Project Zomboid is a really new top down Zombie Survival Game. In the process of being created by Indiestone Studios it hasn’t even reached the Alpha stage of development yet, and is in a “Pre-Alpha” Stage. Frankly it’s almost like they made up a random title of what stage of development it was in so that they could still show it off. And show it off they can!
It has to be understood that as the game isn’t even in Alpha stage yet it’s still very raw and rough around the edges. When you load up the demo it even says that you can expect “bugs”, “missing anims, sounds and other features” it even says that it has “only a fraction of the planned features”. And it isn’t lying. Some of the gameplay definitely needs ironing out, aiming for example is tough to do properly and in an amusing example I managed to miss a Zombie with my shotgun despite the fact that it was right next to me and this was because I could only aim in any one of eight directions around the character and the zombie happened to be between two of these points. It doesn’t have a menu in game and due to this lacks anything as fancy as a save game function. Also the inventory feels clunky and a bit ponderous to use.
Next to the game itself however these complaints fade into insignificance.
It’s impossible to truly review the game as, like it says, it’s only a fraction of what they have planned. But going on what is there, it’s going to be absolutely phenomenal. The graphics aren’t really a selling point for this game, it’s the scope of it that is amazing. You will have an entire town to explore (at the very least) but you will have to explore it as you would a REAL zombie apocalypse. You can’t just find a weapon and run off. You have to eat and sleep to maintain your character. You also have to remember to put the damned stove out when you are finished trying to use it for cooking. Because, if you don’t… you set the house on fire.
In the tutorial you learn to play by providing for you injured wife (when the tutorial is finished she doesn’t do anything any more and becomes, almost literally, furniture) but from then on you can explore to your hearts content, trying to find food, building materials, weapons. Anything to make your life as a survivor easier. During this time though you also will have to deal with countless zombies and other survivors.
Supposedly it will have a system similar to Minecraft of getting constant updates and patches which will be constantly adding in new bits and pieces for people. This seems like a reasonable idea and it worked excellently in Minecraft’s case, so copying it seems a reasonable move on their part. Just a few of the planned things are mentioned in the Project Zomboid wiki: http://www.pzwiki.net/wiki/Planned_Features
Things like: feral animals, relationships with NPCs, the ability to build your own fortress, generators for electricity. Basically it’s as realistic as a game can get without turning into the Sims. Basically one of the best things about the game is it’s ability to make you feel like you are REALLY a survivor in the zombie invasion.
And the scope isn’t the only thing that gives the game it’s attraction. The gameplay was fun, and it gave a new life to shooting and bashing zombies (and a sense of achievement I might add). The crafting is bound to be amusing, judging by my experiences in Minecraft. Moreover there are some little touches which are just pretty damned cool: stuff like there being an area in a triangular area in front of your character that you (the player) can see but everything else out of the line-of-sight of the character is in the traditional “fog-of-war”.
Basically as a demo of a demo it’s very, very entertaining and shows extraordinary promise. I think I will watch for any new developments in the coming months with eager and bated breath. Buying a copy is definitely something I will put a lot of consideration into.
If you want to try out the free demo click this link here: http://www.pzwiki.net/wiki/Planned_Features
Also check out these videos (which are also available on our Youtube channel: MMgamingchannel) of my first venture into the world of Project Zomboid: