WARNING: WALL OF TEXT AHEAD (Most of it may seem negative, but I really love you guys, it's been a nice 5 years of deadzoning)
2012, 5 years, it's been that long already since I first laid eyes upon this game.
It was a cool game at the time, and still is, but it has lost it's touch for me since the last 6 months or so. As those who know me have probably noticed by my lack of activity. I kept saying: "I'll be the one who sticks on here untill the servers go down." but yeah, I make commitments that I fail to fullfill on a regular basis, I guess it's a character trait. And I figured the 5-year mark would be a good time to go.
If you want, here's the boring part where I give a long explaination about why I'm quitting, you can read it.
If you don't want to, just skip ahead of the spoiler.
Anyway, enough about my reasons to quit...
Let's take a look at the game itself, which is great, don't get me wrong, If it was a bad game I wouldn't have stuck around for as long as I have, but it has so much potential. That perhaps because it's a facebook game, or simply because it would've taken to much time to program/animate/test/fix/fix again, etc. was looked over...
Being familiar with the TLS series (for those who don't know, there's 3 othergames that precede this one, The Last Stand 1, The Last Stand 2, and The Last Stand: Union City... You'll probably know all about that last one, because it's what the people on facebook want to see a remake of... a lot of people.) and also Following the news on the Con Artist Games website I stumbled upon the early peeks of what was to become TLS:DZ. A lot of secrety spec-ops files and distorted Images, a recurring theme with this games' updates. From HERC.
They were talking about Bombing Runs, Compound Observation, etc. Really cool stuff. And when Con shared the Info files, a list of images showing off the features that the game would have. I was sold. It was a game that I really wanted, a game that has you run a group of survivors, In the middle of a quarantined city, filled with zombies. It's a really cool setup.
HOWEVER...things kind of started to deviate from my Ideal game from there. which turned the "Best game in the world 10/10 ign" in "Still a really damn good game 9/10"
Which brings me to the first point: Immersion
Immersion is a big things for me when it comes to an Apocalyptic zombie game. The previous games In the series did well on this point. Setting a background story for Jack, the survivor you controlled. He had fled his home, defending himself from the zombies with the few weapons he found, trying to protect the survivors he found along the way. Eventually leading to their rescue on the 20th day. But then, of course, shit goes bad really quickly. And because Jack has the "Main Character Imunnity" Trait (As seen with Rick from TWD for example) he is the only one who survived. It was a cool, yet believeable story, just like the one from TLS:UC, where your protagonist comes home to find out that the city has been taken under control by HERC forces. And you must find a way to escape with your spouse.
This all died however, in the dead zone (See what I did there?). Mainly because you have to come up with stuff yourself, like I did with my survivors.
I would've loved to see a bit More immersion into the backstory. and a little less focus on the mindlessly hoarding of weapons of mass frustration, AAAARGH ANOTHER FRIGGIN RARE BASEBALL BAT, WHAT DO I NEED THIS FOR...errrr. Like, what happened in The Bricks, why does HERC want us dead, what does the Beacon do? What does the Beacon DO?
WHAT DOES THE-....Yeah, okay... Enough about the Beacon. Aside from the rather skipped on backstory, I also would've like to see the game being more Oriented towards Survivor Management... And I don't mean just simply sorting out which one gets the Six Sixty Six and which one gets the OP unique M107. I mean, having to solve problems within the group, dillemas, drama, the whole soap-story bonanza.
Maybe, if this game gets a sequel, make it so that Every survivor that joins your compound, has a randomly generated backstory, personal character traits, that have effects in battle or ones that can affect relationship between survivors.
To summarize: My ideal zombie survival game would focus a lot on the events that have happened or are going to happen, what happened to our survivors, what they were, and what they've become because of the apocalypse. It would focus on the Survivor, rather then on the glowing orange boomstick that's pointed at the next zombie. There is a good foundation laid out for immersive gameplay, but it is kind of neglected. Like the BEACON!!!!!....whoops, sorry....
Anyways, onto the next point: Simulation
In the beginning, I thought that the game was going to be more about Simulating the life in the compound. Rationing water for drinking, cleaning, showering and cooking for example. Or making sure that the Compound has electricity, or if the survivors get their night's rest.
Anyone who has played "The Sims" will know what I'm talking about.
However, it has been levelled down a bit. Probably because it would feel more like a Job then a videogame. But I think there's some feeling of accomplishment in getting a Compound to run like a well-oiled clockwork. Gettting enough resources for everyone, and stockpiling them.
Resources are little more then just numbers, and when the numbers get low, your survivors will just go frowny-face. Nobody will die of starvation or thirst... You'll just get reminded by their grumpiness in the daily quest. Food can't go bad, water is just...there, you use the same type of ammo for everything, chainsaws run on magic fairy dust, while power tools used for crafting guzzle fuel like cadillacs, and Wood, Metal and Cloth could just be removed entirely if you made building and crafting rely solely on components.
To Summarize: I find it sad that there's not a lot of Simulation in the resource management aspect of the game. But aside from that, I'm kind of happy that there is any at all. It could've been skipped entirely (like sleeping, or going to the toilet.)
Next point: Content (Items)
Content-wise, there's plenty to keep your inventory filled for a lifetime, Lots of variety as well, perhaps too much. There are so many prefix combinations that I've lost count of them. But only a few stand out to me. "Scoped", "Suppressed" and "Suppressed Scoped", since they change the Ａ Ｅ Ｓ Ｔ Ｈ Ｅ Ｔ Ｉ Ｃ of the weapon they're on. As the names imply, they add either a scope, or a suppressor... Sadly, in the images, they never both show up. A thing I hoped to see fixed before I'd leave.
Aside from weapons and gear, there's plenty of other stuff as well, books are plentifull...but in reality only some are really used. Active gear has gained some new options, but they're still just variants of already existing items. And then there's some content which, in my opinion, are not really exploited enough. Take the Premium Weapons, the Deathmobile and the Compound for example.
Premium Weapons are great... But to me they feel more like "Event Items", since outside of those events, new ones never really get added. If the Ivan (i'm just going to assume he maintains the store, consider it a fan-fic) didn't do such a meticulous job of cleaning the store, I'm sure there'd be cobwebs all over the premium weapon and gear sections.
The Deathmobile, hated by some, loved by many, is the quickest way to go around the deadzone, it is one of my favorite features. But also kind of overpowered. I think it would've been better if it was introduced with a Percentual speed up, rather then a fixed 10 minute return time. 10 Minute return times are great, but can get quite overwhelming when it comes to sorting loot and keeping the inventory clean. There's also a lot that could be done with the Deatmobile from an Ａ Ｅ Ｓ Ｔ Ｈ Ｅ Ｔ Ｉ Ｃ point of view. Think Paintjobs, different vehicles. Something that makes your Deathmobile just that little bit more personal, and not to make it feel like the Toyota Camry of the Apocalypse, bland and forgetable.
Then comes the compound. Once you finish building all the production and function building, that's pretty much it. Sure, plant a few extra flags down, or place some extra tire stacks... But that does get boring after a while, I think there could be more placeables for the compound, wheter it be Storage cabinets, boxes, benches, televisions... Anything really. What's keeping our survivors from going to the local SIHT for some Furniture upgrades, and the occasional missing parts during assembly of said furniture.
I could go on about why I don't like Uniques (Spoiler: It's because I like fixed stats, I consider randomness that could be used against me a great nemesis) but I'll keep it at this.
To Summarize: There's lots of cool weapons and gear to loot/craft/trade, but I feel as if other content is looked over.
Up Next: Content Pt. II (Features)
Since it's debut in 2012, the game has gained a lot of neat features. Most of them have been listed in the recent images shared on the Facebook Page, stuff like Crafting, Easter, Z-mas, Halloween, the Terror Dome and the Union Island Raids are great. The problem with most of these features however. Is that they get dull after a while, and have to be sharpened on a regular bases in order to become interesting again. There's not much anyone can do about this, it just happens. And I think that the team has done a great job on keeping the crowds of feature-hungry facebook zombies at bay.
I'll just list the common problems here:
Manual missions, great to do every now and then, but the lack of randomly generated maps make them feel to easy to do, because you'll know where all the loot containers are after you've done them a few times. There's been an attempt to fix this by making some containers appear and dissapear, but after you know where to look for them, it doesn't really matter. The maps feel too similar in design and it's easy to know what to find where simply by looking at the type of container... Although sometimes they'll suprise you, like bicycle wheels in suitcases.
Raiding, I used to do this, but stopped doing it at higher levels, since everyone starts to use the same loadouts and layouts. Making it more about the stats of your items, the amount of smoke grenades you have, and getting your angle for angling defenders juuuuust right, rather than the overall skill of the player. This is further lost by the fact that it's all done by AI...rather than live multiplayer, but let's not go down the live multiplayer rabbit hole.
The "Dungeon" features, such as the Terror Dome and Union Island raid are neat, but suffer the same issues as doing manual missions, they simply get to predictable after a while.
And...That's it... My mind is empty now, I think I'm done with my wall, and no country had to pay for the wall either, these are just some things that started to annoy me, reasons why I've personally lost interest in the game. Apologies for my rant/wall of text about what my "Ideal" zombie game would be like. I just wanted to give my opinion on what I'd loved to see in this game, and maybe, hope to see in a sequel. Feel free to criticise my opinions if you want. I don't mind engaging in discussions.
As a final word: I just want to give a shoutout to all the amazing players that I've met in this game and that accompanied me in the chatbox for these 5 years. It's a shame that many of you have left already, but it's also great to still see familiar faces in the chat from time to time.
And to the CAG Team, You've made a great game, I feel dirty "roasting"(not sure if that's the right word for it) the one game that i've probably spent more time playing than any other game combined. But I hope that my "roast" can help you make next game in The Last Stand series even greater than this one.
For now, Jerome Walker, signing out...
P.S.: Those tags are serious, i'm not giving away my stuff. And I'll still be around, but dormant, trading here and there to finish my collection.
Edited by Scrub McLordington LXIX, 11 March 2017 - 01:32 AM.