GAME NAME: State Of Decay
DEVELOPER(S): Undead Labs
PUBLISHER(S): Microsoft Stuido
GENRE(S): Survival Horror
RELEASE DATE(S): June 5, 2013
I’m starting to get exhausted of all these zombie games. They started out fun and exciting, but now it’s the same old thing. However, it would seem Undead Labs decided to go a different route with the zombie genre that has exploded the last few years. State of Decay is an open world survival horror game. And while not a full game, but an arcade, it definitely piqued my interest although it failed in certain areas.
The way the story is done is very interesting, but at the same time lacks in storytelling. There isn’t an intro at all, you just start as two characters that are being attacked returning from a weekend trip in the mountains. Each person you meet gives a small bit of information, but no one truly knows the true story. This, I believe, is a very smart way of doing things. In reality no one cares how this would start, they just want to stay alive. However, there is little dialogue throughout your playing time. There are moments when they discuss things, but I’m guessing no one wants to talk about how their weekend went when they are running for their lives.
Gameplay is a mix between Alan Wake and Dead Rising. You are in the mountains filled with zombie infested town folk that want to turn you into a pink brain shooter. You aren’t running around with a butt ton of ammo like Rambo in the middle of the streets. You avoid zombies as much as you can by slowing walking by them, but your character can attack them. Creating noise by running, firing weapons or quickly searching in houses can attract them. You need to collect food, ammo, water and shelter for the other survivors. If you don’t they may just walk off due to your incompetence or they won’t feel the area is safe enough. As you collect the material you need, you can build more beds, a workshop, a training area and many other things to help yourself or the other survivors. You can also drive the cars in the area because everyone left their keys in them for some reason, but they can break when taking enough damage, so you can repair it or leave it on the side of the road.
There isn’t a real main character in all of this. You can become anyone over time that joins your group and they can also die a horrific death, which happens if you aren’t careful. When you take control of a character each action you perform can level up their cardio, attack, wit and so on. Weapons like a wrench, golf club or other blunt objects can be used to beat zombies down, but it takes away stamina and they can break. Guns are effective if you have the ammo along with the aim to do it, but they can draw a crowd with noise, unless if you have a silencer, then you will be good for a few shots. Earlier on when looting buildings you can ask other survivors to pick up items inside if your inventory is full or turn the area into a safe zone with traps and a supply locker. Helping other groups out by themselves can also build their trust and you can call them in for a special task like a swat force or dropping off a car for you to drive.
Graphics were good, but not at its best. Glitches were all over the place: zombies attacking you through a wall or getting stuck inside the floor where you can’t find them. However, I really liked the day and night sequence that rotate every hour in game time. Running around the dark with just a flash light inside the house gave it some good atmosphere. The voice acting was also a very pleasant surprise as it didn’t sound forced or cliché, which is why it was a shame they didn’t have more dialogue.
This is unlike many of the zombie games that have come out because it focuses more on the survival over anything else. If you aren’t a patient person you may not find this to your liking because avoiding contact is one of the best things you do unless you are on a hunting mission. There are a few bumps here and there but overall this was a lot of fun and I would love to see a full retail game.