How to Survive is an interesting take on fending off hordes of the undead. It puts you in the shoes of a castaway who is stranded on an island filled with various types of zombies. The game takes place in a top-down perspective and has you not only dealing with how to take out the undead but also with keeping yourself alive. Fatigue, hunger, thirst and your health are all tied together, and letting them get too low can be just as fatal as any zombie bite.
At the start of the game, you essentially have nothing to work with, other than the knowledge that you are on an archipelago off of the coast of Columbia. By breaking apart objects, you find a machete, which is useful as a melee weapon and as a tool to create new items. For instance, you may find some wood and use a machete to shape that wood to craft a crude bow, and some other wood makes some arrows. Melee combat leaves you open to return blows, and while ranged weapons keep you away from danger, they also require ammo. In the case of bows, you can retrieve arrows from downed enemies — and from the environment, if you miss.
Aiming in How to Survive is done with the right stick, and with ranged weapons, the longer you aim at an enemy, the more accurate your shot will be. When you first look at an enemy, a small circle appears and quickly shrinks. If you wait until it has shrunken completely, the shot will be perfectly accurate, whereas shooting earlier incurs an accuracy penalty. It's also useful to aim your flashlight's beam, as some zombies are afraid of light and will retreat to the shadows.
This is useful, as the game undergoes a day and night cycle. While daytime jaunts through the area to collect supplies and explore the region are no walk in the park, darkness conceals threats and forces you to ensure that something isn't shambling behind you. There are safe houses for safety during the night, and it would seem that doing so would be a wise idea.
Mere experimentation can be done to find out how to make new items, but others can be learned by picking up chapters of the quite literal "How to Survive" book that are scattered around the game world. One example showed how to make the aforementioned bow and its arrows, and other chapters showcase other items of survival. The information is presented in a way that is a little tongue-in-cheek, and you'll certainly be happy to find one.
How to Survive will offer co-operative play, with the Wii U version only supporting local play and the Xbox360, PS3 and PC versions supporting network play. This allows you to bring a friend along, or at least someone to watch your back. No price was given for the game, other than that it's not free but will cost less than a full-priced game. Look for more information as it gets closer to its projected release window of Fall 2013.
More articles about How to Survive