On my desk there’s a bag of Doritos (empty), a ruler (blue), a pint mug (Winnie the Pooh branded), and an egg timer (chubby Italian chef shaped). If I were in How to Survive I’d be able to turn those into a rudimentary howitzer.
I just tried to use the ruler as a catapult and it snapped. The egg timer is looking at me disappointed.
Before you get started, yes, it is another zombie game. If this is going to be a problem for you then you should leave now.
Gone? Then let us continue.
When first reading the blurb How to Survive sounded pretty close to an aping of DayZ and Dead Island:
“players must battle across a Zombie infested island; forced to fulfil the most basic of needs - food, water and shelter - and make use of anything & everything you can get your hands on to craft weapons and tools, from handmade shotguns to fishing rods or Molotov cocktail; just to make it through the night.”
But the trailer revealed two sizeable differences. The perspective shift to a bird’s eye view gives the game a far more arcadey feel and the colourful skills system moves it away from DayZ’s dour simulation and into realm of fun times with the living dead.
The takeaway feature from How to Survive is that weapon crafting system. I like how you build up your weapons from what you find about you but I like even more that you can swap out the elements of the guns after they’re made, changing the way they work entirely. It’s odd that so many games have a system of reagents that suggests everything is only a piece that can be combined with something else but as soon as you make an object that object is fixed. By letting players constantly adapt their gear it suggests a real DIY gun, one that never stops being a thing strapped together by tape.
How to Survive is due out later this month.