When comparing 7 Days to Die vs Project Zomboid, 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 Project Zomboid is ranked 5th. 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.
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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 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 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 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 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.
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 Can truly challenge your survival skills, creating an environment where you must adapt fast in order to survive
While you can turn the difficulty down, PZ can present a true survival horror experience for those that are interested in it. In PZ zombies pose and actual threat, crafting is not easy, fortifying your shelter is hard and a the tiniest mistake can be fatal. And there are so many tiny mistakes you can make - forgetting to change your bandage might get your wounds infected, leaving the stove on could burn your house down. The odds are stacked against you and you won't win, but let's see how long can you survive.
Pro True sandbox gameplay where you are always free to do whatever you like
There are no missions in Project Zomboid, meaning the player can do anything they can think up, at anytime they want. This gives a level of freedom not always found in games, but of course makes for a great way to just waste time screwing around and testing the limits of the sandbox.
Pro Zombies pose an actual threat, keeping the player always on their toes
Unlike many other games in the genre, Project Zomboid manages to instill fear of zombies pretty quickly. You are considerably outnumbered and the smartest move in many cases is to run away from an encounter. You're not superhuman in this game, zombies will overwhelm if you're not careful.
Pro Well realized bleak atmosphere that suits the game perfectly
You truly feel like you're survival is at stake. You are constantly reminded of the ever-present danger of zombies everywhere with sound cues. And even though it's a top-down game, your field of view is limited - zombies could sneak up on you or you might run into one around a corner. Any move you make could be your last one.
Pro The competent weather systems gives a feeling of realism to the game
There is randomly generated weather in the game, which can effect your character such as getting sick from being wet and cold. This offers a level of realism that makes perfect sense in a survival title.
Pro Feels more realistic compared to other survival horror games
Project Zomboid feels less arcadey compared to similar games. You are not an all-powerful character capable of carrying the town's arsenal in your backpack and taking on hordes of enemies alone. If you break a window to get into a house, you might get cut, if you decide to stock up on food and not use it, it will rot, etc.
Pro Easily adjustable difficulty creates a game that anyone can feel confident in trying, no matter their skill level
You can adjust the difficulty in sandbox mode, which can greatly impact the way the game plays. You could make it extremely easy to survive, but the opposite can also be accomplished with the with a more difficult setting.
Pro Character traits add more fun to the game, allowing you to customize to your liking
You can level traits as you play like strength, carpentry, cooking, etc.
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 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 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 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.
Con Slow development prone to setbacks
Projest Zomboid development has been going on for several years now and has hit quit a few snags that have set back it's full release.
Con Weapon and weapon crafting systems could use some work
The weapons (mostly guns) in the game could use some work. They are oversimplified compared to the rest of the mechanics in the game.
For example, to repair used guns the player uses other guns, which feels wrong. It would make much more sense to use cleaning kits to maintain them.
Survival in Project Zomboid is pretty difficult, which makes advancing in the game something to be relished when accomplished.