At first glance Seven: The Days Long Gone looks like an old-school ARPG game reminiscent of the Diablo franchise, but you will find it is instead a stealth game, and a decent one to boot. Let’s jump into this newly released title by Fool’s Theory, and see what it’s all about.
Genre: Isometric RPG
Developed by: IMGN.PRO , Fool’s Theory
Published by: IMGN.PRO
Release Date: December 01, 2017
Platforms: PC via Steam [Reviewed]
Seven: The Days Long Gone Review
- Monsters – The world of Seven is inhabited by a rich variety of creatures. Aside from animals and people, monsters are the third important part of its ecosystem.
- Magic – Magic exists in the world of Seven, and while there’s no detailed explanations of some of its phenomena, it’s definitely something you’ll have to deal with.
- Community – The world of Seven features a diverse society that won’t always remain indifferent to your presence, so getting on peoples’ good side is not a bad idea.
Story and Setting
Seven: The Days Long Gone has a wasteland vibe that will remind players of classics like Fallout or Mad Max. The has world been destroyed and rebuilt, with people gaining power from an Ancient Artifact. The game can make you feel nostalgic for other wasteland titles, with its barren but dangerous landscapes, the fall of education leading to suffering for the populace, and its cruel and mysterious ruler. You begin your journey hoping to be the hero and savior of the ruined world.
As the game progresses, your character takes on a quest to seek freedom and join forces to rebel against this tyrannical ruler. Whilst World Building seems to have been done with care and attention to detail, the story is unfortunately rather straight forward so some may not find it as engaging. Characters are somewhat one-dimensional, and players will likely be able to predict the ending – which they do get to influence with their choices.
Seven focuses instead on gameplay and relagates questing to “Fetch Quest” style. This can be enjoyable for those that are truly engaged by the stealth mechanics, but core RPG players may find it disappointing. You can expect your playthrough to last about 10 hours without sidequests, and 30+ to complete all content, which is slightly above average for this pricepoint.
This aspect of the game heavily encourages infiltration and stealth mechanics rather than combat, which can be counter-intuitive for those expecting in-depth encounters. With a limited number of enemy types, and with a more limited arsenal than you would encounter in other games, one could be initially fooled into thinking the game is a boring grind. Instead, the push for stealth shines a light on a truly unique approach to the genre, that is really enjoyable on its own.
Instead of practicing moves and farming for better equipment, in this game you need careful preparation and planning. Will you use decoys to distract guards? Set traps to get rid of patrols? or will you assassinate the enemies so they can’t sound the alarm? In Seven these are the choices you must face regularly, and are an interesting addition to an isometric RPG to say the least.
Unfortunately, on the occasion you do find yourself in open combat, things can get ugly very fast. It feels like a “button masher” with limited combos, and you don’t have dodge or block (except jump away from enemies), so once you been swarmed by the guards you are pretty much finished. Luckily though, there are not many scenarios that force you to fight.
A second issue with open combat is the enemy AI, who only aggro within a restricted zone, so will ignore you if you run out of their designated area. This creates a somewhat exploitative situation as you can lure them out one by one, making the infiltration very boring and downright cheesy. Of course it’s up to the player to chose to do that. As an aside, there’s a missed opportunity to relive Metal Gear mechanics, as if guards see a dead body in front of them they still pretend nothing has happened.
The game also encourages exploration via interactive elements within the map, which is great, but the camera implementation can become frustrating. Sometimes, important details fall out of view, or make it easy to misjudge the height of objects. For example, sometimes you fail to see the guards behind some rocks or walls, or you want to escape from enemies only to find what you thought was transparent and accessible was actually a wall. Thankfully though, you can use the sense mode frequently to avoid these types of situations and prevent yourself from getting stuck.
The last note on gameplay is about the controls, which are “ok” rather than “good”, so players will want to look into a good alternate setup for their playthrough. Sometimes you will find it hard to perform certain moves because of the way actions flow into each other, regardless of your mapping. For example, maybe you wanted to sneak past a wall but ended up jumping onto it and drew the attention of large numbers of guards because the game didn’t do what you wanted. This is something we hope the developers can address with a patch at some point.
Audio & Visual
The graphics and voice acting of Seven are both decent, and fit the post-apocalyptic and cyberpunk atmosphere of the game perfectly. We were rather happy in this regard given this is an indie title from an emerging studio.
The western guitar music is quite memorable and moody, and the cell-shaded art style is unique for a game in this genre. The details of environments and objects are also good, although we were left wishing for some more environmental variety.
Some final points of concern were on the sporadic graphic glitches we encountered, such as walking on air, or some minor issues such as suddenly being unable to stealth. None of these were progression-breaking nor show-stoppers. The developers have released a patch that addresses the above bugs and some gameplay mechanics (for example, you will no longer uncrouch after having thrown something), and tweaked the enemy AI to make them smarter.
As the developer team seems dedicated to listening to players and reacting to feedback with patches, we’ll update our review as they are released.