This week sees the release of a very scary game for Xbox One and Xbox 360: The Evil Within. But October is the month of scares, so more horror-themed games are called for. It looks like we'll be getting a couple of those closer to Halloween. The lighthearted Costume Quest 2 is due out near the end of the month (possibly on the 31st), and now 505 Games' How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition for Xbox One has a firm Halloween release date.
How to Survive is an action-RPG set on a zombie-infested island. Besides including a ton of DLC previously released on PC, the new How to Survive also boasts 2-player local and online co-op for optimal zombie killing. In celebration of the game's spooky release date, 505 Games has just released a new teaser trailer that highlights a variety of zombie kills. Keep reading to check out our impressions and the very short trailer.
Preparing to survive
Like State of Decay (which comes to Xbox One next year), How to Survive originated as an XBLA game. This one launched in October of last year, right around the time that everyone was gearing up for the new console launches. As such, it flew under a lot of gamers' radars, including mine. That's a shame, because it actually looks really fun.
You play as one of three survivors who have become stranded on a zombie-infested island. Like the average person, they have little idea of how to handle the situation on their own. Luckily, an eccentric survival nut has created a "How to Survive" guide for just such an emergency. You'll hunt down the pages of the guide, which contains useful (and funny) words of advice.
How to Survive takes place from an overhead view and controls like a twin-stick shooter. But it's still a survival game like State of Decay. Your character has three basic needs: food, water, and sleep that must be met in order to stay alive and kicking. You'll have to hunt animals for food, gather water from wells, and find safe places to rest as you navigate the island's perils.
Besides exploring, foraging, and zombie killing, you'll also have to complete RPG-style quests for fellow survivors. Completing these quests, as well as fighting enemies and crafting unique objects, gains EXP for your character. Use it to purchase upgrades for a skill tree, personalizing your character while gaining useful benefits like a reduced need for sleep.
Best of all, How to Survive has that one major element that State of Decay (as far as we know) lacks: cooperative multiplayer! Two players can team up on one system or online in order to face the zombie island together. Since each character has his or her own strengths and abilities, you'll be able to complement your partner and hopefully keep each other safe.
Riding the eye of the storm
The Xbox One version of How to Survive naturally includes a few improvements over last year's release. Most obviously, it adds a whopping six DLC packs that were previously released on PC.
To go into a little more detail about the Storm Warning Edition improvements, this new version will include 7 islands to explore (three more than the original), four game modes (Story, Challenges, Free Roaming, and Survival), three difficulty levels (one more than the original), 17 types of zombies and 12 types of animals to hunt, new changing weather conditions, and 35 Achievements.
How to Survive won't be the scariest game in town this month, but it does have a great zombie theme and lots of fun gore that make it perfect for the season. How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition comes to Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC on October 31. It will cost $19.99.
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