Saturday, June 21, 2014

Reason 2 Die: The Ultimate Guide and Review


Disclaimer: This review may seem awkward in places since most of it has been done and I've only just now been able to finish it up and make it more up to date.

Reason 2 Die should be a game that is familiar to any veteran ROBLOX member, the member originally named PlaceBuilder appeared late last year under a new alias, PlaceRebuilder. See, the original Reason 2 Die was broken after ROBLOX got rid of user meshes and some updates so PlaceBuilder came back from the grave and gave the game new life with this new reincarnation of the game...even though he kicked the bucket around Christmas of 2013, he's back after about 3-4 months and the game is back on the front page after actually getting updates again!




If it wasn't apparent by the thumbnail Reason 2 Die is based on the zombie co-op shooter Left 4 Dead, even though there are several things especially in this particular incarnation of the game that are different to what actually inspired it. Players have the option of either playing a survivor, or an infected right off the bat if they so desire. The objective of the game is to do the tasks set out for each map, survive the ever growing horde of infected, and for the survivors to escape with their lives. As with the nature of other articles I have done in the past I will attempt to give help and tips for the game, along with a general overview of each map.

Players will start out with a measly pistol and will be able to buy other guns and melee weapons as they get cash for doing things like killing zombies, successfully completing missions, and killing survivors if they are infected themselves. The game features a decent sized arsenal of items from revolvers to sniper rifles, stuff you would expect from a zombie game. There are also different pickups that can either be found strewn about the maps, or found in red cabinets with a medical cross on them. For your convenience I will tell about what each item does and what they look like (if it wasn't obvious enough).

Pills - Anyone who's played Left 4 Dead will know exactly what these are, or if you're familiar with the now dead and old "grabbin pills" meme then that counts too. Pills are used as a sort of "painkiller" since they give you a bit of temporary health and can be a helpful alternative to a med kit or if you don't exactly know if you are gonna survive an encounter or not.



Molotovs can both be extremely helpful or extremely detrimental to one's team, it depends if the person wielding it is trying to kill a horde of infected in a desperate last resort or just trying to free up the seats in a helicopter or jet by burning their teammates alive and possibly screwing them all over! In a nutshell Molotovs are one of the best possible weapons you can use against Tanks besides a shotgun, so conserve them or grief your teammates to your heart's content. Edit: Molotovs can't kill people anymore.                                    


Grenades - Instead of turning the ground into a firey death trap like a Molotov, the Grenade is an alternative that while it can't exactly put out the same damage output, it can used for a last ditch effort at killing off some infected or buying time. So if you're feeling heroic or just suicidal, this is the item for you.




Medikit - I couldn't find a picture of this for some odd reason but going by the medical cross it's obviously a med kit. These will heal you to full health after standing still for a few moments to heal yourself. Best used when you have a breather and are at low health, otherwise the zombies will just kill you even faster if it is used at the wrong time.



Pipe bombs can not be found around the maps but have to instead be bought for $40 in the shop, when thrown they emit a red glow and beep a few times before exploding. They do a large amount of damage and inflict knock back and are best for those that want to go out with a bang.




Hammers also have to be bought, but are very useful as they can be used to seal off entrances with boards if you are trying to coordinate a spot to hunker down in with your team. You only have 7 boards though, so use them wisely.



Now that equipment has been explained I guess it's time we focus on another important part of the game, the infected. Unfortunately this is where we get into some of the bugs and issues that I have with the game in it's current state. For the sake of spacing in the article I will not be showing pictures of the infected as I give details about them, but I will put the names of each infected in bold as I get around to them, at least.

Normal Zombies are just your regular, generic zombie. They have green skin and rotting flesh like a zombie, so they're well.. a zombie. They can use their arms to chip away at survivors' health and eventually kill them, turning them into a zombie as well. Normal Zombies are pretty much the one you will be seeing the most as they are the least rare zombie.

Boomers are like a regular zombie, except they're a ticking bile bomb. They move very slowly, don't have much health, but if they are able to somehow sneak into a group of survivors and get killed then things won't end well as it spontaneously combusts and everyone around it is covered in slime. Just don't expect to get anything done if you become this kind of zombie, though. They also have the special ability to vomit bile but this isn't very useful since they're very slow and fragile.

Smokers are like a normal zombie, except they're faster I think and they have a very defining feature for those familiar with Left 4 Dead; their extremely long tongue. Said tongue can be used to grab survivors from a long distance and drag them to their doom, or just choke them to death. When killed they emit a small trail of green smoke from their body. They are by far one of the worst balanced infected though, since once you are stun-locked by their tongue you are unable to shoot with your gun or use your melee weapon. This could easily be remedied by you know, making them not take away half your health within seconds and making so you're able to use your gun/melee weapon while they are grabbing you. Edit: The Smoker now has an "energy" bar for it's tongue stun, but this can still be abused to instantly kill or permanently stun you. But your melee weapon can be used to sometimes break this if they're in range.

Hunters are also from Left 4 Dead, but they're a bit different in this game. Mostly picked out by their hoods, they are very slow moving infected, but can jump extremely high when their energy bar is full. When you actually do get attacked by one of these guys though, you are, you guessed it! Permanently stun-locked. This wouldn't be a problem if once again, they didn't take away all of your health when grabbing you and you were actually able to use your weapons when tackled. Edit: Pretty sure you can use your melee weapon against them, doesn't make them any stupider though.

Firebreathers are a type of infected specially created for the game, they take the form of a spectre with an aura of fire inside of it's body. They have an energy bar like hunters, but can instead throw fireballs which do a lot of damage over time. Firebreathers cannot be damaged by Molotovs obviously, and will damage you if their body makes contact with yours. Average health and walkspeed, just try to stay away from them and you'll be fine. Also have the ability to fill a small area full of fire which can spell bad news for any survivors unfortunate enough to be caught in it. Edit: A fireproof vest was added to the game to likely counter these guys, if you have problems with them, use it.

Tanks are last but certainly not least, these behemoths are the juggernaut of all the infected. Inflicting a lot of damage per hit, and with the ability to throw concrete blocks which instantly kill any survivor unfortunate enough to get in the way. There isn't a lot to say about them really, just try to keep out of their range and focus fire on them and they'll go down in no time if the person playing the Tank isn't that competent. As far as I know they have the lowest chance to spawn of all infected, but do expect people desperate enough to pay $350 to spawn as one automatically.

Overall the game has enough variety in the infected and what they do, it's just that the Smoker and Hunter in particular really need to be reworked and based less around infinite stun-locking. The game is an alpha though so there's no telling if this will be changed or not, but for the sake of the player base, I hope so. Without further delay I'm going to start talking about the game's current five maps and this will hopefully be the last section of the article that looks like a list since I'm sure whoever is currently reading this is sick of them.

Campfire Chaos

By far one of the easiest maps in the game, and one that was present in previous versions. The objective here is from the starting cabin, run to the other end of the starting piece of land, over a bridge and into a barn which holds a radio. The radio is used to call for help but an oddly sized and obvious teddy bear has to be found first, then the survivors have one minute to get into the private jet or perish among the infected.

New Blox Coast 
This map was also in the previous incarnation of the game too, I think. It takes the shape of a medium sized city with a broken bridge awkwardly attached to it. There are many accessible buildings and places to roam around, but the place that everyone usually beelines for is the skyscraper in the back of the map which is where the helicopter will land. The roof of the skyscraper can be easily sealed off by spawning a van and putting it over the main roof access. Though the infected can still get onto the roof by breaking out parts of the building on the last two floors and climbing up a billboard. A working elevator is also present, things can go either ways here really.

CavedIn 

One of the more..unique maps in the game. It takes place inside of what seems to have once been a mining operation inside of an island's cave system. This is the only map thus far to have a good amount of objectives and progression. First the survivors must find four gas cans inside of the main spherical area, then get three TNT bundles to blow up a caved-in wall of stone which will then take them to the supply room, in which they have to scramble up some shelves and find some random supplies which can be knocked around the room and don't glow, at all. Why. The final portion in the supply room is usually where you could lose this map, since the zombies spawning in there and the lack of ways to get onto the shelves doesn't exactly go together well, along with the supplies not having their own indicators.

Dead Vacation

Before you ask, no this map does not have a single thing to do with Dead Island, if the name made you think that. The scenario for this map is an expansive lakeside cabin along with some forest and a campground on the other end of the map. The survivors have to find five gas cans to fill up a generator then hold out for five minutes. The cabin has a lot of crates and doors which can be used to delay zombies or block doors. If you even survive for five minutes a yacht will arrive as the method of rescue.

No Mercy

Also known as the famed Rooftop Escape from Left 4 Dead, No Mercy is by far one of the most chaotic maps in the game, after the survivors answer a nearby radio they must hold out for five minutes for helicopter rescue on the rooftop of a hospital. The map's biggest disadvantage is there is not a lot of room to run around on this map as it is relatively cramped and due to the lack of any indoor areas you're going to be stuck out in the open quite a bit, so hope your team is actually coordinated.

Three more maps were added in V20

Platypus
The first of three new maps added, Platypus takes place on an abandoned freight ship. The ship itself is quite big and expansive, including an underbelly cargo hold not too many people know about that can prove to be an effective place for holding out. The objective here is to just survive, until either the helicopter arrives or it explodes stranding the remaining survivors. The best strategy here is to hold out in the back portion of the map next to the ammo table, while others pick off zombies that spawn on the other end of the ship. Tanks aren't too big of a problem here granted they don't figure out how to use the stairs and you stay away from them.

Blackfield Station
By far one of the more challenging maps, Blackfield Station is an expansive depot that's just another one of those "do this and survive maps". First you have to find a flare gun that usually spawns by vehicles on the map, including a purple car that's a bit off the beaten path. After that you just have to survive, the map has only three supply cabinets but thankfully people don't seem to notice them so try to snatch one up if you're without supplies. There are quite a few ammo tables and decent places to hold out but your main problem is probably going to be watching the roof of the buildings, since Hunters will break the glass on the roofs, allowing for zombies to drop down not too close to you. If you somehow survive a bus will arrive to pick up the few remaining survivors, all I can say for this map is try not to get overwhelmed.

Anti-Virus
Pretty much my favorite map in the game, just because of how unique it is. The setting for this map can only be assumed to be a now derelict zombie experimentation lab, as assumed by the hospital bed with blood all over the walls. The objective here is quite simple, if you're willing to pay attention. The survivors have all been infected with the zombie virus, five vials of the vaccine must be found and placed into the machine. If not done in time, all of the survivors will eventually perish and become zombies. After this is done, only one person can go into the tube at a time to be cured of the virus. If your teammates don't listen then just let them die and cure yourself and everyone else remaining if they weren't killed already. After this, kill off the rest of the zombies to win. Not that complicated of a map if your team will actually listen to directions.

On paper Reason 2 Die may sound like a good idea, because it was, back then. The "new" version before wasn't that bad either. I'm not saying this version is a catastrophe because it isn't, it just has quite a few problems. Though, some of these are to be blamed by ROBLOX' engine (being flung out of the map by physics, etc.) but a majority that are actually prominent are actually in the balancing of the game. These re my main problems;

- How the Infected are balanced is by far the biggest problem I have with the game at the moment, but this is mostly at the fault of the Hunter and Smoker's design. If zombie buying won't be removed, then Tanks should have a limit, at least.

- Missions simply don't reward enough for your effort to fight off the zombies, considering success for the survivors is a rare sight with the exception of two or three maps. The time it takes for the escape to arrive, and then actually leave should be reduced too.

- Two minutes is the typical time it takes for an escape to leave, which is simply too much and by that time zombies will have overrun the escape vehicle and if you don't have a molotov, grenade, or pipe bomb your effort was wasted unless you killed enough zombies to compensate for the lost already pathetic reward.

 - I honestly suggest some sort of firing range so that people can try out weapons before they buy them, because some of the new weapons have insane prices to boot. (16,500 for a tommy gun, 12,000 for a "china lake", 50,000 for a minigun?!) You should be able to try these out in a kind of practice area before buying them since even if you kill a ton of zombies money takes a while to earn. Also, before buying the game's currency, PLEASE check conversion rates to make sure you aren't getting ripped off.

So there you have it, my very long and overdue review on PlaceRebuilder's Reason 2 Die. I can only hope some of these problems are actually addressed in the future and in a smart manner. I don't discourage you from playing the game itself though, because once you actually get some armaments it can definitely be quite satisfying and addictive to plow through hordes of zombies with your trusty steel bat. Until next time (hopefully), I bid farewell.