Imagine that a zombie apocalypse has begun outside. For real. That is, people shuffling around, not breathing, and upon seeing a more or less healthy person wanting to suck their brain out with a straw. It’s in this sort of harsh world that you have to continue to exist. What will you do first? Ransack the kitchen and find a frying pan – a universal thing during such epidemics. It can be used to hit zombies over the head and to fry an egg, because finding a burger in the current circumstances would be impossible. But what next? Run around the neighbourhood, barricade or build houses, create a new world somewhere far away from the cities? Yes, exactly. Meet “Project Zomboid”, a simulator, which will prepare you for the end of the world.
I am not exaggerating about “simulator”. Even now, in Early Access, the game can teach players some invaluable lessons of survival. No arcade beating of packs of zombies, no “fun”, only harsh gameplay that teaches with a smile. So, what awaits us:
Firstly, you can customise the apocalypse for yourself. The density and the places where zombies are, quantity of food and the speed of its going stale, the number of useful things in the houses and many other options around the world. Secondly, there is the ability to customise your character and, not only the appearance. A character can have absolutely any positive and negative characteristics that must necessarily offset each other. For example, a person can run faster than anyone, be almost tireless, mash the zombies into a pulp, but they might have a sick stomach (any meal may end in food poisoning), and they might be constantly sneezing because of a cold. Loud sounds always attract zombies here, even if it’s just a sneeze.
By the way, the zombies also can be customised to your liking. Change their sight, hearing, speed of movement, memory, sense of smell, the decomposition rate and even adjust the transmission of the virus: through blood or saliva, or like in the famous “Walking Dead” – make all the people on earth carry the virus, which will be sure to raise the body in the case of death.
Even though the zombies are slow (adjustable in the settings), and dumb (also adjustable), coping with them is not easy. Here you can easily find the gun, but not the ammunition. You can have fun waving the frying pan around but the maximum that you will achieve is toppling a single zombie while hundreds of its brothers will eat your body up. And the zombies break down doors easily, so that you can’t even hide from them in the houses. What to do? Run out the window? Sure, run; only make sure that the window isn’t on the second floor, for running with broken legs is problematic. By the way, keep in mind that the character only sees enemies in front of him, and can’t find out who and how many are behind him.
To say that there are many opportunities to die in this world – is to stay modestly silent, but there are enough opportunities to survive as well. A huge number of crafting items in conjunction with the multi-faceted upgrading characteristics of the character and his skills will give experienced players a few extra chances to survive. If it’s still too hard – call another player to play in co-op and survive together. Sure, the first few times you have to flee more than fight, but having gained experience (both personal and for the character), you can really become a professional in zombie apocalypse. Find a third application for the frying pan? Piece of cake, especially if you have a couple of hours in “Project Zomboid” behind you.
So I heartily recommend this game to all fans of surviving in harsh conditions with zero chance of rescue. Be sure to get involved, it will not disappoint you; of course, if you don’t mind very conventional indie graphics. The rest of the game a little more than beautiful.
A large sandbox with millions of survival variants
Very honest gameplay with lots of small features
The finest tuning of player characteristics and upgrades
Game is in Early Access with all the resulting growing pains
The game isn’t suited to fans of photo-realistic graphics and blood and gore all over the screen