The lights are on
State of Decay admittedly has some technical issues. Gun play is years behind the industries top third person shooters, vehicles control adequately at best, and you don't have to look far to find glitches. Thankfully, none of it's failings are game breaking though, and the fun factor is definitely enough to look past them, especially for a 20$ arcade game. And boy does it give you a lot of game for your money!
Undead labs foray into the crowded zombie game market is successful because of its constant demand that you contribute to your small band of survivors. You're welcome to take what you need out of the community stash, at the cost of influence amongst your fellow scavengers. Helping out other scattered bands of survivors may net you new characters you can level up, which makes the perma-death of your favorites slightly more bearable, while keeping you from having to start over completely. Resource management, group morale, and skill building are at a premium in this game. I love the overall feel of a true undead survivalist situation.
The story is there, and helps to give your efforts some context, but it is by no means gripping or original. That felt okay though, I was too engrossed in surviving to give much thought to the overarching narrative. I found myself enjoying the combat for the most part. Melee attacks are different for lighter or heavier weapons, dodging is simple and useful, and you can kick or push back enemies when getting swarmed, a la Dead Island. Also reminiscent of Dead Island are the melee finish attacks that are available when a zombie has been knocked to the ground. Gun play feels a lot like GTA 5, which is to say serviceable, but certainly not great. Still the game gives you plenty of options in the firearms department, as well as molotov cocktails and grenades.
Missions are pretty standard, but many are time sensitive. Wait too long to get to a particular objective,such as rounding up another small group of survivors to join you, and they will get caught by a roving herd of zombies.
I reached the end of the game in about 12 hours, but left a lot of content on the table for a second run. And I will certainly be diving back in, because despite it's shortcomings, this game is just a lot of fun, at a great price to boot.
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