"How to Survive"
Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3, PC)
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 3.5 stars
Season four of AMC's "The Walking Dead" has reinvigorated my desire to slay the undead, so now's the perfect time to sink my teeth into the zombie-infested RPG, "How to Survive." This fun game combines elements from several different genres into one action-packed title that's well worth the purchase price!
Oddly enough, the storyline doesn't go very far beyond the title. Players choose one of three castaways, and the goal is simply to live throughout the adventure. Fending for oneself on a deserted island is difficult enough, but having to slay a wide variety of undead enemies makes it much harder!
Surviving is made easier by the ability to craft weapons, armor, and potions out of everyday materials found on the island. For example, spiked shoulder armor can be crafted by combining a rubber tire with a bone and a machete. A stealthy bow can be created by combining a tree branch with wire. It's just too bad that there are no storage chests because my inventory was always filled, and I usually had to drop items to pick up more.
Combat is fast and extremely fun, thanks to a great control scheme and the ability to quickly switch between distance and melee weapons. This lets me pick off enemies from afar with my trusty bow, and then whip out my ax for a more personal introduction. I also like how the flashlight can temporarily blind light-sensitive enemies that come out at night.
An interesting twist to this game is that players must also keep track of their character's hunger, thirst and sleep. Running low on any of these basic needs adds a realistic disadvantage, so each character must periodically cook and eat food, drink from watering holes and sleep in protected areas.
Even though "How to Survive" could use more variety, the game is still compelling.