Moving to the online space, I jumped into a game where the players I met were extremely cautious with a random person in their world; after all, who wouldn't be? Players can kill other players in-game and then take their hard earned goods. The players I met had been recently killed and looted by random other players, leaving them with very little tolerance for anyone they didn’t know. I convinced my fellow survivors I was there with their best in mind, so they set me to ‘Ally’, which allows players to see one another on the map. However, the game spawned me complete day-cycles away from the other players, so while they were talking of the buildings they were raiding and hiding out in, I was left to make the long journey alone. I died, multiple times, working my way towards the other players.
The connectivity was no problem, with the game running smoothly regardless of the distance between all of the players involved. But, the inability to spawn even remotely close to other players made playing online equally painful to split-screen, in some ways more so, as the game was in the 8th day when I joined, with more powerful foes now inhabiting the land. Realizing that online was going to be as hopeless as going alone, due to traveling (and dying) alone being all I was doing, I bid farewell to the other survivors, heading back to splitscreen that felt like my best fit.
In single player, button prompts are on screen, making for a far easier experience when learning and navigating menus. In exchange for my new indicators, the fun of building was taken, as playing alone in a wasteland was dreadfully boring. Single player was a complete waste of time, as I found myself sitting alone in a cabin, waiting for the sun.
The End of Night
As I wander around, leg broken, starving, lagging, growling, I wonder, "Am I the survivor, or am I the zombie?" as I push forward in a dead, boring wasteland that offers no reason to live.
From a technical perspective, the game’s lack of polish becomes more apparent with more time spent. Zombies out-maneuver players with ease and will randomly pop up behind players, bringing with them far more hit success than we the living carry. Sometimes my partner or I would hit a zombie and it would stun them for a considerable amount of time, other times the hit wouldn't do much to the foe, allowing their strikes to crash down with full power.
7 Days to Die hides what could have been creative variations to survival/crafting games under frustrating technical problems and odd navigation choices. Split-Screen feels like the best approach, as it allows you to create a genuine life or death bond with your partner. But even with great fellow survivors by your side, the game never rises to be the best of intentions, buried inside a system of hard to navigate menus, paired with frustrating gameplay.
The Co-Op Experience: Exact co-op details for the console version of 7 Days to Die include Split-Screen for up to 2 players, as well as online multiplayer for up to 8.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.