Gaming - Survivor Squad

Survivor Squad

The Defective Inspector opens the first of his Case Files and investigates Survivor Squad from Endless Loop Studios...

There are a plethora of zombie games, too many in my humble opinion, but every so often there are some which make me poke my head out from beneath the paperwork, Survivor Squad is one of them.

All indie games come with a slight delay in completion, so I have decided to review this game almost 2 years after its release. Thus I can fairly say this game is complete, running and as bugless as it is ever going to be. So knowing that the game has reached the “this is it” stage, I open the case file and make my report, about a sandwich.

A live action photo taken when I started writing this review...
The game has a bread and butter feel about it, everything in it is needed and expected. The general gameplay is a top down fog of war map where a team of zombie surviving warriors take on the world. The best part of the game is made very clear at this point, it works on line of sight; if your men cannot see it, you cannot either. Being able to create that feeling when controlling 1-4 people is rather impressive as every step I took in the game was consistent with the fear of the dark. The bare bones really shows in graphics however, though I enjoy a game WELL above graphics the pictures used for people leaves a lot to be desired, my assumption was in early development they had more coders than artists.

More zombies, more blood, MORE BRAINS!
Obviously your oddly square faced men cannot go marching into the night (Which in a game which relies on line of sight is the only time you do anything) without weapons. Throughout each map you hunt around for materials like wood, scrap metal, various ores and cloth… ‘Cause you need to find piles of cloth… Anyway point is you scavenge like a rat in the trash. Once you have hoarded the pieces of plunder you must also find blueprints to make a guns (Which interestingly are named after V for Vendetta characters), melee weapons and “equipment” ranging from automatic gun turrets to bigger backpacks. Of course survivors also need food and fuel for travel. It’s not exactly an imaginative economy system but it is… Well bread and butter. Granted I enjoyed the fact my gun was called “Creedy”, so maybe I was a seedy bread you buy from health food stores… But it is still bread and thus there is a need for some delicious filling to my sandwich.

What does seem to make this game into a lunchbox hero is the meaty filling that is the storyline. There is a loose concept where a mysterious “scientist” is guiding you to a secret lab so end the zombie apocalypse. Without ruining much of plot (Such as it is) you must go to several different locations which MIGHT be the lab. Each set of waypoints more difficult than the last creating a spanning spider map designed for us, the gamer, to slowly uncover. The issue is this meaty filling is less honey smoked cured ham slice dipped in truffles and more garlic pork roll. It gets painfully repetitive after so long as every building is just a weird dark void which a select zombie subjects which are dangerously close to Left4Dead (Jumpers, Spitters and Walkers OH MY!). Granted the developers mixed it up with the zombie heart which, for reasons poorly explained, attract more zombies to a location. There is also the chance of alarms and locked doors so there is MORE than just room to room evacuation.

spider diagram
Note: this is merely the START of the spider diagram, it gets IMMENSE.
Though my tone fades near the end of this review I still think the game is tasty. I like a good sandwich and it’s definitely worth the price you pay (Both metaphorically and literally). I am very aware ‘Survivor Squad: Gauntlets’ exists and I have intent to play it to see how things progress, but looking at what is the final product that is “Survivor Squad”, the game that launched Endless Loop Studios, I say… Well done. Despite the Microsoft paint graphics and dodgy plotline I think you’ve give me something the Earl of Sandwich himself would appreciate.

Bag it, tag it and give it to me with a packet of crisps.

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