Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Release: Early Access (since 10/13/15)
Sometimes, when I open up a game (or in this case, a game demo) for the first time, I have no bloody idea what’s going on, but I have an almost overwhelming need to figure it out. This absolutely happened to me with Zombasite. I was expecting a garden variety ARPG with zombies, and I got a game that feels like it almost defies description.
There are 8 character classes, plus the ability to turn any two classes into a hybrid. There are also a bunch of advanced options for experienced players giving you tons of ways to ramp of the difficulty if you get to the point where it’s just all too easy. Everything seems to be procedurally generated, so you never know what kind of world you’re going into.
Zombasite forgoes the classic tutorial in favor of a pop-up help system. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the hack-n-slash and forget to click on the pop ups and then you have like two dozen help topics at the bottom of the page, and some of those really would have been good to read about five minutes ago. No? Just me. Okay then.
I really appreciate how alive the world feels – it’s not just you against a horde of monsters, there are clans (some friendly, some not so much) of other adventurers, and more than once, I’ve come across two different kinds of monsters duking it out and was able to swoop in and finish them all off. And, like all APRGs, there’s more loot than you could possibly carry. I’m hoping there’s a bag vendor somewhere.
I’m also not really sure where I’m supposed to sell the stuff I don’t want (or even if I am supposed to sell the stuff I don’t want; there are crafting tables that allow you to salvage unwanted equipment). I also managed to lose or break my weapon at least once, and couldn’t figure out for several minutes why everything was taking so damn long to die. Clearly, I have a lot to figure out here.
So far, the only thing I’m really not a fan of is the use of foliage given the games perspective. I’ve totally gotten myself killed under trees because you can’t really see what’s hitting you.
I’m not sure how strong the allure of the zombie-tastic setting is – I do know there’s an infection mechanic, and I can only assume that turning into a zombie is Not Good. So far, every time I see information about being infected, I start chugging healing pots like I’m at a kegger, and it seems to go away. Did I mention I have no idea what I’m doing?
Personally, I am unlikely to pay $15 for an unfinished game, even considering that the developers have already created several other successful games in this vein. However, the demo has convinced me to keep a close eye on this title, and I would consider picking it up, even in its current unfinished state, if it were to go on sale.