So, I'm just going to copy and paste my recently updated review from Steam, and I'm hoping some of the developers can read the feedback, particularly the "Cons" bit, and possibly respond.
Here we have probably the single most realistic isometric game ever created. I've had this game for a few years, and my old review was pretty unhelpful, so this'll be more in-depth, with pros, cons, more subjective opinions, and a TL:DR at the bottom.
(Please note that I will be reviewing the current public beta branch version of Build 41, as of writing it is Build 41.24.)
-Obscene levels of attention to detail and depth with every system, from getting cuts on your hands when climbing through broken windows unless you have sturdy gloves or clear off the glass first, to dynamically forming blood splatters and rips on clothing, character diets/health, slowly growing hair, an anxiety and panic system, and like a billion other things.
-Intensely realistic, from game systems, to zombie lore, to the American government desperately scrambling to cover up a massive disaster and abandoning the survivors inside the quarantine and cutting off any contact with the outside to save face.
-AMAZING soundtrack, with dynamic/situational tracks rather than constant music or none at all.
-Many possible playstyles thanks to character creation that involves balancing negative and positive traits.
-Pleasingly stylized graphics that have a nice crisp low-poly pixel-texture look that gets the job done, but doesn't do anything extreme or overly distracting.
-Surprisingly advanced animation system for the graphics style, with loads of little animation differences for different actions and circumstances.
-Tight, responsive, and satisfying combat. Although combat is generally best avoided, especially with groups, the animations, sound effects, and overall depth adds a lot to it, where every encounter can be fatal.
-Great stealth system, albeit with a view caviots in the Cons list.
-INCREDIBLE atmosphere achieved with next to no story whatsoever, with little scenes and stuff scattered around with elements of proc-gen to give the world a much more lived-in feeling.
-Professional, passionate, and dedicated developers.
-Sandbox mode where you can make your own zombie apocalypse, which will hopefully receive more options in the future.
-Isometric perspective can make things like navigation and weapon aiming difficult, as well as providing a fairly large potential obstacle to immersion, but to be fair it's just a sacrifice made to allow the levels of depth and complexity everywhere else in the game. Still though, there's many issues and graphical errors that are unavoidable issues that arise from 3D models attempting to move in a three dimensional space made up of flat 2D tiles.
-Somewhat limited trait lists in character creation that could really use a bit of expansion, such as additional phobias, pain tolerance, etc.
-Logical discrepancies of varying significance that stand out so much more in an otherwise realistic game, such as zombies having superhuman bite strength and finger sharpness. Considering the game is set in the early 1990's, many things can potentially be excused, such as really poor police body armor, or unreliable cars, or whatever. But a firefighter's jacket should be nigh indestructable to human teeth. It's heavy, thick cloth, usually some form of treated nylon, along with a layer of asbestos and heat insulation. In no plausibly forseeable zombie apocalypse could ANYTHING bite through it. As for smaller, more nit-picky but still very frustrating gaps in logic, there's some interesting choices made with the inventory system, where everything has a weight, containers like bags and such have weight limits and weight reduction when inside the container, but the size of objects doesn't matter, as well as some smaller issues like a full stack of nails weighing FAR more than a closed box of nails, or a pair of socks weighing one kilogram, or whatever unit of measurement is used, and attaching weapons to your belt and back without need for any straps, sheaths, slings, scabbards, or anything, and it comes of as kinda lazy and doesn't really hold up to the devs' usual standards.
-Lots of low-quality sound effects, doubtless downloaded from some royalty-free sound library. It can damage immersion, sometimes quite intensely, and contrasts jarringly with other, far more high-quality sound effects.
-Bare-bones tutorial and somewhat limited and outdated help guides that make the game unnecessarily punishing for new players, which is a big problem considering how intensely hardcore and punishing it is for players of any level of experience.
-Fingerless gloves spawn far too infrequently for the 90's.
-Lack of established goals and difficulty involved in finding a base location (along with everything needed to fortify it) can make long-term play unappealing, and motivation to do anything other than mess around for a couple in-game days and then try a different build is sorely lacking. The lack of the ability to do things like minigames and scarce flavor text outside TV shows can result in making it hard to find a reason to keep safe in a base.
- Sort of related to the last con. Despite a fairly in-depth crafting/cooking system that requires tools and different interchangeable components and such, along with a (limited) list of basic common-sense crafting recipes by default that I very much enjoy, there's really not much you can craft, even if you know all the recipes, which are totally impossible to learn on your own. You have to find recipes in magazines, and the requirements for many things, mostly base-building, is sort of frustrating.
-The ability to move furniture, which would normally be a pro on its own, has some pretty severe oversights. You can pick up and take to inventory almost any item of furnishing, but many large things like standing shelves, cupboards, etc, require disassembly. Disassembly requires the proper tools, skill levels, and have a chance of failure. I fully understand this system for scrapping things, transporting things, or otherwise storing things, but the total lack of an ability to just push furniture around without the risk of the couch or fridge disintegrating is a big problem, especially early-game or when fortifying buildings.
-Sprinting draws FAR too much attention, even with the "graceful" trait that makes movement quieter, it's almost pointless, as fleeing a fight by sprinting will only result in every zombie within fifty meters making a bee-line for you.
-Different body type-based traits (i.e. Obese, Athletic, Underweight) have no cosmetic affect. Probably just a tiny nit-pick, but it bothers the hell out of me.
-YES, this is another zombie game, and you have NO obligation to NOT be tired of the genre. But I think the incredible depth and realism makes it a massive standout in the genre.
-While the difficulty is quite severe and it just sorta throws you in and expects you to learn how things work and how not to die Scientology Kids' Ranch-style, and I can imagine it being really hard to get into, I feel that it's worth learning how stuff works, as the experience becomes so much more rewarding when you can conquer the near-lifelike hazards and duties of surviving.
-Not necessarily a con, as it's not at all unrealistic, but I feel like guns are entirely pointless unless you don't care about being overwhelmed and dying no matter where you go. We all know guns are loud, and firing a single shot gets the attention of pretty much every zombie that has been spawned and rendered, so attempting to relocate in any direction will only meet the player with dozens more of the undead.
-absurdly realistic and complex yet not in an immediately overwhelming way
-diversity in possible playstyles
-good music, but sadly not for sale yet
-isometric perspectives can be hard to work with and immersion-damaging
-many different gaps in logic that stand out far more due to contrast against overall realism and the resulting difficulty boosts
-sorta unfriendly to new players
-very little direction or drive, and poor incentive to just hide away and stay safe