Game review: March of the living

March of the living is a zombie survival game that came out in April.

It's pixelated graphics really fit the style of the game, but aren't anything special.

You start with a character, Greg, who is looking for his son. You travel through a pretty large map consisting of three areas of increasing difficulty. The map consists of dots connected with lines. You can chose your own path throughout the map by choosing which path (or line) to follow. There are also large cities marked on your map, which you can go to to loot for ammo, food or stuff to barter.

Every time you finish walking your chosen distance, you get a text prompt, which often provides you a choice. This makes for interesting turns and surprises throughout your journey and also for different playthroughs, since a certain choice doesn't necessarily influence you in the same way when you get it again. Speaking about different playthroughs, you'll probably have to try a number of time before you can complete the story. This is mainly because of the combat system.

When you encounter a zombie (either because a looting run failed in a city, or when your growl meter at the top of your screen fills in) you get into combat. You can either equip a melee weapon (like an axe or hammer), or you can equip a gun (either a shotgun, rifle or pistol). Then you can choose how you'd like to aim, and who you'd like to attack. When it's just a single character, it's fine. When it's more, it gets extremely hectic very fast. Especially when you get to the later portions of the map, with 15 or more zombies attacking you. There is a flee button, but the chance that you loose a group member or an item is gigantic. There are different kinds of zombies, some that run faster or bite you faster. If you get bitten, you get  infected and lose one health point per day. There are also bandits that you can fight, and they are much harder (since they've got guns).

Besides combat and looting, you have to eat (which is done by eating rations) and sleep. At every transfer zone to a new area of the map, you get the chance to barter.

You can unlock different characters to start with, or recruit new members to your group. These all got different skills and special traits. There are some quests in this game, but it seems random to how you get them. Karma is also a part of the game, depicted by a smiley face in the corner when you make a choice. The game tells you that this effects your gameplay, but I've yet to see this in action.

It was enjoyable, but again, it wasn't anything special. I've yet to encounter a lot of the unlockable characters, so I don't know about them. With Greg, the only one unlockable at the beginning, you search for your son. If you find him, he joins your party and you need to travel to the end of the map, where everything is influenced by the other characters that you have with you. It was cool, but there were so many zombies that not many of my group made it to that bit.

I bought it for 10 euros on steam, the normal price is 15 euros.

I enjoyed the game for a few hours, but after dying a lot of times, even when I was fully equipped, it got old pretty quickly. I liked the survival aspect, and the the little story bits were entertaining, but the combat system wasn't really great. It was way too hectic and unbalanced. Still, if you like zombie survival games, I'd say that you should check it out when it's in sale (which is often). I give it a 5.5 out of 10.

Thanks for reading, and leave a comment if you agree/disagree or if you'd like me to review a different game!


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