7 Days to Die update brings massive changes to the game, adding things like HD zombies, dismemberment and more

When 7 Days To Die first came on to Steam Early Access it seemed like a game that was trying to cash in on the Minecraft phenomena as well as the open world zombie survival one. After seeing its first gameplay videos show off some incredibly dumb zombies and dated graphics I assumed the worst and swiftly forgot all about it.

Turns out I shouldn't have because 7 Days to Die has been updated both frequently and extensively, and right now looks nothing like the game I saw a long time ago. One such massive update has arrived yesterday bringing with it an absolutely ridiculous list of changes that contains, among others, HD zombies, dismemberment, a new UI, heat/cold survival system, more item, weapons and a lot more.

The first thing one might notice with the new update is that many of the zombies have received an HD treatment so they now look far, far better than the silly people with painted faces I've seen a while back. But that isn't the only graphical update the zombies are getting, their movement animations are now based on motion capture footage so they should both look and move far more realistically.

When you have realistic zombies it always pays off to have realistic damage systems and while 7 Days to Die isn't right there yet they did add a dismemberment and damage system. So if you shoot at a zombie's legs it will either become crippled, or if you use something powerful enough you might just blow right through it. In classic zombie movie fashion they will only die from damage to the chest or head so if you keep shooting them in the legs you're just going to have to deal with a lot of creepy crawlies.

In order to take advantage of this new system you will also be able to knock down zombies to get both a better angle on them as well as a damage multiplier. You can either knock them down yourself through the use of overwhelming force or through the use of some well placed traps.

The second biggest addition is the extreme weather survival system, in other words your character will get extremely hot in deserts and extremely cold while stuck in snowstorms and you'll need to dress and play according to your climate conditions

7 Days To Die has added a new extreme weather survival system with deadly blizzards and scorching heat

Being stuck in a snowstorm under-dressed is not a fun thing

What this means in the game is that both the world and the player have their own temperature which increases or decreases depending on environmental factors. The outside temperature will get lower as you climb higher in game with the reverse also being true. It also depends on where you are exactly, so a desert will always be warmer than something farther North.

Your character's temperature works in a similar fashion though you can influence it by wearing protective clothing, lighting a fire, being indoors, much like how it works in real life. The most interesting part of all of this is that wind plays a big factor as well. If you're stuck in a sandstorm and a strong wind starts blowing your character will lose heat much faster than he would otherwise.

The same goes for being wet. If your character is stuck constantly being wet his temperature will drop. On the other hand if you're trying to escape the scorching heat then you should stick to the shade as direct exposure to the Sun will make you hotter, as you might imagine.

I have to say, for a game in Early Access this is an impressively complex and encompassing weather survival system. Actually, I can say the same about 7 Days to Die in general. It started off as a fairly generic game in a sea of similar ones but through a lot of work and updating has become quite unique in its own right and definitely something I'll be keeping my eye on from now on.

As far as the changes are concerned, these few listed above are just some of the things I really wanted to talk about and are, by no means, even a third of the stuff added or changed in this patch. So if you want to check out the rest head over to the official patch notes, just make sure you grab a drink along the way because you'll be there for a while.