Choosing to go in blind, I had no idea what to expect with Seven: The Days Long Gone. I theorized that, like most PC RPGs, I would be entering a fantasy world with a traditional class system. Instead, I found a colorful, yet dreary cyberpunk setting that served as the backdrop for an entertaining narrative and dynamic gameplay design. Though it suffers from bugs and finicky artificial intelligence (AI), Seven: The Days Long Gone nevertheless is a great title.
Story and setting: The fate of our future
Instead of the common fantasy approach of many RPGs, Seven: The Days Long Gone chooses to craft a futuristic dystopian setting in which our species, after banding together and rising out of the ashes of a catastrophic war, is splitting apart and turning away from a better future in order to horde powerful secrets that lie in the past.
You play as Teriel, a master thief who travels to the prison island of Peh, which is controlled with an iron fist by the powerful Vetrall Empire. During your time there, you uncover conspiracies, secrets, and more that expose information about both the past and the present. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and power requires responsibility. This is no different for Teriel, who comes to have a massive impact on humanity's future due to his experiences and what he's learned.
The story is simple, but it's presented in a way that feels satisfying and interesting. For those who want to delve deep into the universe's lore, it's possible to do so through exploration and interacting with the world. The main character is also likable and is a blast to embody throughout the 10-hour storyline. Overall, the narrative behind Seven: The Days Long Gone is compelling and enjoyable.
Gameplay: Choose your way to play
Even more so than the setting, the gameplay of Seven is unconventional compared to other isometric top-down RPGs. While other games typically give you a choice of a character class that lets you specialize in a set of skills, this game makes everything available to you right from the get-go.
That isn't to say there's no progression, however. As you master the art of stealthily picking enemies off or the brutality of facing foes in melee combat, you gain perks that will augment your abilities and unlock new options for you. These two styles of play, stealth and open combat, are the main approaches. However, magic, ranged attacks, traps, and even disguising yourself as the enemy are options you have at your disposal.
Enemy AI is tough and smart, making it a good challenge no matter how you approach the task of taking them out. One small gripe is that they break off from their patrol patterns on occasion, seemingly at random. This makes the excellent stealth play riskier than it should be, but the issue is rare.
Seven: The Days Long Gone also gives you complete freedom to explore the setting as you see fit. Public areas are places where you can interact with the common folk and get a good look at daily life in Seven's universe, while private areas are where you infiltrate and uncover sensitive information.
It's possible to walk from one end of the game's world to the other from the beginning of the game, though it would be very hard because of the enemies you'd have to face. Still, this level of freedom allows you to experience this setting at your own pace, which is a plus.
Performance: Solid and reliable
Seven: The Days Long Gone runs smoothly and dependably, for the most part. Frame rates stay consistent throughout the experience, and no issues with screen hitching arose during my playthrough.
The one minor concern I had with the game is the tendency for audio to be cut short before a character finished speaking. This isn't really much of a problem, but the voice acting in the game is good and I enjoy listening to dialogue.
With its interesting plot, unconventional setting, and mixture of physical combat, stealthy assassination, magic, and ranged attack abilities, as well as satisfying interactivity with the open world, Seven: The Days Long Gone is an excellent and ambitious isometric role-playing game you definitely shouldn't miss.
- Variety of ways to play.
- Challenging, engaging gameplay.
- Unique, interesting setting.
- Dialogue bugs.
- Enemy AI can occasionally break.
Seven: The Days Long Gone is available now for $29.99 on Steam.
This review was conducted on a PC, using a review copy provided by the publisher.
On GoG as well with a 10% launch discount. Might have to check this one out.
Technical quibble: It's not isometric. That would mean that things do not get smaller with distance (no vanishing point) -- it's full perspective 3d. I see on Steam that even the developers make this mistake. Ugh.
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