7 Days To Die developers Fun Pimps took a risk today by releasing 15 minutes of pre-alpha footage from their co-op zombie survival game. While the rawness of the video might turn off a few people, it provides plenty of reasons to be excited for 7 Days.
You can skip the first two minutes. You're not going to miss much. The player runs around a desert crawling with zombies and axes a few in the face. After that, he finds a gun and headshots some additional walkers. The graphics and sound aren't terrible but it's a forgettable sequence.
Things get interesting around the 2:40 mark. The player lures a pack of zombies near a car and blows it up, killing many of them. More importantly, though, it creates a massive crater in the world. The game's world is voxel-based like Minecraft, which means it's fully destructible. That doesn't just apply to outdoor environments; later on the video, the player blows up a fuel can near a gas station, exposing its interior and basement.
The game world is completely buildable too. Fun Pimps says that players can build their own structures to keep zombies at bay, though we don't see much of that here. The game world also features premade structures that you can fortify. In this video, the player surrounds his cabin with spikes, barbed wire and mines.
Layered on top of this Minecraft-like experience is a zombie survival game similar to DayZ. Players will have to scrounge for food, water and weapons. To craft anything, they'll need to find the raw materials for it. To get wood, for example, you have to chop up a tree trunk. We get a peek at the crafting and inventory user interface in the video and it already looks better than DayZ's unholy mess of a UI.
Even though this is a very raw video, it still manages to be scary. It closes with the player defending his cabin against a horde of zombies. It's night at this point, so visibility is low. However, he can see his defensive mines going off in the distance. He then hears the pig-like squealing of the zombies as they start to claw at the home, probing it for weaknesses. It's an unscripted horror movie.
If Fun Pimps can manage to deliver on everything they're promising, 7 Days To Die could be something really special. Heck, I'd settle for half of what they're promising. We'll get to see for ourselves how the game is shaping up later this month when the alpha test is opened up to pre-order customers.