We already reviewed the PC version of How To Survive when it released last year and since then 505 Games has released a ton of extra content which can be purchased separately. However, the game has now seen a release on the PS4 and Xbox One and comes as a complete pack for PC gamers wanting everything in a handy package. So, with an abundance of survival missions set against zombies, is the game Worthy of your time? Take a look at our How To Survive Storm Warning review for the full picture.
Today we’re taking a look at Eko Software’s island zombie survival game, How to Survive Storm Warning which sees a release on Xbox One, PS4 and comes as a complete package for PC gamers. We already reviewed the core essence of the original game so won’t go into too many details aside from what’s included in this version. In a nutshell from a selection of modes players have to learn how to survive a persistent environment filled with the undead zombies and wild animals. Aside from fending off the threat with makeshift weapons such as bows and arrows, guns and explosives, players also have to contend with hunger, thirst, tiredness and overall health. Neglecting any of these makes life even more difficult and potentially can end the game – thankfully there are handy checkpoint. So through foraging the islands for useful tools and parts, many items to aid survival are available making the two tier gameplay work remarkably well. The game world shifts through night and day, changeable weather conditions and means everything that is accomplished takes a toll on the player character. Whilst there’s no time limits to follow the story of escape, the fact that the ongoing threat of running out of resources means taking one’s time is not always the best course of action especially on the more challenging difficulty settings.
For Storm Warning, there’s an slew of extras absent from the original release which included the story and challenge mode. Both are unchanged here aside from a new female character Nina who boasts her own set of skills which includes being able to craft flame-throwers and gain fire based xp boosts which are mighty handy. She joins the three other characters who also come with alternate fireproof outfits and abilities to craft fire based ammo. Then there’s the One Shot Escape mode which offers random generated resources, escape vehicles and tougher opponents ramping up the challenge and presenting more replay value not tied to the story. A barricade mode is also feature and offers a wave based defence scenario where traps and barriers can be crafted to fend off enemies who swarm the camp during nightfall. All the modes are centred around the central theme of survival and play in a similar manner but are welcome extras to mess around with. For the story, an all new El Diablo islands location is featured complete with its own story enemies, wildlife and resources making the entire package rather complete compared to its predecessor. To round things off, there’s an additional difficulty ‘Kovac’s Way’ which is aimed squarely at high level characters and experienced players.
How To Survive Storm Warning is a slow paced game to get into, where progression is deliberately gradual and the wandering of the islands reliant on killing everything that moves making progress long and drawn out. Whilst there’s ultimately lots to do here for the single player in terms of modes there is a fair bit of repetition and lack of variety to the combat which gets tiresome after so many hours. However, the requirement to survive the elements and nature itself is well realized here and as a underlying theme for the game is expertly used to ramp up the tension making encounters a bit more meaningful as a result.
The game’s transition to PS4 and Xbox One is good, with everything from the PC version in tact including some neat lighting and shadow effects alongside the aforementioned changing weather such as rain and fog. The game also runs at 1080p 60 fps on both Xbox One and PS4 which is evidenced by its smooth gameplay and character movement. With its top down viewpoint, there’s enough of a view to see ones immediate surroundings, however, some of the scenery can obscure the action at times. On rare occasions there are frame rate dips although these are so infrequent they don’t impact the gameplay.
In terms of longevity, the game’s story mode will take quite some time to beat although what is neat is how character stats and levels carry across all modes which is handy. Players can then level up individual characters and drop in and out of modes as they see fit. Alongside playing the game as a solo experience, another player can team up locally during the story and work in tandem for more engaging fun and games. There’s also the option of playing all of the modes online with others and what’s really neat here is being able to invite players to help out in the single player game if desired. Ekco has covered all bases here which is fantastic.
How To Survive Storm Warning is essentially the same game as the original with all the extras tossed in to make it a complete package for newcomers. It sits well on the Xbox One and PS4 and is a fun but long experience of survival. There’s some neat concepts beneath the game making it more than just a run of the mill shooter and for this reason comes recommended for those who prefer something a little more tactical when it comes to killing the undead.
Score 8/10 – Review by Robert Cram