How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition (Xbox One) Review

By Leigh Groocock 08.11.2014

Review for How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition on Xbox One

The zombie survival RPG genre is one that most are extremely familiar with as these games are now everywhere and ones that are actually worth playing are rare. It's a genre that has been completely overdone but it's nice to see How to Survive: Storm Warning developer EKO Software attempting something different, setting it apart from the wealth of competition. Following on from the first game on Wii U eShop, Cubed3 looks at this new Xbox One edition.

How to Survive: Storm Warning starts with the player picking one of three characters who have different traits, allowing for the slight tailoring of the way in which things are to play out. The choices are fairly generic; a fast character, a brawler, and one that is marginally better at using ranged weapons. After a decent amount of time spent in the game with each one, it doesn't seem to really matter which one is picked as they all feel roughly the same gameplay-wise.

After spending some time at sea, it is - surprise, surprise - time to wake up on a zombie-infested beach. Materials and supplies must be gathered, other survivors on the island must be helped, and escape is the eventual objective. Along the way, a hilarious Russian fella' called Kovac is stumbled upon, a chap who has lived on the islands for some time and teaches how to survive via handy survival guide books that are scattered around the world, filled with funny little animations that are great learning tools. Even the load screens contain a small little questionnaire regarding how the game should be played, providing a small amount of experience for each correct answer.

How to Survive revolves around fulfilling four basic human everyday needs: finding edible food, clean water to drink, a safe place to sleep, plus weapons and medical supplies to counter the zombie hordes. All of these are scattered across the island and they must be found. Weather also comes into play, adding an extra frustrating difficulty that leads to the player being electrocuted several hundred times throughout the adventure, which makes no sense.

A survival game needs a good crafting system and the one in How to Survive: Storm Warning is well worth checking. It's a fairly simple concept of 'find an item, hit combine and see what can be created.' It's just a matter of hording every item found, as anything could be useful in some way. Slight guidance will be received from Kovac on how to make more useful homemade guns, but other than that players are left to their own devices! Thankfully, if the item wasn't what was expected, it can be salvaged, starting again with the original components.

Screenshot for How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition on Xbox One

It's worth saving every weapon possible as they will be needed to battle the zombie horde that comes in a variety of different forms. Throughout the day there will be standard zombies, armoured ones from the various military camps, and giant boomer-like undead beings that explode, dealing massive damage if not moving far enough away in time. Most will definitely want to avoid travelling at night as some terrifyingly quick creatures lurk in the darkness…

Every time a quest is completed or a zombie killed, experience is received that will eventually give a skill point that can then be spent on the tree. Each character has a skill tree that contains a variety of upgrades and they come down to basically whether anyone wants to become a more efficient zombie killer or just better at surviving on the islands by lasting longer without food, water and sleep. The latter is much more useful, as resources do become rare.

How to Survive: Storm Warning's content is spread out over several different islands that are filled with places to sleep, items to gather, and zombies to kill. It may sound like a lot but, realistically, these islands are actually quite small and can each be completely explored in well under an hour. Other than the volcanic islands that come in the Storm Warning edition, they all look mostly the same; run down camps, burnt out fires and mountains of fauna and flora cover the islands.

The story mode itself may be short but there are plenty of other game modes available to sink time into. The challenge mode drops the player on one of the game's many islands and all of the items and resources are randomly generated, adding an extra level of replayability, as it will always be something different. The most notable addition is two players co-operative, which lets the player try and survive on the islands with one other friend for an unlimited amount of time). If co-operative play is not appealing, though, How to Survive offers two more challenging selections, such as One Shot Escape and Barricade, both involving exploring the islands for items and attempting to survive by setting up objects and turrets to take down the hoards.

Screenshot for How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

How to Survive: Storm Warning has its fair share of problems and doesn't really contain that much content, yet credit should be given to developer EKO Software. It has attempted something different to make its game stand out in a genre that is already extremely saturated. It controls well and is fairly enjoyable to play, but even after just a few hours, it feels like there is nothing left to do.

Developer

EKO Software

Publisher

505 Games

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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