Pity the poor game that doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up.
Seven – The Days Long Gone
Developer: IMGN.PRO & Fool’s Theory
MonsterVine was supplied with Steam code for review
Seven The Days Long Gone is from several people that worked on The Witcher, but it’s an isometric stealth RPG rather than The Witcher, so I’m not sure why that would be a big selling point. The one commonality is the grimdark setting.
A long time ago, The Ancients fought the demons and the world was destroyed. All that remains is ash and bone, and people fight over the remaining cyberpunk technology of those who came before. But then a prophet of mankind rose up and taught everyone how to use computers again, but everyone still basically lives in dirt and filth even with a technocratic space empire that searches for power no matter the consequences. It’s a lot like Reddit.
It’s very eager to get you onboard with its darkness and edginess. From being a master thief that sounds like Jack Sparrow to the opening–which involves viewing an execution–to the loading screen of a guy catching a bullet in the head, you’ll cut yourself on the edginess on display. The only problem with that is that everything is grimdark nowadays, and Thor: Ragnarok has proven there is another way to tell stories, even ones about the end of the world.
One of the problems I had with the game is that it’s never really clear which rules you’re playing by. For example, your character is as fragile when it comes to fighting as a regular stealth game would demand. You’re supposed to rely on hiding and tricks and gadgets and whatnot. Fine. But it’s hard to figure out a good spot to hide. And for a game happy to show you its whizbang parkour and climbing, there’s a whole lot of things you can’t actually climb. Run up to a fence to make a thrilling escape and, oops, it’s not a climbable fence, now you’re dead.
But traditional stealth gameplay isn’t in the cards either. Early on, I was breaking in someplace and rather smugly beat up a guard and stole his uniform, figuring it would be easy access inside. Only, no, that didn’t happen. It turned out to be some very nice gear in the classic action-RPG sense, but it didn’t gain me the advantage you’d expect in a stealth-oriented game.
And that’s the real problem: Seven can’t decide what kind of game it wants to be. It wants to be bleak and edgy thieving but doesn’t quite go to the depths of the Styx series and the lead voice actor sounds like Jack Sparrow. It wants to be a stealth game, but it’s hard to tell where to stealth, how to escape, and what to do. And there’s a very nice isometric RPG combat system in there. Fighting guards is a joy, at least until they swarm and overwhelm you and you get stunlocked. But why make a great combat system with backstabs and distractions and all that if you’re not supposed to use it, since the whole point of the genre is not getting caught?
Ultimately, it feels like a few great ideas forcibly grafted together. The art and atmosphere is lovely and the music is nice. I feel like there’s a nugget of a great idea in a stealth-oriented action RPG with the classic gear treadmill, but Seven never really finds it, and that’s a real shame.
The Final Word
A collection of interesting systems that never quite comes together.
– MonsterVine Review Score: 2.5 out of 5 – Mediocre