Night of the Dead - PC Review

Night of the Dead by developer and publisher Jackto StudiosPC (Steam) review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher. #NightOfTheDead #keymailer

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this product from

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

It was a dark and quiet night when all of a sudden, the undead came from everywhere to get you. Did you remember to repair your gear? How far are you from home base? Both important questions to ask yourself as ready or not, here they come. 

Night of the Dead is an open world base building survival tower defense with its own flavor of the dreaded zombie apocalypse. There are a few humans left in hiding, but overall, there is just you and the remnants of the world post apocalypse. Having recently launched from Early Access, there's good, bad, and definitely ugly as some of these zombies did not do a makeup check before jumping on camera. 

Jokes aside, there is plenty to explore within the world that Jacto Studios have created. Izzy and I had originally played a few years back when it first launched and with the chance to review it, we dragged another friend of ours along for the full release 1.0 ride. 

Starting off with the good. Night of the Dead has a well-designed tutorial system that will eventually teach you everything that you need to know. Blending in the introduction of gameplay with the story, you are given a good overview of the controls. The bad with this is that I wish you could skip this section the second time, or, at least fast forward through the audio dialogs that block you from moving forward.

From the introduction, you are unleashed into the world to either go about the story, or, doing your own thing because it's the apocalypse and everyone else can deal with it. In either case, your actions will eventually lead to building, crafting, survival and combat quests that act as the rest of the tutorial for all of Night of the Dead's features. These can result from something as nothing more than coming across a bunny, to trying to hit something with improper gear. One way or the other, all roads lead to learning. 

I appreciate this approach to the gameplay. While I love learning from the ground up, it's nice to not have to figure out every tiny detail or have to look it up in a discussion. But why if you like figuring it all out? Because you already have to worry about everything else, like actually surviving. Between the base building and the exploration where there are zombies everywhere, once the clock strikes twelve, it's truly “go” time.

Night of the Dead lives up to its name every night at midnight. Once the clock strikes twelve it's no longer a crafting survival but a tower defense. The object or point of interest to protect? You. You're the target so you've either had better built a safety bunker with loads of traps, or a parkour track for the zombies to be sliced, diced, stamped or launched out of sight. Automated defenses also exist but need to be reloaded, or hooked up to electrical systems that you hope don't fail in the middle of this undead tsunami. 

There's a learning curve to be sure, but for everything else, you have access to plenty of melee and ranged weapons to defend yourself. These in theory work well enough but in practice, you have to wonder why the dead simply won't die… again. This is where things can get ugly, and not just because you're taking out zombies. There are times where no matter how many times you hit them, they visually look like they are taking damage but refuse to fall down. 

And we aren't even talking about special types. 

We are simply talking about regular zombies who simply refuse to die. Kind of like Resident Evil where it's just ridiculous by a certain point. So this can mar the experience quite a bit especially when you're dealing with constant enough numbers. Traps work well but they need to be upgraded and they won't always be around to help you out.

The other part that I didn't quite enjoy is that unlike 7 Days to Die, Enshrouded or Valheim in the same genre-ish vein of existence, you can build walls, ramps and doors but you cannot demolish any of the currently existing buildings. You need to chop down trees, mine minéral deposits or break down cars, boxes and trash cans for materials. Searching other places will help, but all of the existing infrastructure? You can build either inside or around but you cannot modify it directly which is very unfortunate. 

Night of the Dead isn't a bad experience, it's just a slower one better had with friends to speed up the evolution of your gear and travel options. What I really enjoyed however is that every player has a companion that will level up alongside you and can be equipped with most of your gear minus very specific higher level crafting devices. 

This makes playing alone much more enjoyable as there's someone else chopping down trees, mining rocks, mining ore, breaking down objects. It's not just you. Best part of this feature is that they were also along for the ride in multiplayer giving you access to so much more help. Means more food to eat and wounds to heal, but well worth it. 

So overall, Night of the Dead isn't a bad experience. The quest system helps to onboard into this post apocalyptic world more easily. Companions mean that you're never truly alone and that you always have a helping hand. I just wish the building system would allow us to take down what's already there and build a new one as you see fit.   
Score: 7 / 10



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