REVIEW: SURVIVALIST

Survivalists is an Indie RPG survival game developed by Bob The Game Development Bot, released on PC on January 30th 2015 and has so far been met with an amazing reception. People seem to really enjoy this game and with good reason! The game is absolutely solid and brings a lot more to the table of Horror/Survival which is really refreshing.

It’s been one year since the collapse of all civilisation due to several different strains of ‘Zombification’ or Infection. You play as Joe Wheeler, a Hedge Fund manager who had a special bunker built in the middle of the desert just in case something went wrong…smart guy! You emerge from your bunker to find the world a different place and thus begins the journey of Joe.

Survivalist 1

The graphics of the game are fairly basic which is totally understandable from an indie developer, but I don’t think this game is looking to boast for its graphical quality. I think the main aspect of this game is the gameplay, which we will cover in more detail later on. As I said the graphics aren’t anything to shout about but what I do like is the user interface, which is separated into various different sections. The main screen has what you are doing in the game so it’s a top down 3rd person perspective where you can see Joe and what he is doing at all times which is fine and easy to get to grips with.

On the right however we have a plethora of different things to keep us interested as we walk through the desolate wasteland. We have an information bar which shows who the person we are looking at is and where they are from. The second panel has either a picture of Joe doing various contextual activates from different angles or it has a close-up of the person we are talking to showing you there emotions. Below that we have the map which works on a simple Fog of War basis and below that we have an information bar on Joe’s health and item equipped with ammo. This really helps to give you all the information you will need at all times which is amazing to have.

Survivalist 2

The sound is another stand out aspect of this game. The music is different, is amazing to listen to and has a way of keeping my attention throughout. This really helps when you’re walking between outposts and different locations. The actual diegetic sounds of the game are also really interesting because while you’re walking about the game world you can hear different infected lurking about and it’s only when you hear their tell-tale cry that you get slightly terrified.

The gun sounds feel heavy, it sounds like there is some weight behind them which is great when you’re shooting a zombie or looter in the face and makes you feel like even more of a bad-ass! As I said before the music in the game has a really wide variety and shows a lot of different emotions from calm and cool, sadness and frustration to upbeat and groovy. I really did enjoy the music in this game and it works really well with the atmosphere of the game.

Survivalist 3

On to the gameplay and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed! The movement is pretty simple with a fatigue bar which makes you vulnerable when you’re out of stamina. Fighting and sprinting all reduce the stamina bar and carrying more items has an effect on that too. There is a lot of inventory management in the game having to make sure your character isn’t carrying to many unnecessary things. Increasing different skills will help with various things such as carrying capacity, fitness and shooting.

As you travel the world you will steadily start to build a community in the Bunker which you started from and this community will help you build more of a base or a town as you go. This is where a sort of task system comes into play; you can tell someone from your community to build or scavenge something and they will continue to do this until they have found all the relevant resources, or at least enough to build what you propose and they do this completely automatically. The camera in the top left will switch to that character if something is going on like they are hungry and whether they should scavenge for food or if they have come into contact with an infected or looter. This makes it really easy to make sure that everything is going to plan at all times.

Survivalist 4

The enemies in the game are pretty damn cool. The way it is explained is that there are a couple main strains of the virus, green strain is the most common and takes the most amount of time to take hold, usually about a week. Then there is Red strain which is a more violent strain and takes less time to take hold and the last one, which has been described as the white strain, takes a hold almost instantly.

You know what type of strain has taken someone by the colour of their eyes but why is this important you ask? Well there are vaccines for the infection, and if you can get it quick enough then you won’t turn into a Zombie which is a great mechanic to have and one which I am sure will help to progress character story and make the game seem ever more stacked against you. I love it! The enemies will usually attack you by grabbing you and you need to escape from the attack by pressing a button. I only have one negative about this game and that is the Fog of War on the map. I feel my character would be able to see further but I also understand that this would ruin a lot of the gameplay features!

The Control Scheme of the game is pretty simple WASD shift and space and it makes for an easy experience which is always great! Survivalist is currently available on Steam for only £3.99 which also has a big impact as to why this game is so great! You’re getting so much for your money with this game! A great map/story, a huge amount of gameplay and it shows you what gems there are in the Indie Developer world!

Rating: 10/10

+ Great gameplay

+ A variety of different features

+ Easy control scheme

+ Great UI

+ Great music

 

CHRIS WALLACE

 

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