Since I’m a huge fan of everything post-apocalyptic, I immediately accepted the offer to play a very early alpha stage of EndCiv, a survival/rebuilding post-apocalyptic game created by indie German studio Crowbox. You can’t say no to the opportunity of keeping alive a couple of survivors after an unknown catastrophic event, in a world where resources are mostly scrap metal and plastic bottles, dogs are flooding the lands and threaten to go crazy any moment and toilets are replaced by a hole dug in the ground, just meters away from your camp. And sometimes, even the hole is missing!
So I gladly started my EndCiv adventure, thinking about repopulating Earth (which was going to be difficult since I only had 2 male survivors), planning the design of my future base… I was confident. Just several minutes later, both my people were dead, after just a few days in the wild, killed by the lack of drinking water. And I hadn’t even managed to build them a bed!
For the next try, I was ready: I built a few barrels to gather rain waiter, I built some crates for storage (because those scary dogs eat your cans of food if you don’t store them properly!) and I even managed to welcome two more survivors to my upcoming bustling city in the wastelands – or whatever you wish to call those barren lands. I even started building a shack but my guys were really unlucky: there was no rain for several days and eventually they all died because, well… there was no water! Oh, that drove me crazy!
EndCiv is ruthless. EndCiv is not a game to take lightly and definitely not one to play it nice with you just to keep you happy. No, EndCiv is a real challenge and it throws the survival at you instantly. And that’s exactly what I loved about it – the fact that it makes you work for every achievement. No, you won’t have three houses built after a few minutes of playtime, nor you will already have a mini-farm up and running. Do you have enough resources to build a barrel? Now that will make you happy! Do you have enough to build a bed? Now that will make you even happier. Nothing’s easy and it’s exactly this what makes you enjoy every moment of play time.
Of course, I played an early Alpha stage and “early Alpha” means that there’s not really a ton of content in the game and you base your impression mostly on potential and the very few little things that you’re getting. In this build, there are just a few things that you can actually build or do, controlling your survivors seems a bit difficult and un-intuitive, while the difficulty level is a bit too much. I understand that water is vital, but there’s really no point in even trying if I only have two bottles of water for two survivors and absolutely no means to collect extra (yup, during one playthrough I did scavenge all the resources on a huge area, trying to survive until the next rain and still didn’t manage to do it, even though I did find a few extra bottles…)
But the atmosphere is great so far in the game and all those dogs (which, for now, seem to always be peaceful) are extremely scary and I was waiting for the moment when they went rabid. It never happened and I don’t really know if it will ever happen in this build, but certainly things will get better in the future. So will crafting and all those other amazing things that can be done to turn this game into an epic success… and I am sure it will happen.
EndCiv is now on Steam Greenlight and will most likely get greenlit very soon and then we’ll have the early access stage released to the public and I anticipate this one to be a huge success. But at the moment, with the current state of the game, there’s not a ton that you can do. Hopefully the devs will be injecting some extra content very soon and give us more crafting options, more items to play with and more fun times in the post-apocalypse. Right now, EndCiv is just the skeleton and it needs a lot of meat on those bones to remain memorable and to keep us playing for weeks. The good thing is that the skeleton itself is pretty much amazing and it shows a lot of promise and, judging from the start that the game has made, it will be pretty awesome.
It’s really awesome as it is right now in it’s early Alpha, even though I can’t keep my survivors alive for long enough to get to the later stages of the game (apparently, other survivors will come and make your life even more miserable and you’ll have the chance to fight them!) But I plan to keep on playing and keep an eye for the game’s release on Steam. I certainly gave it my vote on Steam Greenlight and you should do the same. Just trust me on this – EndCiv’s going to be EPIC!