|Developer(s)||Smartly Dressed Games|
|Publisher(s)||Smartly Dressed Games|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Release||July 7, 2017|
Unturned is a free-to-play survival game developed by Smartly Dressed Games, a one-man studio consisting of Canadian game designer Nelson Sexton. Following a three-year long early access beta phase, it was released for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux on July 7, 2017.
Unturned features several different game modes, all of which consist of the same basic concept of zombie survival. The game also has multiple difficulty settings.
In the survival game mode, the player's character is spawned on a game map with clothes depending on their skill set. Players must find weapons and supplies to survive against the zombies. As the player progresses through the game, they gain experience points which can then be used for upgrades. Survival mode is also available in multiplayer. The greater aim is to survive, but the players may team-up or fight each other. Players must keep up their health, food and water, and radiation levels. Radiation damage can be obtained from getting hit by zombies or entering "deadzones" without proper hazmat protection. The game's multiplayer option has created a platform for multiple kinds of gameplay, such as survival, roleplay, creative, paintball and battle royale style arena matches, similar to Roblox, where Nelson first started his development career.
The game consists of several permanent maps: Washington, PEI, Yukon, Germany, Greece, Russia, Hawaii, and France are all single player compatible survival maps. The latter 4 were developed by teams of developers more recently, and contain new additions like quests, a storyline, NPCs, and more Easter eggs to discover. Also in the game are Festive PEI, Festive Russia, and Halloween PEI, which gave certain maps holiday themes. There are also six arena maps available: Alpha Valley, Monolith, Paintball Arena, Washington Arena, PEI Arena, and Canyon Arena.
Arena game mode is for multiplayer only. Players are spawned in the middle of a map with supplies and weapons scattered around. The winner is the last person, or the last team, alive. Players may die due to being slain by other players or by crossing the boundaries of the map. The game will also spawn helpful items like armor, attachments for guns, and the 3 types of health items. These items are essential, as the game has an intense bleeding out mechanic that can finish a player without medical supplies. The game will also spawn vehicles, which can enable players to avoid the border or roadkill other players. The arena mode grants a massive advantage to teams in arena mode. Since there is no separated solo/squad modes, solo players will be up against teams who can aid each other. The game does not require teams to fight each other, so multiple players can win. Players who want to make a team must join a shared Steam group. Arena maps also contain hidden easter eggs and secret spots, which can aid the player in battle.
The game contains no currency but has a cosmetic system. After playing, the game has a chance to give players a cosmetic item, like clothing or effects for their character, or camouflage or skins for weapons. Players can purchase keys and cases from the steam market for $0.99 to get a random skin, or buy pre-selected skins for a higher price. Items can be sold on the Steam market to other players for Steam credit.
The game's story is spread out across all of its official maps. On the Washington map, there is a lab belonging to a company known as Scorpion-7. Outside the lab, there is an overrun military unit and within the building, in the basement, there are canisters containing zombies in stasis, one of which is broken. An apology note can also be found in which it appears the writer was attacked before the note was completed. It is assumed that this lab was ground zero for the start of the outbreak. The exact origin and the cause of the outbreak remain vague, but it is heavily implied that the virus was inadvertently created through bioweapons research the company was conducting, and the outbreak was caused by the escape of a test subject from their containment. It is unknown how long the outbreak has been going on at the start of the game. The player is introduced as one of the few survivors, hence the name of the game, 'Unturned'. The player can help the Coalition, the organization fighting the outbreak and locating survivors. The player can take quests to help the Coalition, but as the game has no true campaign, no move is made to get rid of or cure the outbreak. In singleplayer, there are no other players or NPCs except for in "safezones."
Unturned was developed by Nelson Sexton from Calgary, Canada. Sexton started his career with Roblox, creating two of the most-popular games on the Roblox site, Battlefield and Deadzone. Deadzone was a zombie-survival game similar to Unturned and is no longer available to play. Nelson was only sixteen years old at the time of Unturned's first release. Before Unturned was on Steam, it was played on web-browsers and was listed as Unturned 1.0. Unturned was originally listed under Steam Greenlight as Unturned 2.0.. It was successfully voted in by the Steam community on May 28, 2014. Unturned allows players to create custom maps, cosmetics and mods using an in-game editor, and allows them to publish these maps on the Steam Workshop. The game was officially released out of early access on July 7, 2017.
According to gaming website Kotaku, Unturned was one of the most-popular games on Steam in mid-2014. Both Kotaku and Rock, Paper, Shotgun characterized the game's popularity as unexpected, since the game is mainly developed by a single person without a major studio's resources. PC Gamer said that while Unturned had few real ideas on its own, it was a "simple, accessible survival-simulator" that players may enjoy provided they could "stomach the low production values".
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