Don’t Sleep On ARPG / Zombie Survival Sim How to Survive

There were plenty of zombies at E3 in June, with the filthy undead buggers shambling all over a number of upcoming games. Surprisingly, I’d never heard of the one I enjoyed playing the most — and many of you still haven’t. It’s called How to Survive, and it mashes up isometric ARPGs like Diablo with zombie survival sims like DayZ in a pretty fantastic way.

What makes it so compelling? You can check out my How to Survive hands-on preview for a full breakdown, but here are the basics: it features all the ARPG staples, with three characters to choose from and level up, sprawling maps full of various different zombie types, and plenty of loot to gather. Only in How to Survive, loot comes in the form of things you need to survive: food, water, tools, weapons, and more. Four different meters — health, hunger, thirst, and tiredness — are tied to the stuff you scavenge, so you’ll constantly be hunting for new stuff.

Another key feature is crafting. Find a stick and some string, and you can craft a fishing pole — terrific for catching food and keeping your health bar up. Use that same stick with a different type of string, and you can create a bow for fending off the zombie horde. Of course, you’ll also need arrows, and you can make those by crafting together sticks and feathers. Developer EKO Studios told me that there will be a total of 32 different weapons players will be able to cobble together, from a basic bow all the way up to (courtesy of a slew of different mechanical parts) machine guns and beyond, and each weapon will have variations.

All that ARPGing and survival siming comes together nicely, and you can even bring along a co-op buddy (online or off). I mention How to Survive today because it is set for launch next week (October 23) on all platforms for the low price of $15. If you’re the pre-ordering type, there’s a good incentive for parting with your money early on Steam: a 30% discount that brings the price down to $10.50.

Looking forward to this one.

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