Survivalist

 

Data
Break Up
Game: Survivalist
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, RPG, Simulation,Strategy
Developer: Bob the Game Development Bot
Publisher: Ginormocorp Holdings Ltd
Release Date: Jan 30, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating:  5/10
Graphics: 6/10
Controls: 2/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 7/10
Sound: 7/10
Story: 5/10
Replay Value: 6/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

First of all I want to say… this game was just not for me, and so to people who know my likes well and have similar tastes, I would not recommend it. However, I can appreciate that although it may not be for me, it is actually a fairly good game and people who don’t have the same miffs with it that I do might really enjoy it (and actually have).

That said, let’s get on with the review.

Joe Wheeler, a self-centered businessman, leaves the safety of his bunker in search for food just about a year after the zombie apocalypse. The game is actually pretty run-of-the-mill post apocalyptic survival game, you have to scavenge, avoid looters, kill/escape zombies, build your own place in the world and overall just survive.

The graphics are pretty good, not 3D masterpieces but I rather like the look of them; the game runs perfectly on older computers and the sounds and music are pretty alright as well.

The Good:

The game has lots of potential, and for being a one-man job, it’s really an amazing accomplishment on the developer’s part.

The world seems to be quite large, the quests, although rather typical, are alright; the quest givers do remember your actions and any misstep will have consequences. You can go to war with factions, recruit people to your side, etc. You can use diplomacy, buy, sell, trade…

The characters do seem to have some form of distinct personalities, and they are flawed in them. I really loved the touch of one of them having diabetes, it brought realism to the story. That there is a limited supply of insulin you must find/trade for also made it more realistic. But it also has the downside of making you feel truly rushed…

You can split your party and give everyone commands. You can build things and plant crops.

It has a fatigue system so you can’t just run forever, and I rather like that they added a needed sleep schedule to the hunger/thirst part of surviving.

People can actually leave your party/settlement/faction when they don’t like you anymore.

You can save at any time during the game, something that always wins my heart.

The Bad:

The default controls are super uncomfortable to me. Having to click F1 for the inventory is a stretch, using the middle button (mouse wheel button) to skip text is super uncomfortable. Entering a building is done through clicking with the mouse, but so is talking, and the menu for talking pops up as soon as someone is next to you, so sometimes the characters would stand right next to me when I was trying to enter a building which ended up in me talking to them when I didn’t want to.
Overall it was a pain to do half the things I had to do.

The characters who didn’t have a high shooting skill couldn’t shoot straight worth a damn. I get it this was probably going for realism, even Joe outright admits that he’s a bad shot. But there’s a bad shot, and there’s I-can’t-hit-a-target-even-when-it’s-on-me. The zombies were just way too fast and the aiming did not work quite as well when you had to be moving around all the time to avoid them jumping you from far too far. I found 0 melee weapons on the time I played (I honestly don’t know if there’s any), which admittedly wasn’t much. It was disturbing. I’d expect you’d find a baseball bat to smash a zombie’s head with before you’d find a gun…Then again I suppose since it’s a year later most people would be carrying guns… all the same, a backup melee weapon would have been nice to find.

The game’s inventory is handled by a weight system, which is alright. However, it feels like you can’t really accomplish anything because everything you find to carry weighs too much and you end up having to make some very tough choices. This could be fine if you like a hard challenge, I’d rather get a bit more time to enjoy the game while surviving…

Resource hunting is mind numbingly boring. Just getting the things to start building a fence took forever. Even with a backpack, because of the weight issue, the character can only bring one or two pieces of wood at a time. While realistic, this was also terribly frustrating – It takes longer to bring a piece of wood back to the shelter than it takes my characters to start getting hungry and sleepy and thirsty.

The need for food/sleep/water/insulin seems too pressing. Again, good if you’re playing say, hard mode, but it doesn’t let you (or at least, wasn’t letting me) enjoy the game. I wasn’t even done figuring out a quest, and already they were starving. (Ok, not starving-starving, but already quite hungry).

The AI seemed clunky when you left your guys alone. I left one doing the supply runs for wood so I could start building up something, he was attacked and bitten because I wasn’t there to press space when he got jumped. Had to restart because I was unable to get the needed antigen and I was fairly sure I couldn’t lose my only builder so far.

All in all, while I loved the general premise and style of Survivalist, I couldn’t bring myself to fully enjoy the game as I felt rushed to get through it, and annoyed with the controls; yet I can see lots of potential in it. I was pretty split on recommending this game or not. In the end I’m going with a tentative “no” because tome the cons are a bit more annoying than the pros. Still, I can admit it’s not a bad game.

So, if you like a challenge in your survival games, then I would definitely recommend Survivalist to you. For the price it can be a great game. If you were expecting something a little more relaxed, I wouldn’t recommend it.

There is word that there might be a multiplayer mode added, and I’m looking forward to see if it makes it any easier on the players by teaming up.

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Contamination by Jamie Thornton

Contamination (Feast of Weeds, #2)Contamination by Jamie Thornton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A free copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest opinion.

I read the first book in this series and it was a pretty decent book. This second one has a lot going for it as well: the take on the ‘zombie’ genre is slightly different than the norm, not much, but just enough to make you curious; what I could see of the plot that was apparently going on in the background seemed interesting, which is why I bumped it one start to “it’s ok” rating; but the thing is, the book seems more about the characters and their past/complex love relationships than about the things that were happening to them at the time – which is fine, I guess, except that in this book I just couldn’t like any of the characters.
The main character seemed rather dysfunctional, and not in an overly interesting way, her original love interested seemed like a bit of a pushover/ass (I can’t quite decide), and someway half through I just lost all interest in the story because although things were happening, it wasn’t what I would have considered the “interesting” parts that the book focused on.

After a while of having it sitting there and not wanting to pick it back up, I’m going to give it as a loss and mark it as abandoned.

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Germination by Jamie Thornton

Germination (Feast of Weeds, #1)Germination by Jamie Thornton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won Germination at a giveaway in exchange for a review.

I liked it. I’m not much of a fan of neither first person nor diary/blog posts/etc kind of stories, but the bits of ‘posts’ were only the start of chapters, so it wasn’t such a bother. The writing style was good; I wasn’t very sure at first, but after the first part the story picked up… and although it’s such a short story that you can’t really tell just what’s going on exactly, it is an interesting introduction and I can see possibilities with it. I’m interested enough about what will happen to keep on reading, that’s for sure.

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First Impressions: Immune [Pre-Release]

Note: This game has since been improved on, and some of the issues I mentioned have been fixed. I will do another review soon to see what has been changed. 

 

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Break Up
Game: Immune
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, Massively Multiplayer, RPG, Survival
Developer: vidiludi games and entertainment
Publisher: vidiludi games and entertainment
Release Date: Mar 25, 2015
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  8/10
Graphics: 9/10 (for the style)
Controls: 6.5/10 (placing some stuff can be slightly awkward)
Level/Puzzle Design:8.5/10
Sound: N/A
Story: N/A
Playability/Gameplay: 8/10
Community: N/A (rather empty)

 

Review

Immune is an early access survival game. There’s you, there’s zombies, there’s friendly and unfriendly NPCs and, sometimes, there’s other players.

Right now there’s 4 servers (North America, South America, Hong Kong, Europe) and I have yet to see any with people on it. Fine by me, I know no one will steal my stuff from storage. ;)

The game itself has a simple premise so far: you’re trying to survive post zombie apocalypse. You look around for food and resources, you kill/escape zombies, you hopefully team up with people to survive. There’s a few things you can craft, you can plant a couple things, you can go through boxes and stuff, and you can punch trees (and other stuff) for resources.
There’s not much of a story, not that I’ve seen yet anyway, but it’s a nice game so far. Simple, obviously has a long way to go still, but promising all the same. It was a bit hard for me at first to get on my feet, but once I got a friend to play with it was a lot easier and faster to get resources and share them.

The game played well in my computer, which can be a bit of a toaster.

Downsides:
– Not a lot of variety on stuff (only a few types of food, only a few types of stuff to craft, amount of items needed to craft stuff seems a bit odd at times)
– Servers can get a bit kick happy sometimes
– Servers are new so they’re mostly empty
– Cars are difficult to drive
– Seems a bit difficult to hunt stuff when you’re soloing
– Characters lack variety (no choosing gender, they all look the same)
– You can not move stuff once you place them down, some stuff have short durability

These are all stuff that could be easily fixed as the game progresses, though, so I wouldn’t just discard the game for it.

Upsides:
– Cuteish graphics
– Actually nice to co-op with friends
– You can use the cars found around!
– You can loot your own backpack if you get back to where you died (thus recovering your stuff) :)
– You can make current buildings into your own safehouse
– The developer replies quickly to issues, and he’s very nice and friendly

My sis and I were taking over a house, placed a door wrong (it opened right in the middle of the doorway so we couldn’t go through it), and I was locked inside. lol I asked the developer and he came online at once to help (granted, the help was shooting at it for a few minutes until the door was destroyed, but he did get me out haha).

Immune still needs a lot of work, but for early access it’s not a bad game.