Free-to-Play Zombie Survival MMO Review: Die2Nite
Ever play Die2Nite? Why not?! It's a great, free, MMO that utilizes teamwork across a barren zombie wasteland. Group up with up to forty other players to try and make a last stand of humanity and survive as long as you can! Read on for our review of this surprisingly new, cooperative game.
Gameplay - Die2Nite Review
Aptly named, you will be doing a great deal of dying in Die2Nite. Saying teamwork is the cornerstone of this game is a bit of an understatement. It is fairly punishing to a new player, even after reading the Die2Nite wikia page, but does get more enjoyable once you stop dying at every turn. Basically you need to go out into the world, scavenge items in the wilderness and bring them back safely, and figure out what construction needs to be built. Check the forums to see what other town mates think should be done, offer assistance to those stuck outside, and lock the gate before the zombie attack occurs. (There's a big clock on the top right which tells you how much time remains.)
Of course, every step of the way isn't easy. Going outside for the first time is a daunting task, especially if no one has scouted the area and no one has seen what lies out there. Even I was unlucky enough to walk right into a pack of zombies the first block out of the gate. I chose to flee as the wikia guide said you have a chance of being attacked, and I was. They got my eye and infected me. Each of those ailments were quite harsh, as it limited my ability point bar from six to five, the infection gave me a fifty percent chance of dying in the morning, and the eye injury made it pointless to look for items in the desert. Thus my scavenging career, as well as my life in that town, was rather short lived. Quite a rude way to start my first game of Die2Nite, but now I know I should have counted on my team to come help me out.
Controls and Interface
Controls are reading what buttons do and clicking them. A very simple process, which is a bonus in this otherwise almost brutal game. The interface makes up the entirety of the game, as you need to constantly check the forums to see if anyone needs help, what the town plans on building that day, and how many Ability Points you have left. Everything is lean; more concise than basic. It also has a bit of a Fallout feel towards it: worn down settings, tattered signs, even the 'mascot' of the game looks a great deal like Vault Boy.
I'm giving this section a four because nearly every aspect of Die2Nite is based upon multiplayer interaction. Do you venture out, possibly far away and harvest items all day until just before the gates are sealed? Do you do the opposite, staying in town and spending all of your ability points on construction? Do you speak with your town mates often on your town's personal forums? Or do you wait for someone to leave town that had an item you really were craving and steal it from them?
A lot of these questions pop up regularly and depending on how you interact with your team, it will shape your game play experience. You can have a very boring, but extremely productive town, or a lively and fun town that never gets past day one because some drunk forgot to lock the gate. The best part is that you can quickly jump right back into a new town, no matter what happens. Remember that the computer threat is always there, but how you interact with one another is where the real game is to be had.
The only graphics you will see in Die2Nite are little icons of food and tools, the images decorating the buttons of locations in town (like the Well, the Bank, or the Construction Yard), the map once you are out in the world, and the game's logo on the top left of the screen. Everything else is text. You are treated to images on the main site every time you log into the game, and a few cartoon images of the different professions when you first start out (or when you revive as a brand new soul in a different town), but this is a text-based MMO, after all! The graphics may be slim, but what is there is well utilized. One graphical detail I really like the most is, when looking at the locations in town mentioned above, the pictures change depending upon what time of day it is within the game. So in the morning they are sunlit landscapes, while at night they are replaced with moon-touched images in shades of gray and blue. Same buttons, same functions, just one minor variation. A nice touch.
There is no sound in Die2Nite that I have found. No music, no sound effects, nadda. The text sometimes tells you what you hear, but as far as actual audio goes, there is none other than the clicking of your mouse. Feel free to listen to whatever music you want while playing, I suppose. The Fallout 3 soundtrack might be a good suggestion. If it worked while wandering that Wasteland, it should work while travelling this game's version as well, right?
Overall, I'd have to give Die2Nite a 4 out of 5. Go and try this game out! At first glance you might get a rough start in this game, but stick with it. Read the wikia page they provide for new players and talk to your town members on the forums. Remember, this is a game designed to be played with others. This is a surprisingly new idea that takes a little getting used to. If I quit the first attempt at playing Die2Nite, I'd probably would have graded it much lower, but over time you see just what the game offers and there is a lot of options within a small amount of moving parts, as it were.
For any MMO fans out there who'd like a little game you can play on the side that isn't as easy as most out right now with an emphasis on team work and a dash of masochism, definitely give Die2Nite a shot. Just remember: everyone in the game is going to die. The question you have to ask yourself is, how long can you put it off?