March of the Living Game Review

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Gameplay

Computer setup:

CPU: Intel, i5-4430 @ 3.0ghz
Motherboard: ASUS H81-Plus
RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
GPU: Sapphire 290x Tri-X 4gb
PSU: Corsair CX750m

The central mechanic is straight from the FTL playbook, navigate through a randomly generated map trying to survive to the next sector. You pick up other mouths to feed survivors on the way. Balancing the needs of your group with your own survival. Scavenging from cities and corpses, hoping that the next location will have what you need to get a little further.

Walking between locations you watch your survivors walk down roads, time flying past as the zombie meter fluctuates between you panicking about getting caught and relief at nothing appearing. You can use this time to reload weapons, eat, or stop and rest. Watching your group trudge slowly down the road ever closer to the next sector.

March of the Living

From the opening screen it is made clear that this is a text heavy game. Every town, location and building has a story to tell. The stories change each time you play, and as I found out the hard way, so do the outcomes. There are over 80,000 words and you’ll feel the need to read all of the different stories at some point. In keeping with popular zombie fiction they’ve been renamed and are called Growlers. I’ve never found out why.

March of the Living 2

You also control every aspect of your group’s actions. Picking who eats and who can be sacrificed in combat to let the group escape. Combat is real-time with the ability to pause and issue orders at any moment. In combat your group needs help with everything. If Greg takes down a zombie then you need to select him and then the next target to attack. As well as being told each time to reload his gun. It’s a cumbersome system but adds to the survival feeling of the game as you try and control things counting each bullet.

March of the Living 3

Like all roguelike-likes you will die, repeatedly, suddenly and painfully. Not only from zombies but survivors, bad food, infection, injuries, monks. Each death is a learning experience, even if sometimes they feel unfair.

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