TBoD Video – State of Decay: Lifeline Review

Hey guys,

Undead labs were kind enough to provide us with a steam key for the latest DLC for the epic Zombie survival game State of Decay, I threw together a quick review featuring gameplay footage from my playthough of the game.

Check it out here or over on our YouTube channel.

 

Special thanks to The Wach for helping us to secure this review copy.

You can see The Wach’s review in print over on PGCR

 

Don’t Starve: Console edition – A survivors guide

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Don’t starve focuses on the adventures of Wilson the gentleman scientist and was first released by Klei entertainment (Eets, Shank, Mark of the Ninja) on PC April 2013 now however this absorbing little title has made it’s way to PS4 and the PS+ service.

Most of the fellow PS4 owner I have spoken to about it have really struggled to get started but as someone who adopted the game early on PC I thought I would write up a little starter guide to get you newbies through the first few nights, a lot of the beauty of this game comes from discovery so only read that which you really need to survive.

The absolute most important thing you are going to need to survive is a light source, a torch will save you in a bind but it won’t last you an entire night, you are going to need a fire, preferably you want a fire pit but a regular campfire will do for the first night. To do this you will need to gather sticks and flint and some grass for kindling … quickly, search your surroundings for those also picking any berries, carrots and seeds you can find. By all means munch some of these up if you get hungry but they are better if you cook them on your fire. So make an axe take down some trees to get some logs, you will need two and three grass to make a campfire. If you can manage it crafting a pick axe and mining some stone will give you a far superior fire-pit but you will need twelve stone too. Once your fire is lit you will need to ensure it stays burning through the night so make sure you have some spare logs on hand to stoke those flames. Once it’s burning cook up any food you have and get stuck into some nom noms. An important part of making survival as easy as possibly is the correct placement of your base camp, if you don’t manage to make a firepit you can always relocate but if you have a fire pit try to place it nearby some berry bushes, grass nodes an most importantly some rabbit holes… these will soon become your easiest and modes satisfying food source.

Quick quide (Day 1 minimum requirements: two flint, two sticks, five logs, three grass, food)

<Day 1 recommended requirements lots of flint, lots of sticks, lots of grass, lots of logs, twelve stone>

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On the second day your main goal is either to find some stone (if you haven’t already built your fire pit) or to start harvesting food. The easiest way to do this is to make a bunch of traps (six grass, two sticks) which can be found in the survival tab of your inventory. Once you’ve made a couple drop them over the top of rabbit holes and leave them for half a day or so, when you return to them they should be filled with tasty rabbit. You can then murder the poor buggers and turn them into tasty morsels which you can cook up on your fire. The next thing you should ideally achieve on the first day is collecting some gold. Look for a rocky area and try to ferret out some of the larger rocks with the gold veins running through them and mine those up. You will also need more logs and stone if possible, don’t use all your logs up because you will need them to add fuel to your fire through the night. If you have plenty though four logs four rocks and one gold will allow you to make a science machine which will allow you to prototype some new tools and inventions which will aid your efforts to live on.

(Day 2 minimum requirements: Stone, Logs, traps, food)

<Day 2 recommended requirements: All of the above plus gold)

By day three you should start to become more comfortable with the mechanics of survival in this weird and wonderful world and it’s time to concern yourself with protecting yourself and your assets, you can do this a couple of ways, items don’t despawn if you leave them on the ground (but don’t drop them too close to your fire) or you can build a chest to store your things, if your lucky you might find an eyeball on a stick which will grant you the company of chesty the chest monster (you can get him to stay at your base if you lead him there and place the eye stick inside his storage). The next thing to do is plant trees all around your base, you should have plenty of pinecones from your much chopping of trees, plant quite a few but save some in your inventory in case of emergency. If you’ve gathered plenty of stone you can refine that into cut stone and use that to create walls (don’t bother with straw or wood walls they are really worthless). Your base will never be truely safe because you can’t make a door but a few walls will make you feel a lot better on those scary dark nights.

(Day 3 minimum requirements: Science Machine, Chest, walls)

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Extra hints;

– Don’t attack bees, it wont end well,

– Chopping wood is all well and good but should you upset a tree beast he can be calmed simply by planing enough pinecones,

– Food is important, you can eat berries, seeds, flowers and all but the real boost comes from meat. Get traps and nets as soon as you can then focus on trying to make all of the items in the food tab,

– If something looks nasty, it probably is do not provoke them,

– Spiders are a great source of loot and mats that you will need, don’t be reckless though, use traps and cunning to thin their numbers before hitting the nest.

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Ok everyone, hopefully this will help you to survive in don’t starve, just stay calm and keep plugging away.

eremenko

TBoD TV – It’s a Jungle out there – episode 1

Welcome back to TBoD TV, this new series follows the exploits of Cartoon Robinson and newcomer Zoiie as they take to the post apocolyptic Tokyo streets as a pair of dogs trying their best to simply survive and further thier lineage in Tokyo Jungle on ps3.

Like, comment, subscribe … etc

(and I apologise for the piss poor vocal audio quality. eremenko)

Thanks!

The Hungry Games

The recent influx of indie games into the mainstream consciousness has come as a welcome break in the monotony of the repetitive nature of the titles streaming out of the big publishing houses like so much turd from a burst sewer main. A trend that is on the increase for small perfectly formed titles appearing on Xbox Live, PS Store and in particular the Steam service is without doubt a great thing for the industry, moving away from the strenuous nature of target driven creativity from larger studios, removing the expectations and putting control of the project back into the hands of those who care for it most. One such title is currently available on Steam early access and is the subject of this review.

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When there’s no more room in Hell …..

The dead will walk … in space!?! 


Dead Space 3 cover

Dead space was a fantastic addition to the survival horror genre when it was first released back in ’08, genuinely scary, atmospheric and original. Winning a plethora of awards that year. It’s not hard to see why it has inspired a sequel, a comic and two feature length animated movies. Now we have a third installment just around the corner I picked up the demo and played through the new co-op mode with a friend.

Dead Space 3 coopSurviving is less terrifying with a friend … right?

There’s not much to go on, it only took us about twenty minutes to crack the demo but here are my thoughts anyway. For me I far prefer enjoying games with friends to playing them alone but at the same time I do feel the atmosphere and terror of a survival horror title is something that lends itself more to being played alone at night with the lights off, it’s just not as scary when you know you have a capable partner watching your back although that can be dependent on the title in hand. Resident evil 5 for example just wasn’t scary, not alone, not with a friend Dead Space 3 on the other hand still had my palms sweating and me jumping out of my chair once or twice even though I had back up. It’s testament to the games design that it can still provoke this reaction from the player even in it’s third iteration, the creatures are really horrific and the fact that they can appear from anywhere at any time really adds to the tension if not the realism.

Dead-Space-3-PS3-co-op-2Clarke and Carver, They’re not friends …. yet.

Issac Clarke the series’ main protagonist returns once more to reluctantly take on masses of necromorphs but this time he has a buddy. John Carver joins Issac on a mission which they hope will finally put and end to the menace that threatens the entire universe. The demo doesn’t reveal too much about the relationship between Clarke and Carver but it does suggest that things are tense, Issac has a lot of experience battling with space’s equivalent of Zombies and he knows what they are capable of, whereas John seems to be something of a gung-ho marine type who is over-confident and almost the exact polar opposite of the games main hero (I’m sure they will work out their differences and become bosom buddies by the end don’t worry). It worries me somewhat that this relationship may detract from the games atmosphere and that the narrative might descend into a buddy movie/bromance of less than epic proportions but we will have to wait and see.

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And he’s just one of the little ones wait til you meet his mum

Gameplay wise nothing much seems to have changed apart from the addition of a needlessly complicated weapon manufacturing and upgrade system which I can already tell is going to get really frustrating during co-op playthroughs, there is nothing worse that waiting around while your partner spends half an hour organizing their inventory and crafting weapons when all you want to do it get back to dismembering dead heads (as we were taught by Dead Island). That said however the weapons you can create do look to be as lethal as the predecessors amazing equipment, I just think that the mechanic could be streamlined somewhat. Another gripe I have with the demo is that at one point we find ourselves fighting against other humans and the game turns into something of a sub par Gears of War style third person cover shooter, even as the necromorphs appeared these soldiers (or whatever) continued to fire on us rather than turn to face this far more terrifying alien menace. We can only hope that these sections are few and that they are well interwoven into the story.

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Over-compensating much?

In short, the fear is still there, the game looks fantastic and the design of the weapons and creatures is as visceral as ever, there are some issues but hopefully they wont plague what has already proven itself to be a fantastic series too much. And maybe … just maybe it’ll make for as good a co-op survival horror experience as the somewhat obscure … ObsCure.

Hail to the <space> King. Baby!

eremenko

The War Z – Pages from a recovered journal. Part 2

To view the previous pages from this journal we have in our database click here.

Artifact No. 1895663

Journal written by persons unknown, recovered by cleansing team Gamma approximately 32 miles due west of Boulder, CO. The document was found within a satchel containing some tinned goods, a bottle of water and an empty handgun. No sign of the author or indeed any other survivor in the immediate vicinity.

part-2-page-1part-2-page-2part-2-page-3

Surviving … again

The Indie game trend is continuing to gather pace and as Dosser already talked about his pick of the up coming titles Environmental Station Alpha I thought it wise to bring to your attention a little java game I’ve been spending some time with lately.

The Indie Stone have a little corker which is well on it’s way to completion in Project ZomboidCurrently in alpha stage the game is already feeling like an original and interesting concept. Zombie games are ten-a-penny these days and with some excellent titles already available (The Dead Rising series, L4D, The Walking Dead and DayZ among the greatest) it’s a market that continues to grow despite being arguably overstuffed (on brains). Personally I couldn’t be more thrilled I friggin love Zombie games especially when they create a terrifying atmosphere like this one.

Placing you in the shoes of one of the few survivors in the suburbs of Muldaurgh you have an injured woman to care for and no starting resources to do so. Not going down the first /third person route typical to this genre but rather an isometric style allowing you a better view of your surroundings (for all the good that will do you). Graphics are kind of like a really shiny 16-bit game and the whole appearance puts me in mind of Zombies-ate-my-neighbours crossed with The Sims. Surviving will entail securing your safe-house, eating, drinking and perhaps most interestingly … sleeping. This is something you don’t have to do in any Zombie game as far as I can recall and it’s something you would not want to try without the knowledge that your base is impenetrable or your watchman/woman reliable it is a terrifying addition here. As in DayZ the only quest in the game is to survive this seems an almost impossible task and you will eventually die. I have only played the pre-alpha demo and I have not fared well thus far dying at the hands of another crazy survivor and again in a fire. I have not yet managed to survive beyond the second day but the game intrigues me enough to warrant buying as soon as possible. The Indie Stone promise an ongoing development in a manner similar to Minecraft with updates coming constantly adding new weapons, Items and areas. Games like this along with Minecraft and the upcoming Under the Ocean should be admired by the larger studios who really need to take a lesson from this kind of dedication, I can’t help but feel the idea of putting out an unfinished game would be far less frowned upon if future upgrades and dlc were provided free of charge for you the consumer.

a bugged player in fifa 13

How the hell did this get past the testers!?!

Throw into the mix a deep crafting system (barricading, cooking, weaponcrafting) and the option to co-op with your friends (surviving is less painful when you have someone you trust at your side) and you have here a project that might be able to oust even the great Mojang as top Indie developer.

Also this game may well prove to be good training for all of us if things pan out the way Joss Whedon predicts.

Whedon on Romney

Keep your friends close folks ……. you’re gonna need them soon.

Happy Halloween.

eremenko.

The DayZ after Tomorrow

Having survived a while with the supplies gifted to me in by the strange rescue party that had helped me out of Chenarus on my second attempt at survival in the wastes it was soon obvious that I was going to have to venture back into the villages once inhabited by the friendly Chenarian people. Now teaming with nightmarish undead.

zombies in the mist

I stopped at a gas station just outside of a small township thinking that I may be able to re-fill my Jerry can to lengthen the lifespan of my already run down motorcycle. The bike had day z petrol stationalready gotten me out of several sticky situations and I was wary of my ever decreasing fuel supply. Pulling onto the forecourt in the dwindling sunlight everything appeared to be clear. Turning off the engine and jumping off the bike I hurried over to the pumps. Nothing, they were empty most likely drained by another survivor who had already passed this way, perhaps it was Merc and his rag-tag bunch of bandits turned temporary heroes. I wasn’t ready to meet up with them again just yet. I turned away from the pumps and headed into the kiosk, hoping to find some food or drink to bolster my waning supplies but there was nothing there either, whoever had scavenged this place had been thorough. I left the small shop heading back to my bike but a Zed blocked my path, my newly aquired AK-47 tore straight through him and sent him straight to the ground, not a wise idea two, three, four then five more of his companions appeared from the surrounding hedges, trees and from behind the cars and buildings in the distance further blocking my route to the bike, I ran cursing myself for not leaving the bike running to allow for an easy escape. As I back peddled up the road I loosed a few more rounds from my rifle, taking down more deadites but alerting more and more with every shot, soon there was a mob chasing me. I clambered over the siding on the edge of the road and started to double back on myself hoping that I could get back to my transport and get away before the shambling horde caught up to me. Rounding the kiosk once more, hope looked lost. A moving corpse standing right by my bike, I had no choice but to try my luck. Gently squeezing the trigger on my Russian Army standard issue AK *blam blam* I felled him quickly and clinically. Sprinting for my bike another walker lurched from behind the pumps moving toward me with alarming speed I pulled the trigger again *click* my clip was empty, Merc and co had been stingy with the ammo. Quickly I leapt onto my trusty motorcycle and pumped the kickstarter the engine bursting into life. Looking back as I sped away across the fields I could see a crowd of roughly fifteen Zed’s frivolously stumbling after me.

day z motorcycle

Having exhausted my ammunition on such an ill-fated affair I had no wish to return to populated areas for a while and instead focussed my attentions on the barns, farmhouses and hunting stands that littered the countryside. The flaw in this decision should have been pretty obvious to me the sun was setting and it was about to get dark, very dark. I followed a dirt track that went up into the mountains as far as I could hoping that I might reach a lodge or shack that I could hole up in before night came and the fear returned.

Darkness fell quickly. Alone on the mountaintop my fuel ran out a short while ago and I have seen no sign of shelter. A track weaves down through the trees but my quick torch bursts reveal little else I’m afraid that keeping it on may attract unwanted attention. I fling a few flares around the surrounding area and hunker down for a cold night spent hiding in the foliage.

a dark forest scene

As you can probably tell I’m really enjoying my time in DayZ although it has to be said that the fear factor involved keeps me from playing marathon style like I can with Halo or Skyrim and I do find myself becoming frustrated by many aspects of the game. It can be irritating to creep all the way up to a building only to find it completely inaccessible for instance and it’s very easy to loose your bearings while fleeing for your life. Of course the game is not going to be perfect mod’s rarely are after all the engine wasn’t built specifically for that which it is being used. All said and done this game is a really exciting prospect that has many console gamers green with envy but that olive tint may not last long. DayZ has been given the opportunity to release as a standalone game entirely separate from Bohemia Interactive‘s Arma series and this has sparked a fever among Xbox 360 and PS3 owners alike in the vain hopes that this may mean a console release. Meanwhile a bunch of quick thinking folk over at Hammerpoint interactive  have been quietly working away on a similar title of their own. The War Z boasts the claim of being the worlds first Zombie MMO ….. lies aside it looks excellent, combine DayZ gameplay with the guns of Call of Duty add a sprinkling of Battlefield 3 graphics, zombies straight out of Left 4 Dead and an interface that looks very much as if it was designed to run on a console  and you’re gonna leave a-lot of jaws on the floor.

Let me know if you think The War Z looks like a DayZ rip or does it stand up as a game in it’s own right? Why has it taken so long for a game like this to be released? Would it be a success on consoles? Comments always appreciated.

see you in the Zedpocolypse.

Elth

DayZ of the Dead

So late as always I finally joined the DayZ party, my first life did not go well. Thinking wrongly,the wise thing to do would be to head straight out to the nearest military complex to arm myself to the teeth. It took a long time to figure out just where I was within the 225 sq/km (that’s a whopping 87 sq miles) map.

Having attempted and failed to scavenge from many small towns, each time being forced to flee when a small army of Zed’s caught my scent, running like Usain Bolt in an attempt to prevent my terrified arse from being chewed off. Finally I managed to escape the attentions of the brain hungry mobs long enough to loot some food and a new rucksack from an abandoned mini mart. Equipped with plenty of food and drink (but still no weapon) I started to feel a little over confident. I found a map, watch and a crowbar so finally I could fight back, things were really looking up. Studying my newly acquired map I found that I was but a few clicks south of an abandoned military airbase “a chance to add some real hardware to my pack” I thought. Little did I know I was barking up the wrong tree.

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It’s only a game/show?

Howdy folks.

Once again it has been a while. We have a few ideas for upcoming posts and they are slowly coming together but yesterday I managed to tear myself away from pc gaming to spend the 400 Microsoft pacmen I have been saving for just this occasion and played through part 2 of the sensational Walking Dead game from telltale games.

If you frequent the blog (I know there’s at least one of you out there) you’ll know that I briefly covered part one in an earlier post so you will already be aware that I enjoy this kind of story heavy adventure driven experience. This next installment begins three months after Lee and co escaped the ill fated pharmacy in Macon and set up camp on the edge of town in what they refer to as a “motor inn”, which appears to be some kind of drive thru motel? Supplies are scarce and tempers running thin, it’s interesting to note at this point that the characters appearing here will be the characters that you chose to save in A New Day, (part one) from the very beginning you are reminded of those who didn’t make it this far and it is made immediately obvious that the decisions are not going to get any easier this time out. Remember the moment in the show when Rick has to get that kid’s leg off the fence? You, like me might have been yelling at the screen for him to just rip the damn thing off, well you get to test your mettle in a similar situation here very early on and unless you are a wee bit masochistic it is not a pleasant experience.

I said it last time out but this part proves further that telltale really want to go down the darker more sinister route of the comics rather than the more hopeful path taken by Andrew Lincoln and his TV co stars, that’s not to say there aren’t some horrific moments in the show but some of the things that happen in the comic just could not be done on television, interestingly it seems you can go down this path in a video game. I say video game in the loosest terms here as I allude to in the title its difficult to tell at times if you’re playing a game, watching a show or partaking in an interactive comic/novel, this plays to the creators advantage as the story that Kirkham has created is a strong character driven, emotional experience. Both the comic and the show have come under fire for spending too much time focusing on the talking and too little on the Zombie smashing, those nay sayers may feel the same way about the beginning of this episode as the action takes a little time to get rolling and once again the focus is on the evils of those humans still alive rather than the bitey dead heads roaming around.

I wont delve into the plot at all because that’s not my style if you want to play it you will and I don’t want to be the one ruining that experience for you but there are some great nods to both the show and the comic in terms of locations, characters and set pieces. Typically TV show video game tie ins tend to be a little drab and uninventive, what we have here however is a visceral, original experience that doesn’t get too bogged down in trying to replicate the story or style of the show, yes it helps that it has the comic to fall back on as well but ultimately it has come about due to the success of the show. Rather than allowing this to hinder them telltale have run with it and created a tense, paranoia fueled story that runs as a nice parallel to the main arc whilst never feeling like it is repeating the ideas of its counterparts.

At times during this thrill ride you really start to wonder what you would be capable of in such extreme circumstances leaving you questioning just what you would do to survive. Most of us gamers like to think we would be useful in the event of a Zombie apocalypse due to our “past experience” but until it actually happens who truly knows what they would do and whether their perceived good choices would actually work out for the best. This game really pushes that idea, make the wrong choice and things can really go to hell, hesitate over choosing and things can really go to hell, try to play the hero and things can really go to hell. In short it’s hell out there so make sure you pick the right companions or you might be dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight.

If you’ve played the game let me know what you think, even if you haven’t all comments are appreciated. If you love the show play the game even if you hate Carl like everyone else.

Elth out.