Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review - Immune

If a zombie apocalypse ever went down, would you have what it takes to survive? Scrounging for supplies, banding together with other survivors or going at it alone are some of the questions you'd have to ask yourself. Would you fight for what you need to survive or run away and cower? These questions and more are answered in Immune, an open-world MMORPG pitting you against zombies in a fight for survival. You and your fellow survivors are up against both zombies and crazed nut-jobs hellbent on shooting anybody they come across. Currently in Early Access on Steam, Immune gives you a chance to see the world envisioned by creators Vidiludi Games and Entertainment, as well as provide input to help shape and change the game.

As far as gameplay mechanics, Immune gives you an incentive to not die. When you die, you lose all your gear and are tasked with finding your original death point without dying in the process. You always start with a backpack and it can carry a good amount of gear. Additionally, you get four spots for equipment that are separate from the backpack and spots for what you're carrying in your hand, a hat, body armor and boots. Filling those spots is a Wide range of supplies you'll need to scrounge and find from metal scraps, wood, stones, cloth, food and weapons (the materials are what you need for crafting). There are good game mechanics where you can kill animals for meat that you have to cook over a campfire or planting blueberries and potatoes to grow your own food.

Crafting in Immune gets some things right, but other things are head-scratchers. Crafting ability is tied to your level and with only three levels at the moment it's a little restrictive. It's likely that down the road there will be more levels which will expand what you can craft. You can craft some weapons, body armor, walls, campfire, doors and a few other items as well. Being able to build a fort of your own is pretty sweet. The downside to the crafting is the materials management aspect, as at any given moment it seems that your character is carrying a lot of supplies with little need to create anything new.

As this is an MMORPG, there are a number of servers to play on, but every time I've played it felt like nobody was online. One time I was on another player was as well and he helped me out, but beyond that Immune is a lonely experience unless you have friends to play with as well. Actually having other survivors to play with helps when you try to take on the gun-toting NPCs who shoot anything and everything. Hopefully when this game gets further along in development more folks will jump into it and should start to populate the servers. The low number of players is probably the biggest gripe.

The second biggest issue has to do with item drops by enemies. You could kill a few guys who are shooting you with guns, but when looting them all you get is a potato or a beanie. Guns and ammo drops are very few and far between and putting more of those throughout the game would be a big boost. Actually, ammo isn't that hard to find, but actually securing a gun for the ammo is a little more difficult. There are certain things you can search that might drop these items in boxes, dumpsters, wrecked cars, etc. that might have what you need, but more often than not they don’t have anything useful. Putting more spots to get weapons and ammo or at least having the NPC characters who are using guns actually drop that gun or at least some ammo would work better. Maybe also making the map a little bit bigger or at least add more buildings or places to search for supplies.

Combat isn’t terrible, but definitely needs a few tweaks. Having to click on the opponent so your character will keep facing them to fight is tough at times when you're running from a pack of zombies. Having a button you can hit to lock on for you or maybe being able to put certain items on hot keys would make combat a lot easier. Fighting someone using a gun is definitely preferred and when all you have is your homemade stone axe, things get a little rough.

Immune definitely has potential. Right now there are going to be some quirks about the game, with the biggest issue getting more players into the game to try it out. I love the top-down view you get playing the game; although being able to spin the camera would come in handy. The game has an old-school video game feel with the graphics, sounds and view. It's very intuitive as far as getting up and running with hints that can come in handy. Simple controls for what you need to survive. I had fun playing Immune and will keep messing with it just to see what new features or updates are coming. If you're looking for a new zombie survival game and want to help out in its development, Immune could be worth your time to check out.


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