I was really tempted to pick up stealth-action RPG Seven: The Days Long Gone over Christmas, but three things stopped me. 1) I wasn't sure I'd like it, 2) most people said it was buggy and 3) it was priced just a little bit too high. Yesterday, those sneaky devs and publishers launched a three pronged attack to win over me and my fellow free-running fence sitters, and by 'sneaky' I mean 'smart and good'.
The game now has demo that lasts about an hour, an update that's cleared up a bunch of bugs and improved some core parts of the game, and a 30% discount that lasts until January 29th. After playing the demo, I've somersaulted off my fence of indecision and landed on the side that's left me £19.59 out of pocket but with a promising RPG to sink my teeth into.
Let's take a quick look at Patch 1.0.7 first, as it seems like a significant overhaul to how some of the stealth systems work. Here's the dev's summary of the major changes:
- Improved combat behaviours for humanoid enemies, it will be much harder to just spam normal attacks in order to kill an opponent. Enemies will also try to flank the player while in a group,
- Improved NPC reactions to combat, dead bodies, knocked out friendlies and noise,
- Reworked disguise mechanics; introduction of officers, removed reactions to player footsteps for normal guards while disguised, improved NPC reactions to disguises,
- Limited NPC hearing in Z axis which means that they will no longer hear player’s footsteps from above or below,
- Fleshed out AI State feedback. NPCs will now correctly display if they heard or saw the player.
You can read the full patch notes here.
There are lots of things that I like so far about Seven: The Days Long Gone, and a few little things that I don't. I'm surprised at just how sold I am on the setting: it's a world that revolves around the search for and use of ancient technological artefacts created by a long dead civilisation. While I don't expect those artefacts to be quite as exotic as those in Torment: Tides of Numenera, I'm excited to see what Fool's Theory do with the idea.
While the tutorials have been expanded with the patch, they could still do with some work. It didn't tell me that disguises were a thing until I tried using the clunky inventory system to don the garb of a guard I'd just killed. On the one hand, that resulted in a cool 'I wonder what would happen if...' moment - but it also meant I spent a good 15 minutes trying and failing to sneak through in a less Hitman-ey way.
I'm still getting my head around what you can and can't climb, but the answer seems to be 'nearly everything'. Alec was a big fan of the movement, too:
"Not quite parkour, and not as elegantly-realised as an Asscreed or Mordor, but certainly it’s a giant step towards the idea of creating your own path across the map – vanishingly rare in RPGs, which for years have been content for us to trudge back and forth along prescribed routes. The thought, now, of playing a roleplaying game in the Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or even Mass Effect idiom in which I could not climb onto most any surface or hide in most any bush is very hard to countenance."