Published on April 11th, 2016 | by Wesley Bogan0
Zombasite Demo Preview
Zombasite is an adventure RPG from Soldak Entertainment and available on STEAM as an early access game.
In it, you and your friends are the last, beleaguered human survivors of a hellish, viral apocalypse. The twist in this case is that the story is set against a dark fantasy backdrop versus the more popular, ‘in the near future’ setting. An evil, dark necromancer is to blame for the zombie-outbreak this time and it is up to you to ensure that the last bastion of humanity holds out at all costs.
Zombasite starts off by having you to choose a heroic class for your survivor. Think you’ll enjoy the world of magical summoning and control? Then a Summoner is the ticket. Prefer the good ole fashioned world of hacking your enemies to bits with an axe? Then Zombasite has a Barbarian with your name on it. All the archetypes are present from rogues to sorcerers, demon slayers to hunters.
Then you are dropped into your randomly generated town; the central hub for all your exploits, activities, loot storage and teleportation needs. One thing that Zombasite quickly impresses upon you via several pop-up hints is that your town is your key to winning. While the majority of your adventure has you outside your town, gathering weapons, supplies, and food, the town is always at risk of attack and conquest. If you lose your town, you lose the game.
But you aren’t alone in your adventure. As you progress through dense jungles, deep caverns, and sprawling ruins, you’ll encounter NPC’s who may be convinced to join you on your adventure. You can ask these players to join and watch your back as you adventure or they can be sent to town instantly and be initiated into your clan. In town, your clan helps monitor the place and keep any transgressors at bay. Clan members also help you by looking for food, supplies, and additional gear while you are busy hacking and slashing zombies and demons. It is a necessary element of gameplay to recruit these NPCs and send them on gathering runs, otherwise the remaining human populace in town runs the risk of running out of food and water.
You’ll also encounter other surviving clans of NPCs, some human, some definitely not, as you adventure through the game and it will be up to you whether or not to begin negotiations with them. If you work towards peace, a neighboring clan may offer to help by donating goods and supplies. If you decide to screw peace then you and your clan have a new enemy to worry about.. Either way, engaging and monitoring diplomatic relations with other clans is a must if you wish to survive.
Over all, Zombasite is an interesting blend of Diablo-esque, dungeon crawl fun with some Civilization style negotiations and diplomacy thrown in to try and bring some depth and strategic decision-making to the game.
At times the blend of the two styles works great and you will find yourself battling undead hordes alongside your clan-mates as you rush to deliver goods to a neighboring tribe so you can strengthen diplomatic ties with them. However such genre styles can conflict in awkward and annoying ways, like finding yourself knee-deep in a boss fight when your HUB status bar lets you know that two of your clan’s NPCs in town don’t get along and are trying to murder one another. The awkwardness of dealing with diplomacy issues when centrally focused on hack-and-slash gameplay can hinder a player’s enjoyment. It begs the question whether or not Soldak should try to lessen the necessity of one aspect of the game in favor of another. Or whether or not the dual aspects should be integrated at all.
All in all, Zombasite is a fun addition to both the fantasy-action RPG and diplomatic-strategy gaming scene. The strong usage of both aspects in a single game may hinder the overall enjoyment for some players who are looking for one type of genre experience over another and the learning curve for both aspects may force casual players of specific genres into frustrating and down right unenjoyable situations. If you are a fan of both genres, however, and are looking for a game that is working on bringing the best of both those worlds together, then Zombasite may be the game you have been dying to get your hands on.
Zombasite is available on Steam in Early Access for $14.99