Seven: The Days Long Gone is an open-world, 3D isometric role-playing game where you play as a master thief. Sam Harkin shares his thoughts on the game.
Quite a ride
Oh Seven, it has been quite a while since a game has made me feel such ecstatic highs and crushing lows. All journeys must come to an end, however, though I couldn’t have predicted such a crazy ride. It started off shaky, but in due time I found glimmers of an amazing game. In fact, a game so amazing I may need to try out whole new genres, so engrossed I was by this game at points. It speaks to how important it is to step outside one’s comfort zone. Which is surprising because, in truth, this great game is often buried by the lacklustre tutorials and bugs. Just so many bugs.
What in the world
What originally drew me into playing Seven was the intrigue permeating the story. Our main man is Teriel, a master thief. Following a major heist, he finds himself possessed by a daemon, Artanak. He informs Teriel that they are aboard a zeppelin bound for Peh, a prison island. From there, they will have to locate Savaash, and we go from there.
Straight off the bat, super interested. I mean this is a cyberpunk game. How do daemons fit into this? What even are daemons in a cyberpunk context? I mean in-game it looks like some glowing genie-like thing that apparently is stuck in your head (or something). Unfortunately, they don’t really address such things in the game, unless they do very deep into the plotline. Suffice to say, I didn’t get that far.
Of course, with a long game like this, it really comes down to whether the gameplay’s up to scratch. It’s fair to say that this is really where the extremes of my review come into play. Stealth games tend to be ones that I either love or hate. On one hand, Metal Gear Solid V to my knowledge is the game that I have spent the most time playing. On the other, with other games, I lose interest quickly just because I don’t gel with the controls enough to ride through any bumps in the difficulty curve. Furthermore, I don’t hate top-down view games but I don’t have good ties with it. I have a lack of staying on MMO’s, and my least favourite game ever being top-down. Also, I like some RPGs, trying to dive into more diverse offerings. Overall, not a good start.
The game progressed, and I ran into some annoyances. The game’s tutorial paints a picture of sneaking around and picking pockets for money. Kind of a mismatch, for the first post-tutorial area being a public market. Sneaking around and the police chase you. Pickpocket, and your quarry, as well as the police, chase you. It took a while to get used to the UI and such. As I played more and more I started to get engrossed in this loop. Sneaking around, killing, stealing, crafting or selling what I must keep my items under the games weight limit. I made tonnes of items, a bunch of lockpicks to make myself stealthier and added some cool abilities. I was just into the gameplay loop I suppose. Which is awesome because I have wanted to be into this type of game for a while.
A crowning moment was sneaking into a complex, to hack into an “Overseer”, a terminal that allows a bit of fast travel. I don the Technomagi uniform I looted from after knocking out a guard from the previous town. I do still raise suspicion, but I’ve got a bit more of a window to get around in. Unfortunately, this is not my lucky day I have alerted multiple guards, and we enter Benny Hill chase mode. I decide to hide in a bush, but they’ve spotted me and now I’m surrounded by two dozen guards. They raise their batons and are about to strike! I hunker down and take… no damage?
Well yeah, this is where we talk about bugs.
Bugs Galore, and not just the insects
I’m pretty lucky in the grand scheme of my gaming life. Bugs are generally something I’ve heard a lot more about than I have seen. But this game, it’s kinda hard to not run into a few. It turns out after that little tête-à-tête above, Teriel was seemingly invincible for whatever reason. And so he remained for about half of my play time. Now, truth be told, the invincibility has stopped, presumably due to a patch of some kind being implemented, but I mean get real. This is prime time guys, you’ve got to be ready to go day one. But of course, this is not day one at all. The game has been, as of writing, out for the better part of 2 months; patched 6 times.
Other minor bugs litter this game. Guards that manage to see me on the other side of a billboard. A heartfelt conversation between a pregnant lady and his suitor, playing out during a seemingly unending frantic fight with other civilians. Arena battles that don’t reset leaving you facing down dropped loot and being unable to escape, short of suicide or reloading. Guards that manage to hear you walking on the roof several meters above their heads. OK, maybe that last one doesn’t count, but suffice to say so much of this game is unfair that any issue seems like fair game.
Simply put, this is not a game I finished, and as much as I would like to I cannot say it is necessarily one I can see myself finishing. After cruising through several hours of gameplay and the sudden removal of my untouchable demi-god status, I was brought back to the game that I found before I found that solid loop. A game that is littered with issues that spike the difficulty in ways that are simply not fun. Invincibility robs the game of its fun but in its absence, the game is needlessly punishing. Teriel will drop within a few hits, and oversensitivity means 5 guards could pop out of nowhere and beat your face in. Or, you could just drop down a bit too far and let the fall damage screw you over.
So, unfortunately, I really want to, but I really cannot recommend Seven: The Days Long Gone.
In its current state, it is a game that I see glimmers of a fantastic a game. A game so great it defied some integral biases I have about video games. A game so great it was one of the most engrossing RPGs I’ve played since Undertale.
But, simply put, this great game is caked in layers of dirt. Bugs distort and warp they game, and despite many patches and months to get things working properly, they are still trying to wipe things down.
When the dust settles, and everything is working smoothly, this is sure to be a great game. But, all I have is what has been laid out in front of me, and it needs to work.