After playing a while longer, I realized that the reason I wasn't enjoying this game had a lot more to do with my expectations of what I'd like the game to be versus the reality of what it is. Radiation island (to me) was mostly an exploration game, like "Myst" or "The Room" but wildlife and zombies as additional obstacles, for added spice. Radiation City is first and foremost a shooter game.
Unlike Island, where you improved your character through crafting and exploration, City is all about leveling up. Want to move faster? Be less hungry? Have better aim? Better gear? Go kill zombies, level up, and fill up the bars. In this context, having 8 guns (all have a particular purpose) but no storage makes absolute sense, as do the endless buildings filled with rooms full of zombies. This game is not about carrying a bunch of food or crafting bandages, all that stuff can be found as you move through the different locations, and it becomes less necessary as you level up.
Is this world as much fun to explore as island? No, it is not. Within the game you can look for "records" and "evidence" that fills in the back story. (Unlike the codes, you don't need them to complete the game) As per some comments in other reviews, you are meant to find them as you explore: No clues, no 'x' marks the spot, and no way to mark your map to track your progress. Still, I gave in to my obsessive compulsive side, printed a screen cap of the map, and set out to find them.
The world is beautifully crafted and the way the light and shadows move as the day cycle is great...but you will see little of it. Instead you'll be going through and endless array of rooms looking at cruddy toilets, rusted refrigerators, and soiled mattresses. How many rooms? A LOT! (The apartment complex outside the city has 10 buildings, 7 stories each, 10 rooms per floor: so 700 in that small section) And without the handy dandy storage lockers, that made scavenging reasonably painless in the island, 90% of the stuff is on the floor (and half of that sitting just below the floor plane so you'll need to hover above it to read the description) About halfway through the buildings I realized that I wasn't even looking up from the floor.
If you enjoyed the shooting part of the island, this is a great game. But be aware, there are few rewards for the explorers.
I love Radiation Island, so I bought this game right away hoping to embark on a new adventure. However, I'm not enjoying the experience.
The first game I played, I got caught in a loop where wolves would kill me and I would re spawn in the same spot-just to have the wolves kill me again. Finding weapons is ridiculously hard and complicated. You have your choice of crowbars or pipes until you can find one or more of the 7-8 different types of guns and matching ammo. Once you do, you must figure out how to carry it all and level up to use them properly. (I even had issues with lock picks and can openers)
Still, I kept at it, expecting to find a clue/narrative at every campsite to give context to the action. Unfortunately, if you "skip" ahead, or find an item ahead of time, or fail to look in every building room, the game moves on without them. The game, without the story, becomes little more than disjointed list of tasks: "Go here and get X, now go there and get Y. Now go back ...". After a while, I realized all I wanted to do was turn to explore mode and just finish it.
I really wanted to love this game like I do radiation island. I can't, and that's a pity because it's beautiful and ambitious game.