of the actual combat oriented side missions in the game don’t even take twenty minutes to finish! Even if you die and have to start over!

Anyway, I leveled up to the maximum level (thirty) rather quickly once I actually had enough time to play it. If you just do all of the non-resource side missions and all of the dungeons one time, you will hit max level very rapidly. I have seen a lot of people complain or struggle with the combat, saying that the enemies are too tough or bullet spongy, but I never really had a problem with any of that. I know this is a game designed for co-op play, so I know the enemies HAVE to be somewhat bullet spongy. Once you hit around level 18 or so, purple items start showing up from enemies and in shops which severely decrease the level of difficulty. It seems the game is balanced around having full blues for the most part so once you move past blues everything solo starts to seem trivial.

phoenix

Let’s move onto the “end game” content as well as the dark zone. Once I hit level thirty, the game spawned 2 vendors which I can buy items from using a new level thirty only currency called Phoenix Credits. These are used to buy the best quality weapons and blueprints to max out the damage and utility of your character. You can earn them by killing certain special named elite (yellow health enemies as mentioned earlier) or by completing daily dungeons and challenge mode dungeons. Challenging difficulty is really punishing when you first hit maximum level, enemies basically one hit K.O. you and your team mates, so I would advise either using some sort of VOIP to better communicate with your team mates or just waiting to do them until you have much better gear.

I managed to get enough gear to complete yesterday’s challenging difficulty daily, and was severely disappointed in the loot I received. On hard difficulty (the medium difficulty between normal and challenging), I get many purple item drops throughout the run, especially from bosses and mini bosses which always drop one or two of them. In challenging mode though, you for some reason only ever get blues from drops. I thought I was just unlucky, but I checked with my team mates and they also all only got blues from drops. You would think you would get BETTER gear from the highest difficulty in the game, not worse. Maybe we were all just really unlucky or maybe it was a bug, but there is no excuse for this level of loot quality considering if you are still using blues in a challenging mode you will get fucking destroyed, making every item that drops virtually worthless. At least completing a challenge mode dungeon gives you one piece of yellow (the highest quality available) loot.

ss2

But how are you supposed to get better gear if your Phoenix Credits income is so limited and you can’t do the best dungeons for more? That is where the dark zone comes into play. Dark zones are large areas of the map where you will find other players as well as much tougher enemies and encounters. Players can kill you to steal your loot, but only loot you have not yet extracted from the dark zone. When you gain an item in the dark zone it is marked as “contaminated” and is unusable until extracted via these small orange areas of the map. Every time you die, you drop every dark zone item you are currently carrying, as well as some dark zone only currency, dark zone experience, and if you have any on you, one dark zone chest key. Anybody can pick these up for the most part (some of your items are marked as public and some as private, so you can still pick up the private items if somebody looted your public ones.) so if you had anything worthwhile, you will generally want to get back to where you died as quick as possible. Luckily the game marks your death point on the map making this much easier to find.

There are two things that I particularly hate about the dark zone. One is that if four people decide to team up and go on a killing spree, it is very unlikely that anybody will be able to stop them. Four coordinated players can take out a much larger amount of uncoordinated players without much effort, which basically means that if you feel so inclined you can ruin an entire zones worth of player experience with the game until you get bored. When a group is on a rampage like this there is virtually no point in playing the dark zone because whenever you go to extract your gear, it sends out an alert to the entire zone saying an extraction is on the way which takes 90 seconds to arrive giving the rogue group of players the opportunity to show up and take all of your shit. The other thing I hate is how SLOW the progression in the dark zone is. You cannot spend a cent of your dark zone currency until you are dark zone rank 30 or higher, even if you are level 10. This makes gaining dark zone currency utterly meaningless until you are rank 30 which takes all of the fun out of finding it. The most expensive item I have found so far on a dark zone vendor cost around 10,000, but I have 60,000 and am only rank 23 so I can’t buy anything. Also, the really expensive stuff requires rank 50 anyway so that’s even farther away.

As I said before, The Division has me seriously conflicted. I don’t know if I like the game or hate it, but what matters is I want to keep playing it. I enjoy the gameplay, but if the negatives I mentioned keep you from wanting the game I understand wholeheartedly. I hope eventually the developers change or fix the stuff that is seriously wrong with this game because I am really looking forward to the DLC, which is rare for me. I usually skip DLC until the game of the year edition and let’s face it, The Division isn’t winning any game of the year awards. Is it worth your time and money? That’s not for me to decide. It has been worth mine, but barely. I’m not going to do any sort of scoring system from now on because I feel that when you assign a game an arbitrary number it causes people to not pay attention to the reasoning behind that number and just make assumptions based on that small amount of information. Hopefully this review has helped you make an informed decision, and you are not disappointed with the choice you make on whether or not to buy Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Zombi(not U) for PC: Back from the dead, much like its enemies.

This review has been partially updated. The update is in bold at the bottom.

Before I begin this review I should probably mention that I played a lot of ZombiU when it originally came out for the WiiU at launch, in fact it was one of the main reasons that I pre-ordered my deluxe edition (the black one) WiiU. I mention this only because reviews are already inherently biased so I want to make sure everyone knows I am already leaning towards a positive review before I have even played the port. Also a little back story for why I decided to write this review: I have wanted to try my hand at some form of games media for quite some time that does not involve my usual let’s plays, because I have honestly grown very bored of just trying to be a let’s player. This is shown by the absence of any substantial content whatsoever over the past year. Until now. Hopefully. I could still get bored halfway through this and say fuck it (See: All of my let’s plays).

Okay now that that’s out-of-the-way here’s the review part of the review.

Real.Still002

The first thing I noticed upon starting the game was how terrible the melee combat system feels with a mouse. Now, this could be just because I have spent over 200 hours playing Dead Island and its sequel/spinoff (Its my favorite game, no h8 m8 games gr8 I r8 8/8), but this melee system is basically the exact opposite of that masterpiece. How melee in Zombi works is you right-click to raise the bat, then left click to hit with the bat, which honestly took a lot longer than it should have to get used to. This is a remnant from the original version, where you did the same thing but with the right and left trigger, but in my opinion they should have absolutely considered changing it. Or at least that’s how I felt in the beginning. I eventually got used to it and even began to love how visceral it makes the combat feel. This system gives every swing of your bat a certain weight that most games seem to lack, which makes it feel even farther away than that of Dead Island’s system which has always felt extremely fast and fluid to me, but lacking any sort of impact.

Real.Still008Real.Still009Real.Still010Real.Still011

The game is very metroidvania-esque in that all the way through the game you see areas that require certain tools to reach like a hammer, a lock pick, C4, and so on. This means you will most likely want to do a lot of backtracking for loot which I quite enjoy the idea of because it being a SURVIVAL horror game you can always use more medkits and ammo. There are 4 major tools in the game used to get past such obstacles; the ones I mentioned before plus the Scanner which is one of the games key features. Originally you controlled the scanner with the gamepad, wobbling it about in front of your fat face to identify objects, which I always found kind of tedious since I am the kind of person who will check every single room to make sure I don’t miss anything. I rather like how they integrated it into the port and find it a much more friendly part of the game now. Over the course of the game you upgrade it several times, adding tools to hack open doors and solve puzzles, as well as to gain a sonar like effect that makes you no longer have to manually ping to find zombies.

Real.Still004Real.Still005

This gamepad integration was the original selling point of the WiiU version, and I have seen a lot of people saying that without that “gimmick” the game is little more than a generic zombie shooter. What these people don’t seem to understand is that while this game does indeed include a hell of a lot of gunplay, it is far from what I would normally classify a Shooter. It has metroidvania components like I stated above, it has very frustrating death mechanics ala Dark Souls, and if you aren’t a big floppy chicken like me (don’t ask why the chicken is floppy, you don’t want to know, we did a thing) and play on the games harder difficulty level, you will die a LOT. Sure, the PC controls absolutely make the game easier than its console counterparts, boiling down mainly to how easy aiming is with a mouse, but it is still a fairly large challenge to not get your face gobbled off by every ghastly abomination that sets its decaying eyes on you. The worst part of this being if you die multiple times in a row you lose all of your shit, and you have to go back through the world to find your guns again.

Real.Still007Real.Still006

Let’s talk about the guns for a bit shall we? The game has your standard fare of weapons to choose from: pistols, sniper rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, SMG’s, as well as a magnum (which yes is a pistol but it uses different ammo to the others) and a crossbow. The port also added upgraded melee weapons you can find throughout the game which were not present in the original. The main problem I find with the weapons, and this was also present in the U version, is that you can’t get rid of the starting gear. If you pick up a better pistol or melee weapon and would like to use those instead, you have to carry TWO melee weapons and pistols because the game will not under any circumstances allow you to drop the base set. Now, I understand why they did this, they didn’t want players to be able to drop the pistol in the storage box, kill themselves, then have twice as much ammo. I get that. But they could have just as easily made it so the far superior in every single way silenced pistol replaces the starter, or simply made it so that you can CHOOSE to drop those items once you have a replacement. Considering how extremely limited the storage you have is, I find this to be a very annoying oversight from a design perspective.

Real.Still012 Real.Still013Real.Still014

Once I made it past the tutorial I was immediately reminded of what made me enjoy the original so much: the atmosphere. Everything in this game is set up from the beginning to make you feel like this world is real, and terrifying, and some other words that sound good next to those ones to get the point across that this game fits the HORROR part of survival horror to a fucking T. There’s fog, there’s zombies, there’s disconcerting noises that make you feel like screaming “what the hell was that?” and above all else there is a real sense that this world was alive recently. That the shit JUST hit the fan. Hell, there’s still even running electricity in some areas. Unfortunately the immersion the game was going for was swiftly ruined for quite some time by the bugs that hit me pretty much right off the bat. Now, that’s not to say the game is a buggy mess by any stretch of the imagination, but it does have some GLARING problems.

Real.Still015Real.Still016Real.Still017

The first bug I encountered was one that just kinda brought me out of the fun for a little bit, and it happens quite often actually. The game has a melee finishing system of sorts, in that you can 1 shot any zombie that is on the ground by smashing its face, this has its own animation. HOWEVER if you smash the face of an already dead zombie, the physics engine breaks on you, sending the corpse flying like a QWOP rag doll. Again, nothing major but it does ruin any sense of immersion when it happens. Now onto the major fucking joke of a bug that wasted about 2 hours of my life. About 1/2 of the way through the game you go into a daycare center to find some medicine, and I won’t spoil too much but there is a cutscene in there that crashed the game pretty much every time for me. The only fix I could find required me to lower the resolution on my game from 1080p to 720p, and I also set it to windowed mode just to be safe. I don’t think this has effected very many people, but if it does happen to you I just thought I would tell you how to get past it.

Real.Still020

The last bug I found was more of a graphical oversight than a bug, but I thought it would be a good segway into my next paragraph so here we are. whenever you walk underneath any sort of flowing water in the game, you get a blurry effect on your screen to simulate the water being in your eyes, but the blur doesn’t cover your whole screen, it is in a rectangular box that takes up most of the center of your screen and it makes no sense what so ever. I am not the kind of person who cares a terrible amount about graphics unless the game is an extreme outlier on either side of the scale. But this is one thing I absolutely noticed. Other than that though the game looks fairly good. Absolutely not The Witcher 3 but for a 3-year-old game that was ported from the least powerful of the 3 current gen systems, and only costs $20, it is definitely passable. The game runs fantastic on my machine, which uses two (2) GTX 970s, a very old I5 2500k, and 10 gigs of ram. Average over 180 frames per second.

Real.Still021

As for the game’s story, its… Okay I guess? The Prepper is a fairly interesting character and I enjoy his interaction as he guides you through the game, but there really aren’t any other notable people. At all. There’s a scientist you meet, an army woman you meet, and a crazy old man you meet. These are the four characters you interact with. None of them really have any depth to their personalities and you don’t interact with any of them (excluding the Prepper) for more than a few minutes total. Overall I felt the story was a bit lacking, boiling down to a generic “find the thing and then escape”. Would I want to hear more from this world and the people who live in it? Absolutely! Unfortunately unless this port sells a substantial amount of copies I highly doubt we will ever hear from this world again, since the original was a commercial failure.

Real.Still022

Zombi took me just under 8 hours to beat according to the in-game timer, and I have come away feeling quite satisfied. The game was far too frightening for me to ever finish on the U because of the whole “lose all your shit” mechanic, but the easier controls made it a breeze this time around. I would have to say that I really enjoyed my time with Zombi and I am sort of sad to be done with it. Though it may have frustrated me from time to time with its bugs and odd design choices, it delivers exactly what I was needing from a zombie game. Visceral combat, an exciting and sometimes heart pounding atmosphere, and last but certainly not least the idea that death actually matters, which aside from games like dark souls is an aspect that is sorely missing from most games. I will sit here hoping that this port does well enough to get the idea out of the paper shredder because if they ever announced a sequel I would most definitely buy it.

The arbitrary meaningless number I assign to this game is a 7.8/10. Would, and probably will play again.

Update:

Know what? On second thought, after going back and trying to play some more of the game after I beat it, I found out that you can’t. The fucking game basically deletes your save file and forces you to start the game again once you beat it so you can’t explore the world or anything afterwards. Sadly going to have to reduce my score to 7.2 because of this. It may be harsh but that one thing disappointed me more than anything in a game I have seen in a very long time.