When comparing Cataclysm Dark Days Ahead vs 7 Days to Die, the Slant community recommends 7 Days to Die for most people. In the question“What are the best single player & open world survival-horror games on the PC with a focus on base building?” 7 Days to Die is ranked 1st while Cataclysm Dark Days Ahead is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose 7 Days to Die is:
As the player makes progress in the game by interacting with the environment, killing zombies or building things, they are rewarded with skill points that can be used to unlock new skills such as combat strength, higher stamina or new crafting options. But even though the skill system can seemingly make the game easier, the severity and size of the zombie hordes will keep increasing with the time spent in game and the progress made by the player, keeping them on the edge and making them feel a constant pressure that an attack may come at any time and that they should be prepared.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Classic computer gameplay that offers a lot of nostalgia
Get taken back to when games were completely made of ascii letters and your imagination. Venture forth as an @ and survive the wild. With the classic ascii art, it is hard to ignore that this is not a graphical powerhouse, but of course that is part of the fun, allowing your imagination to fill in this void.
Pro Super involved gameplay that allows the user to dive deep into the mechanics of the game
Everything from weather to crafting to martial arts are accounted for in Cataclysm. You can spend hours mastering the depths of this games systems that allow you to play however you want.
Pro Open source and very moddable, making for a game that anyone can change to their liking
The mod community is pretty active on this game, and you can create some really cool things with the tools they already provide. This way anyone can change their game to how they like.
Pro Graphics can be used instead of ASCII, for those that would enjoy something more visual
Not supported on every version of the game, but you can have a graphical experience if you want by using a graphical tileset for the game. This will need to be done manually.
Pro Free for anyone to download and try, which leave no one out
The game is free of cost as well as open-source, meaning that anyone can download the game, install it and play it.
Pro Being in constant active developed allows the game to constantly grow
Experimental releases exit a few times in a single day. Many people are working on finding bugs, and developers are quickly fixing them and adding new features. This makes for a situation where the game is constantly growing and improving.
Pro Constant sense of vulnerability, which keeps the player alert and on edge the whole time
As the player makes progress in the game by interacting with the environment, killing zombies or building things, they are rewarded with skill points that can be used to unlock new skills such as combat strength, higher stamina or new crafting options.
But even though the skill system can seemingly make the game easier, the severity and size of the zombie hordes will keep increasing with the time spent in game and the progress made by the player, keeping them on the edge and making them feel a constant pressure that an attack may come at any time and that they should be prepared.
Pro Robust crafting system that allows the players imagination to run wild with possibilities
Create everything from a chainsaw to various guns to defenses for your fort - the crafting system lists what you can make with the materials you currently have in the player's inventory.
Pro Single, co-op, and multiplayer gameplay modes gives plenty of choice as to how one would like to tackle the game
Three different play modes including solo, with friends, or competitively over the internet gives a lot of choice as to how someone would like to play the game. Be it with friends or solo, the options are there.
Pro Unique combination of voxel and polygon models, which makes for pretty fun physics
The game is a mix between a voxel world and full polygon models for buildings, making for a versatile survival based world that brings exploration and creation to the zombie survival genre.
Structural integrity is a real thing in 7 Days To Die. That means there cannot be unsupported floating blocks. The player can set up traps to take out hordes of zombies with a falling building.
Weapons will break and crumble but can also be forged to be awesome, and food will spoil so the player must cook and maintain supplies.
Pro Randomly generated open worlds makes for a ton of replayability, as each playthrough is never the same
Recently added in the Alpha 9 release, randomly generated worlds allow the player a new play experience every time they open up the game. This means every server will have a different dynamic based on their layout of the world.
Pro What you build is not only for creativity, but also for gameplay purposes
In 7DTD players don't build their homes only as bases or places to sleep in, or build cool looking things just for the fun of it and to test their skills.
Every 7 days, a large horde of zombies will attack the player wherever he or she is, trying to destroy them and what stands in the way of the player and the horde. This is why the player needs to think about how to build traps that will help them kill a lot of zombies and how to make a strong enough house that will not be destroyed easily.
Pro Thoughtful and communicative developers allows for a stable community that keeps growing
Even though this is not directly related with the gameplay, it's still important especially for indie and early-access games. The developers behind 7DTD have always been communicative and have heard what the community had to say time and time again, releasing patches with bug fixes and new features in a timely manner.
Pro Fully moddable
(WIP) The game should eventually be fully moddable.
Pro Low system requirements means just about anyone should be able to run the game
Everything is smooth and perfectly executed. Runs great on any machine, low requirements. This way anyone can run the game without worry of needing an expensive machine.
Pro Creative mode gives the player a section to just trial things out in, for fun
The game allows players to make custom maps without zombies attacking to set up scenarios or make player made game types.
Con Lacking hardcore survival feel
The game gets to be rather easy once you spend a little time with it. Basements full of everything one needs to survive in every other house, and stores that look like they were left as seem out of place since in a disaster scenario most items would probably have been taken already.
You can tweak the options to suit a more hardcore experience if you so desire. The options allow for a wide variety of difficulty and playstyles.
Con Difficult to learn at first
This could be a pro for some but for many this will turn them away from the game.
Con Really laggy even on high end PCs
Can only get 20 fps on high settings, even on an PC with GTX 960 and Intel i5-4690k.
Con People who dislike Minecraft will dislike this game
If you like Minecraft, you might like this game, a lot actually. But if you HATE Minecraft, you'll quickly realize this game is basically Minecraft with better graphics. It just downright sucks.
Con Crafting system is constantly getting dumbed down
Even though 7D2D is supposed to be a hard survival game (and most of the time it is), the crafting system is getting constantly dumbed down with new releases.
For example, previously you had sticks, planks, and logs. Sticks could not be used to build huge wood log walls or frames. While now there's no more different kinds of wood and you simply punch a bush to get some wood.
Con Currently in Early Access
While the game is currently selling for $24.99, it isn't actually finished yet, so there will be bugs. Be sure to adjust your expectations accordingly before making the investment.
Con Randomly generated open worlds has no generation options
Randomly gen has no option to customize how it is generated (like in minecraft for example) and could make it quite problematic if you want to have a good map, as there is no way to know how good or bad the map will be. Random gen also make unrealistic hills and road that almost go up/down vertically with vehicle spawning in such way they seems to be floating.