Good Friends Make For Great Zombie Hunting

GiN columnist Vincent Mahoney and I have played many co-op games over the years together. We used to play Resident Evil 6 on co-op, and we often review the Call of Duty betas together. So, for a long time he has wanted me to join him in the 7 Days to Die game. Essentially, it’s Minecraft with hordes of blood-thirsty zombies. I have never played Minecraft but was willing to give 7 Days to Die a try for a fun night of zombie killing and base building.

Vincent took care of most of the building since this title has a time limit. As the name of the game probably implies, at the end of the seventh day a horde of zombies will sprint at you and try to break into your base. We were playing on the PC through Steam because I recently got a new gaming laptop, but since I normally play games on consoles, I lack experience playing shooting and melee titles with a keyboard and mouse combination. It did not take very long to learn that I am not a competent melee fighter in 7 Days to Die. Lucky for me, I was able to craft a pipe rifle and scavenge a bunch of ammo. So, I was ready for the zombies when they came for us…or so I thought.

7 Days to Die recently released a new alpha version. The title has technically been in development since 2013, with developer The Fun Pimps constantly updating it but never actually officially releasing it, at least not yet.

Now, I had no experience with the new version of 7 Days to Die, but Vincent was explaining some of the key changes to it that were made. He also showed me a great way to build a base that turns the horde night into a shooting gallery. Sure enough, as the horde descended upon us, we made our valiant stand. It was by the book until our friend who joined us at the fortress later decided to be a loot goblin and run outside to grab a bag of swag that was temptingly sitting out of reach. There was a moment of silence before Vincent noticed a zombie and slammed the door on him, locking him outside.

We had a nice laugh, and our friend was only chewed on a little bit. Okay, maybe more than a little bit. Overall, it was a great time, and shows that all you need sometimes is a sandbox filled with zombies and good friends to make a memorable night. Game-wise, I didn’t notice too many bugs, although sometimes my laptop would throttle for a minute or two so that it sounded like an F-16 doing an emergency takeoff with afterburners, but that’s a gaming laptop for you.

7 Days to Die also reminded me of building multiplayer levels on FarCry: Instincts/Predator with my brother. We had a ton of fun building our own bases with that. Not to say that every game needs a giant multiplayer map builder or be a completely open sandbox, but sometimes the best fun is what people create for themselves. They are far more likely to remember moments like the loot goblin getting accosted by every zombie in the same zip code more than just playing another forgettable team deathmatch round with some title or another.

Of course, with technology as advanced as it is, people can stream these moments for all of our entertainment.

In fact, 7 Days to Die is the first game Vincent and I thought about streaming for GiN viewers. It would be a show about two random guys and their shenanigans. 7 Days to Die is very entertaining, and hopefully it will receive an official release one day so that we can review it and give it an official GiN Gems score (we generally only score games that are officially released so that developers can get the best possible score for their titles).

But for now, I get to sit back and play games with two amazing friends. Honestly readers, the last half year has been hard on me. There have been mental health troubles to link up with my physical ones. So, to actually be able to just enjoy gaming with some good friends is something I really needed and look forward to doing much more often now that I have good gaming gear.

Everyone, please take care of yourself out there, and don’t be tempted to be a loot goblin.

Also, I have not yet beaten Final Fantasy XIII.

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