When I first saw the reveal trailer for Seven: The Days Long Gone I knew that this was something that I’d end up playing sooner or later, so I must say that, when I finally got my hands on it, I was disappointed.
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Developer: IMGN.PRO , Fool’s Theory
Release Date: 1 Dec, 2017
Seven describes itself as an open-world RPG, but, more than that, I’d say that this is a stealth game. Still, if you’re not someone who enjoys slow and methodical games, don’t count yourself out right away, because as much as the game seems to have been designed from the very start to be played as a stealth game, you can still approach numerous situations however you see fit, that is, assuming you can deal with the consequences.
The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, and you play as Teriel, a master thief who sees his life turned upside down thanks to a series of mysterious events. After finding yourself trapped in a prison island, that is also the source of many riches, it’s up to the player to choose who they want to deal with and who they want to eliminate. The Vetrall Empire’s social structure, which is composed by the Biomancers, a religious keeping force of the Emperor’s faith, the Technomagi, the brute force of the Empire, and those that, outside the rich and the noble don’t fit anywhere else, set the stage for an extremely interesting world that is marked by an intriguing setting that is the mixture of sci-fi and medieval elements.
Throughout the game, the player will unlock various codex entries which provide background information about the game’s world, mainly its history, social and political structure, as well as the events that preceded the start of the game. Personally, I’m a huge fan of these entries in pretty much every game whose universe is compelling enough for me to read about, but I realize that some people don’t care about this at all. With that said, while the world building is certainly something quite appealing, the main character is not relatable at all, and I honestly couldn’t care less for him.
Now, the nitty-gritty of the game is how it lays out this open world, which is divided into several zones that you need to gain access to in order to proceed, and what sort of opportunities it creates for the players. This is one of the aspects in which Seven stands out, thanks to its strong emphasis on stealth and verticality. The game features a huge amount of verticality, which allows the player to approach each objective in numerous ways. There’s the chance to sneak by guard patrols and make your way to the next checkpoint, storm your way through the front door, or climb on top of some boxes and, without disturbing anyone, progress by either by jumping from one platform to another or by simply climbing onto a ventilation shaft.
In terms of combat, the game might be familiar to a lot of players, thanks to its use of a lock-on system in order to alternate between multiple targets, and in conjunction with a stamina meter, you have to time your attacks and determine the best way to deal with enemies. Well, this was true at least until I figured that you can pretty much find a way to “cheese” enemies, either due to different terrain elevation or by just using a ranged weapon such as a crossbow. This ultimately leads to the reason as to why the game isn’t having as much success as people were probably hoping for, and that reason is that the game is filled with all sorts of bugs and problems.
There have been multiple instances, in which both mine and other characters have gotten stuck on terrain while dodging or attacking. Sometimes, when jumping to an elevated area, your character can start floating backwards after you jump, while other times it just kind of jumps in slow motion until you eventually grab the edge and pull yourself up. Still, the most frustrating issue that I’ve probably encountered was hitting characters that were on the floor above me whenever I executed a heavy attack, which usually would lead to mass panic in a crowded zone.
The game also features a disguise system, which is somewhat weird, even though it is supposed to play a huge part in the game as a stealth aspect. After using multiple disguises, I still can’t get a grasp of how this system works. I’ve wandered into restricted areas, wearing the same exact uniform as guards, and they still come after me sometimes. This doesn’t happen as soon as they spot me, as they initially only get suspicious, but the weird thing is that they’ll still follow your footsteps even if they didn’t see you. If this is the case, why don’t they follow the footsteps of their fellow brothers in arms as well? Thankfully, even though the game doesn’t feature something like vision cones, it’s easy to know when someone is alerted by your presence, or suspicious about it, so props for that!
As I have previously mentioned, the combat in this game is a mixed bag, one moment it works perfectly as it’s supposed to, and in the next it just frustrates me. The main issue to me is that its responsiveness is not consistent, mainly because attacks seem to have a slight delay between the moment you press the button and the moment you actually strike. Besides that, there are also sometimes in which it seems that you’re out of range of the enemies attack but you still get hit, even if according to the slash animation you weren’t supposed to.
Despite everything, the aforementioned problems could still be related to the game’s unpredictable performance. There are moments where the game runs absolutely fine, and then there are others in which the frame rate completely tanks and goes from about 90 to as low as 30, which creates a lot of stutter. These areas that tend to have a lot of NPCs are usually more taxing, but outside of those the problems still occur, even when there’s nothing particularly taxing happening in my sight. According to the system requirements, I more or less meet the recommended settings, and since other people on the forums are also complaining, I’m assuming that this is a problem with the game and not an isolated incident.
After reading all of this, it might seem that I’m bad-mouthing the game, but I’m only trying to bring its biggest issues to the spotlight. These problems are not present 100% of the time while you’re playing the game, but when they show up, they can be quite annoying. Still, as a concept, Seven is very enticing and alluring. The heavy focus on stealth, verticality, and its post-apocalyptic dystopia, mixed with the usual tropes that one usually expects in an open-world RPG, makeup for a very compelling sandbox, but that doesn’t save the game from its problems. Seven is a perfect example of what happens when a game presents to you an extremely interesting world, but ultimately fails in delivering a smooth and responsive gameplay experience. There’s hope that this will improve with further patching but, as of right now, I recommend that you save this one for later.