Seven: The Days Long Gone
Role-Playing Game, Stealth
It may not be a perfect game but despite its flaws, Seven: The Days Long Gone is a pretty decent stealth game that manages to keep you captivated.
Seven: The Days Long Gone is an isometric open world RPG that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and focuses on stealth mechanics. You play the role of Teriel, a master thief who is captured and taken to a prison island called Peh.
If you ever want to escape this prison, you must locate an ancient artifact, steal it, and make it out alive.
The basic premise of Seven is a pretty simple one. It is the well thought out backstory that creates a world that’s fun to explore. The game’s story feels a bit like an excuse to lead the player to new areas so they can explore the vast world the game has to offer.
Exploring is reasonably fun, thanks to how smooth movement feels. Teriel jumping and climbing abilities open many ways of entering a building, traveling between different areas, or avoiding enemies.
The world map is pretty big. It is divided into 7 zones, and each one requires a special pass to enter. You can either pay to get a permanent visa, kill a guard and steal theirs, or just sneak around the checkpoints between the zones. Choosing the latter poses an exciting challenge at first, but it can get tiring after the second or third time.
I got sidetracked plenty of times when exploring the varied and detailed zones. There are many interesting new locations and out-of-the-way side quests to unlock; it’s easy to get lost on your way from one main mission to the next. Finding the way back, however, can be a little tricky if you don’t pay attention to your surrounding, as the in-game map isn’t always useful.
The missions tend to be somewhat straightforward, often consisting of sneaking into a building to steal an item or look for some clue. Despite their simplicity, they still manage to keep you invested, mostly due to the lore you uncover or the challenging stealth.
Teriel has several abilities he can unlock during the game. Among them is an ability to teleport short distances or to create a time-slowing bubble around him. There’s even one that turns you invisible (but not silent) for a short period. While these abilities add another layer to the game, they often felt unnecessary, and I hardly used them.
How you gain and equip new abilities, however, is kind of neat. Teriel can implant different chips into his body, and you can assign different abilities to each chip. That way you can switch between different builds pretty much on the fly. How many abilities and upgrade you can use is determined by a substance called Nectar. The more Nectar you have, the more abilities you can equip, and the more you explore the world, the more Nectar and new abilities you find. It’s a great way of encouraging exploration in between missions, and a great way to reward curious players.
Combat in Seven: The Days Long Gone is based around dodging counter-strikes and backstabs. The combat feels good and responsive during 1-on-1 battles but becomes slightly clunky and hard to manage as the number of combatants rises. Also, stealth attacks aren’t a guaranteed kill like in most stealth-based games but instead deal a significant amount of damage. So when facing an opponent that is far stronger than you, it’s often best to avoid attacking all together and just try to sneak around. There are also other options, like laying traps and mines or throwing rocks to distract enemies (or lure them into said traps). Furthermore, different weapons have different attacks and special attacks so each player might have their preferences.
Overall, while you always have the option to fight, it’s a far better experience to stick to stealth, as that’s where the game shines. Still, it’s good Seven offers you this much freedom in how to approach each location and mission.
Unfortunately, this feeling of freedom slightly declines as you progress through the game and discover some of the less staller design choices made by the developers. Crouching is inconsistent and, if you are using a controller, is mapped to the same button as dodging, which can lead to some frustrating moments during combat. Teriel will also stand up after jumping or climbing, and enemies can easily detect you. This is an obvious oversight in a game that revolves around stealth, and I hope the devs will fix it in a future update.
Another annoying design choice is how “closed off” each zone is. There is usually only one or two ways to move between zones, which can lead to a lot of unnecessary frustration as you try to find the correct path. The way fast-travel works doesn’t help either. You can only fast travel from certain terminals, and they are too few and far between.
The game looks good and has a simple art style which reminds me of comic art while not being childish or low rez. Unfortunately, due to the simplicity of the textures, it can sometimes be difficult to discern between different terrains in dark areas or during the night. The game’s rendering distance is impressive, and you can see far out into the horizon when you climb to a high point. It helps to emphasize how vast the game world is.
In addition to the colorful and interesting environments, the game’s fantastic soundtrack was composed by Marcin Przybyłowicz, which some of you might recognize as the composer for “The Witcher” game series. The music changes and adapts to the players’ current location and situation, and always fits perfectly to the atmosphere of the game. In contrast to the music, the voice acting during dialogues sometimes feels incomplete – sentences are occasionally cut off in the middle, or the volume can be inconsistent.
The dialogue itself, on the other hand, is interesting and well written. Every character has a story to tell. Even those you can’t directly interact with usually have interesting conversations you can listen to if you hang around.
Seven: The Days Long Gone is an ambitious game that takes steps in the right direction to follow through on its ideas. The world and backstory are deep and captivating, the map is big and very detailed with a lot of content, the music is fantastic, and the gameplay itself is smooth.
The game is a classic case of “when it works – it works.” Despite a few technical issues and slightly clunky combat, the game is definitely a well-made stealth RPG fans of the genre will like.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.