Title: Dawn of Survivors
Developer: Wistone Entertainment
Publisher: Wistone Entertainment
Genre: Zombie Horror Survival
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 16 – Violence
Release Date: 18/04/19
Price: £1.59 – The reviewer was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developer says
From decaying cities to dark forests, you will fight through hordes of zombies and desperate scavengers. Find food. Build shelter. Prepare yourself. For when the sun rises, so do the dead.
SCAVENGE FOR RESOURCES
Scavenge the wastelands for resources. You’ll search for supplies and materials in this cruel, undead world. Everything can be used to help you survive.
MASSIVE, DYNAMIC WORLD
Explore massive city landscapes, abandoned labs, hidden crash sites, and dark forests. The dead are everywhere!
FIGHT HORDES OF ZOMBIES
Face a variety of countless zombies, each with their own abilities.
UNLOCK WEAPONS AND TOOLS
Unlock and craft a massive assortment of weapons and tools, from swords to automatic rifles to traps.
Take on players from around the world. Raid their shelters for resources, but be ready to defend your own home. The fight to survive never ends.
Within popular culture, Zombies have long been a source of inspiration and a topic for great games. There have been so many great Zombie-themed games that it would be impossible for me to list them all here. There have been a great many more which are truly awful. Similarly, since the explosion in popularity of games such as Terraria and Minecraft, there has been an influx in games that encourage the player to build and craft their way to success. Let’s not forget the great many survival horror games that are available on the market now too!
While the Switch has its fair share of Survival Horror Games, Zombie games are in short supply on Nintendo’s versatile hybrid. That is where new Zombie Apocalypse themed survival horror game, Dawn of Survivors comes in. Not only does the game offer the much demanded Zombie infestation on Switch, but it also provides an online multiplayer experience that so many gamers enjoy. But at a bargain basement price of just £1.59, can the game possibly be any good?
Audio and Visual
Dawn of Survivors looks gorgeous. Crafted in a fantastically well-suited stylised cell-shaded form, it helps to accentuate the post-apocalyptic world that Wistone Entertainment has created.
The view is an almost top-down look which is handy when gathering materials or merely exploring. When in a town, however, this changes to an over-the-shoulder view which I found a little jarring at first. However, it didn’t take long to get used to it.
Zombies are uniquely crafted to make each variety equally terrifying. Similarly, they are made to move in a variety of ways, and yet they all seem to stick to the traditional Zombie trope.
An aspect of the game that is less impressive is the audio. Music is good, not spectacular, with simplistic, dark and ominous tones accompanying the action with relatively little change in the feel of the musical score.
Sound effects within the game are not great, being the fairly stock banging, cutting and attacking sounds found in the majority of games of this type. This can, however, be forgiven, given how pricey good unique sound effects can be to create.
Gameplay and Replayability
Each player starts the game in the same way, escaping a building. In this way, the player is taught the basics of movement, looting and combat. The limited story here is strangely reminiscent to the story at the start of Zombi U on the Wii U (a fantastic Zombie game in its own right). Once past this beginning stage, the player is placed into their Shelter: their base of operations. From here they are given a further tutorial with missions to create the basics needed for survival, a building, an axe etc. These missions are given to the player “over the radio” which is attached to your new canine companion – the goodest of good boys.
Venturing out of the shelter sees the player presented with the world map which is used to travel between locations where different materials can be found. It is in these other locations (orchards, towns and quarries) where other players can be found.
On several occasions I ran into other players, two of those encounters saw the other player attack me with a baseball bat. Naturally, I did the brave thing and legged it!
Controls in the game are fine, and they are perfectly well-suited to the experience, my only slight criticism of them is concerning attacking enemies with melee weapons. Often the first attack would be fine, and then my avatar would merely stand there and get punched before attacking again (this is not an auto attack either).
Crafting takes place in a menu meaning you can craft objects at any time in any place which is surprisingly useful. The exception being specialist items that must be made using a machine or tool bench. For instance, clean water requires a distilled water collector. However, the crafting time of 26 real-world minutes is upsetting. This can be “rushed” in exchange for gems that the player starts the game with, which suggests that micro-transactions will arrive at some point. This in itself is not so much an issue given the base price of the game being so low.
The only real major issue I had with Dawn of Survivors was related to the always-online nature of the game. Every time I wanted to share a screenshot or a video capture from the game I would lose my connection to the server and have to reconnect, not a huge problem but an inconvenience none the less.
Dawn of Survivors is a predominantly single player experience with elements of PvP built into the game which require a permanent internet connection. Overall Dawn of Survivors feels like a game that should cost an awful lot more than it does. That being said on some levels it also feels like a free to play game. Time will tell which of the two will become more accurate. I have high hopes for the game and fully believe it will become a sleeper hit. Despite its flaws, the game is a lot of fun which is the most important thing.
The most important question here is probably: “Is Dawn of Survivors worth buying when it launches?” I’d have to say yes, which would be the case even if the game cost £8.99, and when all is said and done, it’s got to be better than Fortnite.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
If you want to join in the fight for survival, you can find and purchase Dawn of Survivors on the Nintendo eShop:https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Dawn-of-Survivors-1546661.html#Overview