Dave the Diver Devs Made A Zombie Apocalypse Game and We Played It | Nakwon: Last Paradise Pre-Alpha First Impressions
Nakwon: Last Paradise, a zombie survival extraction game from the developers of Dave the Diver, is now letting players participate in their pre-alpha playtest, which we tried out for ourselves. Read on to learn more about our experience.
Nakwon: Last Paradise Pre-Alpha Playtest
A Soulless Seoul
With Koreans killing the zombie scene recently with huge blockbusters like #Alive, All of Us Are Dead, and Train to Busan, this zombie survival extraction game is set in the heart of Seoul. Set during the zombie apocalypse, which, in true zombie outbreak fashion, happened worldwide and quickly took down cities. In this game, Seoul is infested with zombies but is still so rich in resources that survivors constantly make supply runs to survive despite the danger. There’s a new system of government, with residents having different citizen classes, starting from Illegal Settler, all the way to Seoul Citizen. Moving up in citizen class will grant you access to more areas, more items, and more features. You play as one of the survivors, who starts out as an Illegal Settler in Seoul. You must then go on supply runs to sustain yourself and do missions to elevate your citizen status and gain access to the privileges it comes with, like better gear and access to special locations.
Something you’ll notice right away is the game environment’s ambiance. For one, it’s really dark. It’s not pitch black since you have a flashlight to see right in front of you, and some areas are better lit than others. Darkness alone is fine, but when paired with the groans and other zombie sounds, it’s pretty creepy. Additionally, the game’s graphics are also pretty good. The game does well in giving you anxiety, especially when you’re all alone. However, whenever I encounter other player-controlled survivors, who are often friendly, it’s not as creepy and anxiety-inducing. After all, two is better than one, especially when it comes to dealing with undead threats.
Crouch Walk to Seoul
While the playtest did well in providing players with a creepy atmosphere, its gameplay leaves much to be desired. Since the zombies are attracted to sound, slowly and sneakily crouch walking from point A to point B is often the play. This makes the gameplay extremely slow, in my opinion. You start off at a random point on the map. You’ll then make your way to your objective, which usually involves just holding F once you get there, and then making your way to the exit. Given how the game is designed, there’s a lot of traveling, which you’ll often do very slowly.
Zombies in this game don’t make a lot of sense. They’re primarily attracted to sound, so you could distract them by tossing bricks or empty bottles to get them out of the way, The Last of Us style. There’s also some variety in how they attack, with some just putting their hands on you while others spitting out disgusting green projectiles at you.
While the behaviors I’ve discussed above make sense, that’s where I think it stops. Even if you’re dead silent, once they’ve seen you for more than a second, they’ll start attacking you. That means that they can see. However, if you shine a flashlight at them, they won’t respond to it. Additionally, they take so long to kill with melee weapons, like a baseball bat, taking around 7 swings to kill just one regular zombie. However, if you approach them from behind and hold F, you can kill them with just one animation. My issue with this is that this finisher animation is your character putting the zombie in a chokehold, which is an extremely weird way to kill a zombie. It’d make a lot more sense to just whack them in the head with your blunt weapon really hard.
Zombies in this game would try their best to kill you once you’re spotted - for just until you get away. They give up so easily, which goes against the zombie rule of them doing everything in their power to try and eat you.
True to its zombie subgenre, the more zombies you have to deal with, the bigger problem you have. Given how hard it is to kill zombies, it’s often best to deal with them one by one or avoid them entirely.
In my playthrough, the gear I got were pretty underwhelming. Weapons are very similar to each other, and guns are pretty hard to come by, which does make sense given how scarce guns are in real-life Seoul. In my playthrough, I didn’t really earn anything that got me really excited about, which hurts for a loot-based extraction game. Because of this, I quickly grew tired of the game, thinking there are barely any incentives for surviving your supply run or mission.
However, I did like how the weapons and gear are designed. A lot of the armor/clothing sets are based on real everyday things that can be very effective against zombies. For instance, a baseball helmet will bite-proof your head, and a taekwondo sparring gear set, which includes body armor, arm guards, and shin guards, can be used to protect your body from zombies. These are effective against bites and melee attacks, but not bullets, which shows in-game. Police body armor will be more effective against bullets, but less effective against melee attacks in comparison to taekwondo body armor.
Overall, the game shows promise in its graphics, atmosphere, and thrill factor, but needs a lot more polishing and innovations in its other aspects. Other than the issues I’ve described above, there are a lot of bugs and glitches. However, that’s to be expected in a pre-alpha playtest of a game.