7 Days to Die: There’s a lot of death
So co-op games with Lord Crumb…haven’t talked about those in a long while. Mostly because I haven’t been able to play them or circumstances have gotten in the way. But the two of us are back together like some sort of ’90s boy band (except I’m a woman) and we began our return with the zombie-survival-crafting-building game 7 Days to Die.
Creating a co-op game was actually pretty painless. On the new game screen, I just chose Survivial MP as the game mode, set it as a private game with a password, and started it up. Lord Crumb joined through Steam’s Join Game option and after entering the password, got right in.
It was then that things got immediately harder. The game spawns each player at a random location and we were miles away from one another. So not only did we need to gather supplies and find shelter in preparation for the night where zombies hit hard and run fast, we also had to find each other. In addition, I had left the game settings to their default which proved to be a little more difficult than either of us was expecting. I believe it encourages more stealth and running away from zombies in the early game, but we’ve gotten used to killing lots of zombies from Dying Light. So…we died a lot. And when you die on the default settings, you lose all of your inventory. Die without placing a bedroll and you spawn in a random location on the map. So at first it was more frustrating than fun. There was one point where I was hiding in a pitch-black house, waiting completely still for the 20 minutes of night to pass, when I thought “I don’t want to spend my time doing this.”
Not prepared to give up completely, I started a new game with these modified settings:
- Difficulty: Scavenger (easiest setting)
- Daylight length: 18
- Zombies run: Never run
- Loot respawn time: 5 days
- Drop on death: Backpack only
- Enemy memory: 30 seconds
- Enemy spawning: Very low
- Air drops: Every 1 days
- Cheat mode: On
- Mark air drops: On
Of course, I discovered later that you can change the settings on an existing game…oh well. Anyways, this changed the game to the point where it still had some difficulty (we still died sometimes) but it was fun and not frustrating.
On this attempt, we took refuge in a church (I’m sure there’s a trope in that somewhere) mostly because it was getting dark, it was close, and in that lighting, it looked like it was made out of stone. It was actually made out of wood but it still proved to be rather secure. There was a coffin on a platform though which made it a little eerie. It turned out to be an even better choice because it was isolated (so less zombies spawned nearby) and was next to an abundance of resources. So over the next few days, we gathered and crafted in relative peace.
One of the major things we wanted to craft was a forge, which would give us access to iron tools. Unlike Minecraft, 7D2D does not make this easy. The most difficult component to collect were 20 animal hides. Ever chased a deer with a stone axe? We sure have. Crafting bows and arrows helped speed this up a little bit but it still took us a while to gather all of the needed hides. Once we did though, we came to a bit of a dilemma. The forge couldn’t move once it was placed and since it was so expensive to make, we needed to be sure of where we wanted to place it. Did we really want to stay in the church?
That’s when Lord Crumb came across a two storey building that was once an information centre, and the first storey was made of stone. It wasn’t too far to the west so we reclaimed it from its “previous” inhabitants and moved all of our stuff in there.
We reinforced all of the walls on the first floor, moved in our materials, and built the forge and campfire.
The upstairs is where our bedrolls went, as well as any decorations we found. Can’t have a post-apocalyptic refuge without a flat-screen TV that doesn’t work.
It turns out that the pine forest biome we’re in varies wildly in temperature. We’ve had sweltering heat and falling snow in the same day.
While this area is also fairly isolated, the forest spawns something even more dangerous than zombies: bears. They hit like semis and are really hard to kill. Once we had not one but TWO spawn near our house and I believe it took 6 shots from the sniper rifles we were carrying to bring each one down.
The current state of our game is that we’re digging out a trench around our base so that we hopefully won’t have zombies right at our doorstep anymore. I’d also like to get a farm going without having to worry about trampled fields. We had a few issues with the process, like Lord Crumb getting the idea to use TNT to speed up the process and not realizing that it doesn’t come with a fuse. Not only were there little bits of him everywhere, but the noise drew every zombie within hearing distance. To be fair, there was another time where he was off scavenging and I was intently working on the trench when a zombie dog leapt onto my head. I almost blew out Lord Crumb’s eardrums when I yelled and cursed as I dashed frantically into the house. I don’t do well with jump scares.
Additionally, Lord Crumb has just finished two minibikes for us so we can go riding around in style, and at a good speed as well. They’ll make scavenging and exploring so much easier.
All in all, it’s a pretty fun game with quite a bit to do. It’s lacking a little in polish (and more bugs need squashing) but as an Early Access game, I’d say it’s well on the way to being amazing.