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COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: How to Survive PSN Review

Updated: 11/12/2013 5:02 PM
Created: 11/12/2013 9:25 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

I just finished playing an awesome zombie survival game called “How to Survive from 505 Games and EKO Software for the PSN.

“How to Survive” is an overhead adventure game where you have to try and survive many zombie attacks.

The story is pretty simple, but yet, is interesting.  You choose one of three survivors, and you are stranded on an island that is populated by tons of flesh eating zombies.  There are other survivors on the island, and you can help them out by doing various side missions.  Your goal is to try and get off the island alive.

You will also learn that there are multiple islands, and you must go from island to island searching for other survivors and items that will help you escape.

The graphics are really good.  You can choose between three survivors, and they all have their own unique look and style of fighting.  The zombies look amazing and are covered in gore.  It looks awesome when you kill a zombie because there is a ton of blood.  There are zombies that explode, and when they do, blood and guts fly all over.

The controls are very simple.  You can attack, run, switch weapons, make weapons, and pick up items.  You move with the left analog stick and aim with the right one.

The game goes from night to day, and stronger and more dangerous zombies come out at night. You will find a flashlight and can make a torch with fire and a stick.  The zombies that come out at night can be stunned by light, and you can attack them.

As you play, you will find survival guides called “Korvak’s Rules.” These will give you tips and explain how to play the game. At any time during the game, you can look at Korvak’s Rule’s and see what you need to do.  I thought this was nice and very helpful.  I also loved the animation because it was hilarious.

Another thing that you can do is make weapons and armor to help you in your fight against the zombies.  You will find many different things like sticks, branches, cloth and you can combine all of these different things to make more powerful weapons. For example, if you combine a branch and some twine, you can make a bow. Then if you combine your machete with a stick you can make arrows.  You will find blue prints laying all over the islands that will tell you what you will need to make weapons like shotguns and exploding arrows.

After a while, you will eventually get hungry, thirsty, and tired, so you must find food to eat, clean water to drink and a place to sleep.  You have a meter for each one, and if the meters get too low, then you will start to do things like missing your attacks or will become sluggish.

You will find medical kits and plants scattered around the island that will restore your health.  You can also combine plants and other items like cloth to make bandages to restore your health.

When you first start playing “How to Survive” you will get to choose either story or challenge mode.  The challenge mode is really fun.  You can choose one of the three characters, and you are dropped off at a random spot on the map.  Your goal is to try and get to your airplane before you die.  This is very challenging because there are tons of zombies, and you start out with nothing in your inventory so you have to find and make your weapons.

The online mode is also very fun.  You can play with one other person, and you have to try and survive the zombie attack together.  Once nice thing is that if the zombies defeat one of the players, the other player can revive them.

Overall, I really enjoyed 505 Games and EKO Software’s “How to Survive” for the PSN. It is a fun game to play, and the controls are very easy to learn.  I thought the characters and zombies looked awesome.  I really liked how you could find all kinds of materials to make weapons and armor with.  The side missions were fun.  I also really enjoyed the challenge and online modes.

I would highly recommend “How to Survive” to anyone who loves survival horror games, zombies, and are looking for something exciting to play.

“How to Survive” is rated “M” for intense violence and blood and gore.

Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.

Photo courtesy of 505 Games

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