Infestation Survivor Stories (Year)
The apocalypse has happened. Zombies now walk the earth and almost all known human life has been destroyed. You are one of the few survivors of this catastrophe and must stay alive as long as you can.
The First Stitches
Infestation Survivor Stories is a survival mmo originally released by HammerPoint under the name "The WarZ". The name was changed due to a recent major movie release. Going by the many reviews it has garnered, it seems the overall response to this game is abysmal at best. It can't be that bad, right?
Mending the SeamsPlot: Much like Killing Floor, this is a game that keeps the back story concise and relies on the game play to tell the story. As such, when you first begin with your character, you pick a server to join. At that point, you are dropped in the Colorado wilderness with little more than a granola bar and a flashlight. You get a can of soda, too. I think it's orange. There are marketplace options to purchase more supplies such as melee weapons, gear and provisions. Luckily there are no firearms available through this option.
One thing to consider is there is no tutorial when you begin the game, so there is a pretty big learning curve for anyone new to mmo's or survival games in general (Pro-tip: everything on your person drops when you die).
|"Hey there. Come around here often?"|
Characters: There are two starting character models to work with initially: a generic male and female. Customization is minimal as you get three styles for your head, upper and lower body. If you want any more, you're going to have to visit the previously mentioned marketplace. And be careful what you choose to wear. It may seem nice to sport the lumberjack flannel, but bright colors can get you killed by bandits. That's right, Infestation Survivor Stories is open PvP. Basically, that means when you spawn, try to not stay out in the open too much.
Setting/Atmosphere: My initial reaction to Infestation Survivor Stories was "The Walking Dead" mixed with Day of the Dead (especially the opening scenes). And while I'm honestly sick of hearing about "The Walking Dead", I will admit that for the atmosphere, it's not so much a bad thing. True to zombie lore, these varied speed zeds can be found ambling around cities, trailer parks and military posts. The density of infestation tends to depend on the average population of those given areas, which leads to a more risk vs reward type looting scheme.
The constant tension of possibly running into hostile players also makes looting the zombie filled towns more interesting. And while the woods and hills may seem safe, you can't trust them either. There are no zombies in these areas, but it is easy to be ambushed or sniped by another player if you're just running around without cover.
Graphics: Visually, Infestation Survivor Stories isn't exactly a game that should top any lists. It's not the best looking, but it sure as hell isn't the worst. There are some known issues that keep it from shining as much as it could including character model glitches that make your character look as though they are floating. The trees and scenery definitely look nice from afar, but when you get closer, there is a noticeable decrease in quality.
|I feel a bad moon rising...|
Music/Audio: Similarly to if there were a real zombie outbreak, there is no real soundtrack to the game. This makes sense because, well, it's a zombie apocalypse. There really isn't anything special about the sound effects, either. During my travels, the most I really heard was footsteps...and zombies. Oh, and gunshots. But on that note, you don't want to run around near zombies, if you can avoid it. Making noise can and will attract them.
The Binding Stitch
So, on paper, Infestation Survivor Stories doesn't really sound all that bad. I mean, it's not a graphical powerhouse, but there are some good ideas here, right? Well, unfortunately, this game has a high chance to become boring and tedious, and apparently quickly.
There are no missions or npc's to interact with outside of the typical stash (vault) and general store characters. The loot table doesn't really change too much between towns aside from being able to find items typical to the area, so there is little incentive to travel beyond just seeing marginally different scenery. The zeds that populate the various locations tend to not even be considered a real problem. It's not hard to sneak past them and when you are caught, let's just say jumping on a car and aiming down tends to be a most effective strategy.
Between the total sandbox style of the game and the lack of missions or pve incentive, all there is to do is loot and survive. And that can become monotonous. Hopefully there will be some updates to add content and context, but as it stands now, there are probably better zombie survival mmo's out there, perhaps even on the free side. You can find some really good gaming videos at Street - PC Gamer & Shenanigans Extraordinaire's channel on YouTube.
And now, my Fray, I ask what will you do when the zombies rise?