Review: How to Survive
No food. No water. No shelter. Survive. This is the basic goal of EKO Software’s zombie survival game How to Survive. H2S changes many things from other games, like giving you three health bars and an open world setting, but does it deliver a fun game?
H2S has you playing as one of three characters, who are all shipwrecked on an island. Your goal is to try and get off the island, doing whatever you have to do to stay alive. You control your character in a top down perspective; something that worked well in this game. The controls are basic, and are easy to figure out fast, especially with the ‘How to Survive’ guides I will mention a bit later.
In How to Survive, there are a few different ways to play. First off, there are two different game modes; the story mode and the challenge mode. The story mode is self-explanatory, you play as your character and try to escape off this zombie-infested island. The story is run of the mill; it’s really nothing special and you are really just playing for the gameplay.
Next up is the challenge mode. The challenge mode is what I thought was the coolest feature. The challenge mode has 8 different challenges, each with different parameters to follow. They start you off in a random part of the island, with absolutely nothing. You then have to make your way across the island, but there is a catch to each challenge. You might start extremely tired, or there might be more of the giant zombies on the island. They were a lot of fun, and trying to improve my times in the challenges got kind of addicting. Also, both the story and the challenge modes are available to play in co-op mode. Co-op is available both local and online, but the online community is somewhat dead already.
Like I mentioned earlier, the goal of this game is get of the island you are marooned on, and learn how to survive. This is where H2S really starts to set itself apart. Upon walking around the island a bit, you will find a bright yellow pamphlet on the ground. These books are called ‘Kovac’s Rules’ and their purpose is to teach you how to play the game in a quick and funny manner. Everything in the game is taught to you in this way, from how to fish to crafting guns. I laughed out loud a few times, and thought that the way the game taught you how to play was extremely creative. I really loved it.
Along with the ‘Kovac’s Rules’ pamphlets, H2S differs itself from many survival games in many other ways. First off is the multiple health meters. In this game you have 4 of them, health, hunger, thirst, and sleep. Each is satiated and refilled in different ways, from just eating food to finding a safe place to sleep for the night. Each meter also effects something about your character. Having no sleep deteriorates your aim, and being thirsty makes your character’s sprint ability last a little shorter. Having all the different things to worry about made me frantic; but definitely a good frantic. I felt it gave a great feel for realistic survival, and was a fun addition to the game overall.
Secondly, there is an entire experience point and skill tree system embedded in the game. Each character has their own attributes that are leveled up at different paces. The XP carries over to each of the two modes, so that if you play a bit in the story mode and move to challenge mode, your character will have all of the same attributes and skills that he did in the story. The skill tree is great too, providing many different choices and cool skills for your character. It’s just another way H2S sets itself apart; and does it very well.
Item crafting was another way H2S tried to set itself apart, but this one sadly did not work as well. The concept is simple, you find a blueprint for something on the island, and using the stuff in your inventory you can make that item. It’s a cool concept, but they never really capitalize on it and make it great. Yeah, it’s cool that I can make a gun how I want to, by adding random attachments, but it all just comes down to using the same old guns.
Now, lets get to the technical bits. The graphics were fine I guess; there was nothing really special about them.Frame-rate stayed stable throughout the game, and as for lag, there was none. The music, however, I really did not like. I actually turned it off, and just listened to some music off of my phone. Be sure to have extra music.
All in all, How to Survive is a fun experience. It has many things that are unique to other games, and all of it works well. I just wish there was a better soundtrack, and the story was a bit better. So go and shamble over to your PS3 or any device that can access the PSN store, and check out How to Survive’s demo. And if you really like it, be sure to give it a buy; you won’t be disappointed.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Three health meters.
- Kovac's Rules.
- Fun gameplay.
What I Dislike:
- Bad soundtrack.
- Story was weak.