I apologize for simply how late this review is being put up but I did venture to Bonnaroo which became an interruption. However I did play State of Decay before I left and I do say I enjoyed my experience in the third person zombie-survival quiet a bit. It has something for multiple zombie audiences from brutal finishers to a variety of weapon choices a player can choose from.
State of Decay gives me about everything I want from a long-term survival game in a zombie world. The game has a fun and addictive adventuring feel, but at the same time i was scared to leave vehicles and go on foot. The game has multiple characters. Granted the characters have no specific choice leveling or skill trees, each character does auto level and this does show tremendously as they get better with their fighting and cardio. Another thing about the characters is they have hobbies and past occupations on the information menu. This comes in handy when choosing a character to do missions with a fellow outpost or camp. This also comes in handy for situations where players need to get in and out quick they may choose the person with the best suitable interests for past hobbies to have good stamina.
The stamina in State of Decay faded before I realized it most of the time. It is extremely important not to drain stamina on careless things because the character being played will eventually become tired to a point of needing to rest at the home base of the survivors. The stamina and health of all the characters is very different while their inventory is the same size depending on whether the player has a large or small backpack.
The idea is simple and standard, but the results are quite extraordinary. State of Decay is the plan of just surviving as long as possible against the undead outbreak while fending for up to sixteen characters in a virtual world where supplies run out when used. When a house is searched completely and all supplies are looted then that house will be forever known as empty on the player’s maps. Scavenging is extremely useful in the game for multiple reasons. Scavenging is needed to gather things to keep your camp running. In the zombie apocalypse people are going to get tired, and when they get tired they are going to need beds. It is important to scavenge to find materials, food, ammo, and fuel resources to keep surviving. The main home of all characters has several upgradable locations throughout the camp that can be upgraded to provide better protection, meals, and more beds. Players can eventually even build their own garages to have their vehicles repaired for them and professional work benches so the melee weapons remain in great condition. All of the decisions from the player inside and outside the camp will affect the morale of the other characters in the camp. It is important to keep the camp happy which can be done in several ways.
To keep the homestead happy the player needs to make sure to clear out all infestations, heavy populated zombie areas with a few special zombies, around their home. The farther from home players begin to venture they may find great supplies where they can’t carry all of it. This is when the player can either load up a rucksack, break open the resource to get some in their inventory but not as much as if it was rucksacked, they can radio home for a runner to loot the house, or they can leave it and venture back through later. When the other characters are on quests or missions in the open world they can be helped if players have the time or just want to lend a hand. These escort missions can turn into fun journeys where players have several allies with them bashing in zombie heads. This action increases morale and teamwork among the camp also. There is also a fun reoccurring mission with the military where players help them spot zombie hordes from watch towers so the military can artillery strike them. Doing long distance supply runs however should not be the initial plan. The game encourages people to set up many outposts in different places so they have a shorter distance to travel to turn in supplies. These outposts increase the overall percentage for runners to make it back safely and various other things.
The weapons used in the game can vary from amazing assault rifles to just a simple wrench from an auto parts garage. The weapons,ammo, and medicine will all be kept in a cache at the base where the other characters will take whatever supplies they see fit so when you switch to them they will be geared up and ready to go. The game also has some rowdy noisemakers to draw some zombie attention. There are alarm clocks,firecrackers, flares for night-time, and crying baby dolls. These things are great for drawing crowds of zombies away from areas with supplies so players wont have to be bothered by pesky flesh eaters. One of my favorite things to do was open a door to an infestation and set an alarm clock up and just aim at the headline of zombies stumbling out of the door and pick them off with my glock equipped with a homemade silencer. There are also projectile weapons from grenades to molotovs there is something for everyone.
State of Decay is an incredibly well thought out game. The open world is fairly large for the price and is entertaining enough to play for a while. There are missions involving several different camps and then the camp of players will have them running errands to help out. It feels realistic in an extremely over the top fun way. I enjoyed my experience tremendously and recommend it to most, but the only thing I felt like it was lacking was co-op ability but it still delivers as a single player title and shouldn’t be passed up on. There is a door opening attack in vehicles as a true homage to “Zombieland”. If a door attack on top of everything else doesn’t sell this game then I am not sure what can.
A copy of State of Decay was provided to us for review on the Xbox 360 by Undead Labs