I have no idea why I don’t write more about 7D2D. The game is fantastic, and it just keeps getting better with every update. It is the one game in my Steam list that I have clocked the most time in by a huge margin (425 hours). It’s still the favorite zombie survival of my zombie hunting team.
It has a great dev team and it really deserves more fanfare than it gets.
Alpha 13 just released this weekend, and it’s brought some really huge changes to the game. We’re still helping to squash bugs, but overall, the amount of work that’s gone into this update is mind-blowing.
We picked this game up back in June 2014 when we were looking for a good zombie multi-player game. It was still back in Alpha 6 at the time, but even then, we saw that it had plenty of promise. Every time a new update came out, it felt like a whole new game.
We got this expansive random generated world with graphics that have improved by leaps and bounds.
And while I enjoy my share of bashing zombies, my favorite part of the game remains the in-depth building system. Believe it or not, this is a voxel game. It’s moving more and more away from the blocky voxel style that you think of when you hear “voxel,” but it maintains a lot of the flexibility of building that a voxel game often provides.
The new harvesting system introduced in A13 is fantastic for gathering. The patch has also completely overhauled the crafting system and the UI. After two days of playing with the new patch, I feel most of this is for the better.
The system does make it a bit more difficult to modify the world. Used to be, you could dig your own holes and mine your own underground caves. But the harvesting system, while it gives you more materials per swing, also treats stone and dirt like a harvesting block. To remove the block, requires many-many swings… which means you’re not going to be digging a hidey hole, much less a cave, anytime soon in the early game.
Luckily, the team has now placed lots of run-down houses in the game, which are there for the sole purpose of a player finding them and renovating them. Previously, every point of interest was a zombie infestation, and usually not a strong structure to fortify. They were mostly there for looting and nothing more.
The new update removes zombies from some of these new run-down places and introduces a block upgrade feature. So you can literally fix up that old shack in the woods you found and turn it into a zombie-protected fort if you put the time into it.
This is fantastic for a builder-type like me, because it means the foundation is there. I just need to improve upon it. And that’s what I do.
Even for all the fixing, though, this is not the place to stay during a 7-night horde. Luckily, we discovered some caves very nearby, which I set about fortifying and improving so we had a bunker on the red-moon nights.
We have a loooong ladder down leading to our forge and storage area…
While I’ve blocked up the other passage leading to the surface with a quick doorway.
This won’t hold back a horde (in the rare event they find their way down here), but it will give us time to organize if something happens down in the tunnel. Better than nothing.
Zombies in A13 are MUCH harder to kill than before. Part of this is due to the new skill system the patch introduced. It’s my favorite thing, too… because everything you do earns experience in the thing you do. There are so many different skills, and the more you do something, the better you get at it. Which makes sense.
As you gain experience in skills, you also gain overall levels. This provides you points that you can assign to whichever skills you like. Of course, the higher the skill level, the more points it costs to level it. Plus, there will eventually be perks to purchase along the way, too.
While the game progression starts out more difficult than it used to be, it’s also more challenging and rewarding to earn skill points and levels. I really do feel like I’m improving as I skill up. I see myself building better things, my items are better quality, it becomes easier to hunt and to kill zombies, etc.
The best thing about it is that it doesn’t punish you for your playstyle. I love to build and gather, and the experience just kept coming as I did what I enjoyed. Then, I can use those extra points to flesh out the other areas I haven’t practiced as much in yet – such as archery – if I like.
While there are still some bugs to shake out of A13, the team is working hard on getting those fixed with hotpatches already (on a weekend). Their passion and dedication is impressive, even if their development cycles can take a long time.
Still, I continue to enjoy this game, even a year and a half after first buying it, and look forward to seeing what it can become!