Zombies are big for movies and games, but if you’re anything like us, you tire the old “let’s kill zombie” hack and slash and shoot formula. Fortunately, “Rebuild” is different.
Playing out like a turn based strategy title, “Rebuild 3” tells the story of your own character trying to make a life now that the zombie apocalypse has actually happened.
We don’t have to tell you that story, either; there are so many TV shows, movies, books, and video games about the zombie apocalypse, that it’s essentially just easier to work out that in the lore of so many media titles, it has happened, and zombies are now running free.
In Rebuild, the zombie apocalypse is here, and rather than kill your way to a peaceful existence, you need to build up the town, clearing out buildings, turning some into farms, making peace with the locals, and essentially taking over the suburbs back for the living.
Along the way, you’ll be teaching your crew new skills, researching ways of improving the town — electrified fences, bunkers, new ways of teaching — as well as building yourself ammunition, bombs, and more.
Taking over the town is only one part of Rebuild, though, because you’ll also need to be a bit of a negotiator, talking to other like-minded computer friends or foes, working with them or against them.
Do you want to work with the hippie Luddites or the violent Riffs, or maybe even do things with what’s left of the government, or would you want to set one against another, or attack them straight out, almost in a “this world ain’t big enough for the both of us”.
As you play, you’ll have to find the best combination of people to work with, putting leaders, engineers, scavengers, and soldiers together, while getting other classes of character to build things, reclaim blocks of land, and build up your own town, which in turn can happen when you either tear down buildings for materials or just do some good old fashioned wood chopping, if your town supports this.
The name will probably give it away, but this is technically the third in the Rebuild series, with the other two arriving in various editions on Android, iOS, and Mac and Windows, but this new edition is big enough to warrant a release on all of the major platforms, mostly arriving at once.
For Rebuild 3, you have a couple of options, with a quick game letting you play the basic story-less edition, while the story game is basically a long winded edition of the quick game where you’ll essentially play the same game several times, watching a story play out in the process.
This story involves trying to find a new stable home, a potential zombie cure, and other things, but it essentially gives a sense of purpose to a game that can be addictive and yet still get a little boring over extended use.
From town to town you’ll move, finding new elements of the story and writing back to someone in the process, as you learn more about how the zombie apocalypse has overtaken North America, with each new city providing a different set of challenges, as well as some bits and pieces that will become all too familiar.
If anything, that last area is what makes Rebuild 3 a bit of an annoyance, because as good as it is for the its developers to find a way to link up the constant quick games many of us were playing in the originals with a bit of a story, you’ll find yourself skipping over things that make the game feel better and more fleshed out earlier on simply because later they just become tired.
Take learning about your crew.
Once you’ve researched how to better communicate with your fellow survivors, you’ll find you can talk to them individually, find out what they used to like doing, and match this up with upgrades in their skills, which provides you with more solid and capable scavengers, food providers, soldiers, researchers, and negotiators when it comes time to dealing with the various factions in the game.
That’s great the first time, and it’s even fun to learn about the second and third times, but when you’re a good seven or eight towns and following the story, you’ll find it becomes a little tiresome, and definitely bothersome.
While it won’t do much to help game progression, this reviewer found it was more enjoyable to play the game and let the crew of your town suffer in quiet agony than talk to their courageous leader about their needs simply because once you’ve read the bulk of Rebuild’s little biographies, you’ll know what’s coming, and it won’t surprise you or feel like you’re playing a good little strategy game.
Rather, it will come off feeling a little like a chore, and chores don’t keep people playing video games.
You might even find moving your players about in the various teams and reclaiming more and more land becomes a bit of a chore too, and once this happens, you’ll need to take a breather from the game for a while, because that is the crux of Rebuild 3.
But the story is worth checking out especially if you fancy a tongue-in-cheek piece about the impending zombie apocalypse we’re all being led to believe will happen, and since it’s available on any platform and doesn’t cost much more than five or six bucks, it’s not like it’s out of reach, not like that pickaxe will be when you really need it.
Rebuild 3 is available now for iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android, Mac OS X, and Windows.