The Average Gamer

How To Survive Review

How To Survive - CombatHow To Survive drops you on an island archipelago within nothing but a bag. It’s up to you to find the various inhabitants and do their many fetch quests in the hopes of finding a way back to civilisation. But watch out, zombies are everywhere.

And I do mean everywhere. This archipelago must serve as some sort of inter-dimensional crossroads with a zombie universe. No matter how many zombies you decapitate, a few in-game hours later will see more regenerate out of nowhere. It’s not a big group of islands – there’s no city that could provide a source of hidden zombies. They just… appear.

Thankfully, so do all the other resources. Much of the game is about finding and combining things in the environment to make healing poultices, weapons, sustaining meals and more. You’ll have to manage sleep, health, tiredness and hunger gauges as you explore the islands trying to find the gear needed to escape.

Fill an empty bottle at a well, add some exotic fruit and you have a thirst-quenching, health-restoring lemonade. Find a shelter or fight through the more powerful night-dwelling zombies and you’ll find the fruit has been replenished the next day.

However, this poses the main problem with the game – the abundance of materials makes it more about inventory management than actually trying to survive. There’s no locker system or storage outside your puny backpack. As a result, I spent an awful lot of time ferrying items to a single memorable location and simply dumping them on the floor for when I needed them later. Pretty soon the jetty was plastered with items in no particular order. Whenever I wanted to construct something new I had to slowly walk over things until I found what I needed.

The rest of the game is fine if a little repetitive. Build some melee or ranged weapons, go around finding survivors, bringing them things and getting main quest items in return. It’s fun for a few hours and you do unlock progressively bigger weapons and explosions but it all just becomes a bit empty and a bit of a slog to retrieve items for upgrades. Even with the choice of three protagonists, all with different strengths, it all feels a bit samey. The NPCs are just there to demand things from you and there’s no real story beyond that.

The first boss battle was a shock.

The second boss battle was exactly the same type of zombie using exactly the same tactics. By third, I didn’t care any more and that’s pretty much representative of this entire game. Fun for a while. Could’ve been better.

Screenshots, woo!

How To Survive - Inventory How To Survive - Combat

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