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Veteran Member - Level 13
With the current generation of consoles
coming to a close, that hasn't stopped such amazing triple A titles
being released, such as BioShock:Infinite, Tomb Raider, the upcoming
The Last Of Us, and many more. But out of all these games, there is
one under the radar game that released earlier in the week.
State of Decay is a third person zombie
oriented survival/action title, developed by Undead Labs and
published by Microsoft.
While it may not be very recognizable
just yet, the game has had a following for quite some time, and has
recently sold more than a quarter of a million copies in just a few
days. Me and a friend of mine have been eying the game since he got
his hands on a playable demo back at PAX East.
While there is no absence of zombie
games on the market right now, State Of Decay toys with the idea of
how the apocalypse should go, and how surviving should play out. And
unlike other titles that have offered this premise and failed, this
game delivers on all fronts, and holds no mercy on the weak and
When you start off the game, you start
with two survivors being attacked by a couple of “zeds”, as the
game calls the undead. After surviving the attack, you and your
friend make your way to a cabin to meet with other survivors. Unsure
and unaware of what Is happening, you head off to find other
survivors. As you explore, you follow the trace of gunshots,
discovering another survivor being besieged by zombies. Upon saving
her, she joins your party, and is now a playable character. Figuring
the woods isn't safe anymore, any remaining survivors head off into
town, and discover the impending apocalypse right at your feet.
As you progress through the game, you
discover “homes”. While you do discover houses, your Home is the
homebase where you resupply, recover from any wounds, and change
characters. Most survivors you stumble upon can be recruited into
coming back to your Home and join your community. Each survivor has
their own unique set of skills and abilities. In your Home, you can
build certain facilities to help the survivors. Need a watchtower?
It's buildable in certain spots, considering your Home doesn't
already have one. Have wounded and need medical treatment? Set up a
tent to heal any survivors that need attention. With each facility,
you'll most likely need a survivor who can help operate it. Such as a
survivor with medical training to help heal wounds, or someone who
can fix up your weapons and vehicles. Each survivor can contribute in
some way, but there are some that are vital to keep your community
safe and secure.
While Home is the most secure place you
can be at, you must maintain it to keep it that way. Over time,
supplies will decrease, and you must resupply. Gather construction
material to maintain your perimeter, and construct /upgrade
facilities. Gather food from looting houses or stores to keep your
fellow survivors fed. Find medicine to keep your survivors healthy.
While this may be a simple task at hand to simply gather supplies,
they are limited. Once you clean out a house/warehouse/store/or
anything, the supplies are gone They will not replenish. Eventually
you will have to expand your search radius, making it difficult, and
more dangerous, to keep your people safe and armed. Eventually the
area you are in will run out of resources, thereby forcing you to
build your Home somewhere else.
Things at Home, however, are not always
good. Your base has a moral system. As supplies dwindle, the moral
goes down. If there's a dispute between fellow survivors, moral also
dwindles. Or if there's too many infestations near your Home, it
lowers. It is best to deliver supplies, help out any survivor who
needs aid in the field, destroying infestations, and building more
beds and facilities to accommodate survivors, to help keep the
community happy. Otherwise, people will leave.
While you can get attached to the
characters you started with, each character gets tired after some
time, and need to rest and/or heal. So you will need to switch
between characters in order to give your fellow survivors a break.
And taking a break is wise, whereas the game utilizes the permadeath
system. If your survivor dies while out in the field, he or she, is
gone for good.
Walking is the best method of going
from destination to destination. While it may be more dangerous, it
is wiser, since vehicles do not respawn, and are limited. You can
repair a vehicle back at Home, but it takes some time, and a specific
facility suited to repairing vehicles. And while vehicles can take
out a horde of zombies in one strike, the vehicle get severely
State Of Decay encourages people to
play things out smartly. Instead of running into a house, gun shot
after gunshot, and resupply, you can sneak into a house, and scavenge
what loot remains. Zombies will not notice you right away if you're
sneaking. Though running, and scavenging, makes noise, attracting any
nearby flesh eater waiting for you. Or if you want to lure any zombie
out of hiding, or distract them so you can sneak by, you can use
firecrackers to get them to appear. There's more than one solution to
scavenging. Using those solutions is up to you.
To make things easier for you and any
survivor, you can set up outposts in any building you've cleared of
the undead. It makes things safer for any runner you have going to a
house to pick up supplies, and makes it easier for you to restock.
Strategy is a good tactic on outposts, since you only have a limited
amount of outposts you can use.
You are not alone, however. As you
progress, you discover different types of undead. Each special type
is challenging in it's on virtue. While easy to take out if prepared,
any unsuspecting attack from any of these creatures can result in the
loss or serious injury of a survivor.
While the game forces you to be serious
in trying to survive, it has it's comedic moments. Such as banter
between whoever you're playing as, and Lily, the person communicating
to you from Home.
You: ”I'm bringing back a little
something.” Lily: “Ooh, what you get?” You:” A pony. But then
it tried to eat me, so I shot it in the head.” Lily: “That's just
disturbing on so many levels.”
The achievements are amusing as well.
With some clear references to movies such as Jaws, Aliens, and
Zombieland. And one achievement I discovered by accident after being
overwhelmed with zombies. Seeing the titles pop up, I couldn't help
but laugh at the name. I will leave the surprise for you to find.
While using a car can be dangerous as the sound attracts enemies, it
delivers some of the most fun I've had in games. As you drive around,
you can swing your car door open, killing any zombie as you drive by.
Spending hours driving around hitting zombies with your car door?
While mirrored with some technical
issues and some glitches, the game is as close to a perfect zombie
game as you can get. With permadeath, limited resources, and a
nightmare waiting to eat you alive, the game is as good as any
downloadable title can be. The entirety of it is gorgeous, fun, and
brutal all at once.