The sun is radiating beams down upon you docking your boat on the return from a recent vacation, drinking and reunion. Within seconds, the world you once knew is now filled with "psychopaths" trying to bite one another; welcome to the opening landscape in Undead Labs' zombie survival-simulation, State of Decay
The world they have created in this XBLA title is nothing to shake a stick at, although you may need those to bash some "zeds". Immediately thrust into a world of intense doubt and a small sense of direction, survival becomes your best friend. Quickly, it became very apparent that staying alive was incredibly important. Why you may ask? In a nut shell, on a mission trying to gather supplies I ran into a Feral zombie who packed a mean punch, fierce attack methods and was as agile as Spider-Man. My 2x4 was useless and my gun skill was lackluster, which prevented my character from being able to be effective with the weapon, thus in the end, my character fell down at death's door.
Astonished at how your skill sets, mood, stamina and abilities all play a major role in the progression of State of Decay
, I was yearning to get back to the fellow survivors and start scavenging again. This time around, however, the game loaded and one of the other survivors mentioned that, "Even though we didn't know Marcus that long, he was a helpful person and will be missed." Missed? Low and behold, the character who died at the hands of the feral zombie was gone from my game and never to return. The only thing left to do at this point was to get cozy with another survivor and head back out into the world to retrieve the goods dear old Marcus left behind in a rucksack. State of Decay
is like a pristine '66 Pontiac GTO, a sleek body, a great interior, and it is just waiting to be taken for a spin... a long spin. Initially, it felt like I was headed into a game filled with mass zombie slaying, which of course occurs, but when you pull back a corner of the veil, this game is truly about survival. Food at the home base can grow scarce and the inhabitants become restless and start an argument, which lowers your morale, or a much-needed doctor you found gets angry, so he leaves. Other survivors are out in the thick of it, but at different outposts, and from time-to-time you will have to speak with them and see if, through resources and good deeds, you can sway them to join your camp; the survivor may have the traits of a jerk or share too much information, but he is a savant when it comes to cars and may be needed in the long run.
Experience a rich game that is filled with story-defining choices, survival, character leveling, all-around zombie ass-kicking, survival, and even more survival. In the short time that I have been playing State of Decay
, it's safe to say that Undead Labs has given the gamer a really engrossing journey that combines elements from multiple genres.
There are elements of stealth; patience is needed when it comes to scavenging due to the ability of looting slow with silence or frantically making a lot of noise. Combat ranges from melee, firearms, or explosives, but you will have to choose wisely, as characters may not be handy with a firearm or be physical enough to use melee. Furthermore, you can choose to walk, avoiding the Zeds when out on a search for resources, or run and rustle the bushes causing noise, or break windows and smash doors, which causes unwanted attention. You can also hop in a vehicle and cruise to your destination of choice, or drive like a maniac drawing zeds from every direction and causing a passenger to lose trust in you because of your reckless driving.
With elements found in shooters, strategy and simulation, State of Decay
has a plethora of things to learn and enjoy while you, strangers you meet, and the Zed's are all trying to get a piece of the pie; what little is left that is. State of Decay
so far has been a great, infectious love affair in a zombie infested land that leaves you yearning for more. Be sure to check the front page early next week when I venture back into State of Decay for the full review. State of Decay
is currently available on XBLA for 1600 MSP.