We’re diving into another cool little game I found in my time perusing the web, let’s not waste time.
Survival Crisis Z is, as one might expect, a zombie-based survival game. It was created by one James Silva, who later went on to create amusing titles such as ‘The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai” and “I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1”. He even calls it as one of his more successful early projects, noting its “weird cult following” (As someone who spoke to him about it in person, I hope I’m not where he got that impression).
I’ll admit, the game has a strange appeal I can’t quite put into words, starting with the grainy menu screen that operates like a Fallout 3 terminal. While it looks a little rough, it all works, which is sadly more than can be said for a number of games being released today.
The game-play consists of running between buildings, trying to find goods to sell off at one of the safehouses, ammunition, and survivor NPCs to watch your back. Money is still in use, and can be used to purchase more ammo, new weapons, and character skills to help in the quest to not die horribly. There are passive skills, such as the ability to slowly regenerate lost health, and more active ones, like creating molotov cocktails and sentry guns out of the resources you’ll frequently find. The combat is tense and fast-paced and I love every second of it. There’s also keeping your hunger and fatigue in check, and some nifty little secrets for interacting with safehouses and such that I don’t want to spoil.
There is a series of missions centered around trying to keep civilization together in the wake of the zombie outbreak. You try to find technology to repel the zombies, safe havens for the survivors, and each act ends with holding off a massive rush while you wait for extraction, not unlike Left 4 Dead. The game seriously amps up the horror of “survival horror” around the third and final act, with lab experiments, and a dark counter-part world that seems to be the source of the monsters encountered. The difficulty also climbs to the point where nothing but jaw-dropping amounts of bullets will keep the hordes at bay. Thankfully fire is effective… 99% of the time.
Between the zombies, the different guns being fired by you and your allies, and the occasional pipebomb, the game is loud. But it reinforces the chaotic feel of the game, so I don’t mind at all. The graphics… they’re not the best. No point trying to say otherwise. But you can distinguish between the different types of undead, and prioritize accordingly. What more would you need?
I have a few complaints, but since this is supposed to be an article of praise, I’ll keep it quick: Fire is overpowered, the third act gets a little ridiculous with the sheer numbers of enemies, and the chainsaw has an odd habit of disappearing from your inventory. Otherwise, it is a fun game that I cannot help but recommend. And it’s free, which is always good for the… financially challenged, as I was when I first discovered it.