released on Apr 27, 2018
by Puppy Games
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Basingstoke is a bit of an interesting one. It's equal parts survival horror, stealth, roguelike, and crafting game. While it certainly wasn't my cup of tea (a joke I make because the game takes place in England), it's easy to see why a select demographic of gamers would seriously love this game.
As I only played a few missions of the campaign, my review might be a little off, so apologies in advance. The core gameplay comes down to: Leave safehouse, avoid zombies that you are too weak to kill, collect resources, tools, and secrets, continue to wander the randomly-generated map until you are able to access the next safehouse.
The overall zombie-avoidance system in place reminds me a lot of Project Zomboid. The overwhelming feeling of knowing that you're too weak and unprepared to take out the massive hordes around you really does add a nice layer of intensity. You have a flashlight that autodetects resources, but it also alerts the hordes around you to your location. This adds a satisfying risk/reward mechanic to the game.
Later on in the game, you're able to use your resources to craft unique weapons that make the traversal from Safepoint A to Safepoint B a little bit easier. From what I saw, these weapons (and crafting elements) pay homage to one of the all-time zombie greats: Dead Rising. Much like Frank West, your character is unable to kill of hordes of zombies... until suddenly he's invented brass knuckles with tasers on the end of them and is ready to take on the world.
Of course, there are different kinds of enemies in the game. Besides, the slow-moving walkers, there are smaller and faster zombies, hell dogs that are able to track you down and kill you without mercy (if you're not being stealthy), and even giant tentacle monsters that mostly pop out of the ground to make your job even harder.
My biggest gripe with this game is that a lot of the early-game stuff mostly consists of sneaking in the shadows and avoiding a lot of the loot that helps you progress later on. Maybe I was just playing too conservatively, as I was genuinely on edge while playing this game. You can also use shops (styled as vending machines) to buy tools and resources, but you need money to exchange for goods. And, much like other resources, you only pick up coin purses from corpses that tend to be surrounded by zombies.
I think that if you're a fan of Zomboid or Dead Rising and also happen to love procedural roguelikes, this game could become a personal favorite of yours. I just so happen to not be particularly attracted to either of them. Otherwise, it might be worth trying out if there's a considerable sale on the game.