So I'm approaching 1000 hours for SoD. Only a few games have hit that milestone for me in my life. So, it's in rarefied company now for me with few others. In short, I love this game. It's got me reflecting again on why this game (specifically Breakdown mode) really does it for me. The reasons have been expressed before, but they are worth repeating imo: 1) The setting. I think at the top of the list is the setting. It's clearly made with love. And detail. So much detail. The options for stealth are incredible. Plus, it's just incredibly thematic. And funny -- donut shop attached to the police station. And interesting -- the opened hazardous waste container at the plane crash site, the water supply made toxic with the dead. The posters and signs are just awesome and often hilarious as well. The remnants of others (e.g., impromptu medical labs, dead bodies in different locations containing hints at their final moments, etc.). The dead animals. The variety of buildings. The feeling that this was a place that people truly did inhabit. And what is up with that school? 2) The characters. I roll random characters and restart every level fresh. Whenever I find Marcus or Amelia or some of the random ones that I love (like the first character I ever rolled random in my first Breakdown run), I am just pumped to play them. And the narrative trait that gets added to each just adds to the roleplaying options. We all love Biker Steve, of course, but there are others too that are interesting. 3) The potential. I don't have any technical ability to mod games, but, if I did, I would mod games I love. I would mod this game. Not to fix weaknesses, but to enhance strengths, build on potential. Like, I often wonder how cool it would be to be able to populate multiple bases and establish trade between them. To rebuild civilization in this area. Or if there were other maps. Or if the narrative and other traits added different abilities or stats or items. I think good games just engage the player and interest them in exploring and pushing the limits of the game. Definitely has my interest piqued for SOD2. 4) The systems. There are some really interesting systems working together in this game. Influence, fame, friendship, the stats, fatigue/injury, morale and mood, difficulty increase in Breakdown levels, etc. etc. It's fun pushing them to their limits and exploring different playstyles and strategies. 5) Open world/sandbox. While not unique to SOD, this is a solid open world/sandbox game. Nonlinear gameplay that accomodates lots of different approaches. 6) "It factor" and "wow" moments. This game just has that "it" factor. And some serious wow moments. I used to play Age of Mythology a lot. And it had a feature where you could download and watch recorded games of other players. Some nights I would just download some games from top players, pop some popcorn, and watch and enjoy. I feel that way with SoD. I'd love to just watch recorded games of people playing. There are just some really good wow moments that make for entertainment. Like there was this one time I noticed in the backyard across from Savini's that there were a TON of zombies. Like 50+ easily. And a Jug was in the middle of it all on the porch. Honestly, it looked nothing more than like a Jug had thrown a massive zombie house party in the backyard. And the NOISE. EERIE!!! That many zombies growling all at once just sends shivers, seriously. And of course nothing gets my attention more than a trio of ferals zooming my way. A trio came at me in a house yesterday but fortunately I had two allies with and we beat them down. It was pretty epic. Those moments when you're desperately rummaging for food or healing or a weapon or whatever you need to survive immanently because zeds are pounding on a door, or a feral is coming, etc. just have me on the edge of my seat. And, of course, crushing two zombie heads together never gets old 7) The community. The community here is pretty awesome. Gaming communities are usually pretty solid, but I love the sense of humour here and genuine interest in sharing ideas and stories. I've picked up a lot of good tips here, like about specializing powerhouses in scavenging, since they can carry more. Makes sense, of course, but I had never really though of it like that before, since they are also great at combat. It's made me think about giving ninja to my powerhouses, which I hadn't really considered before. And countless other tips. Much appreciated. Anyway, not sorry for gushing Just feeling reflective as I'm headed to 1000 hours. Looking forward to SOD2 with much anticipation.