Over the weekend, my friend Paul suggested I pick up State of Decay from Undead Labs on Xbox Live Arcade. It is a persistent zombie survival game. But the way a zombie survival game should be. This is what he told me. He also said that I will devote all my time to it.
It isn’t about killing zombies. I mean, you kill a lot of zombies, but they keep coming. This is more of a sim game. You don’t play one character, you play a community of them. It is up to you to keep morale up, scavenge for food, gas, medical supplies, more survivors, and construction materials.
You need construction materials to maintain your defenses/walls/gates and to upgrade and/or build additions to your home/outposts. One of the first things the game will ask of you is a sleeping area. You gain buffs or special things when you build or upgrade these things.
Now, I mentioned the game was persistent. This means it remembers everything. If one of your group dies, it is permanent. This also means that the places you scavenge will not respawn. Essentially, this world has a limited amount of resources. Eventually, you WILL run out. Now, there is probably a small amount of magic items like when you’re offline… which, the world sorta continues when you are offline. I’m not sure if there is magic in that too or how it is done, but your people will at times go out and scavenge without your say, especially when offline, and every day your group uses up your inventory. This is why you need to keep bringing back stuff when you are out.
You will have lots of missions, a bunch randomly repeat and you will sense a pattern in the types of missions there are. The game eventually starts to become much harder as time passes and as you progress in the main missions.
Since a bunch of these missions involve killing zombies, I want to point out specific tidbits about them:
They are a mix of slow and fast. Zombie hoards roam around with a sensory cone you need to avoid. They will surround you and possibly cause your death. What is a zombie without special zombies. I have encountered three so far. Screamers, Feral, and Fat. Screamers scream and disorient you for a few seconds, deadly when in a group of reg zombies. Ferals are like the leapers in L4D, deadly from range, easy peasy close up. Fatties, I hate. I hate because one killed me. Hard to kill, and they grab you and basically tear you apart. This is all I have currently encountered.
I have spent several hours now playing this game and I am loving it. I have not even scratched the surface but I am definitely excited to continue. What follows are some of the main things that have happened thus far. I dislike spoilers so I am pretty sure there aren’t any here, but stop reading if you have concern.
Day one I got through the starting area, found some survivors, then helped someone fight off some zombies. It became clear that I could not stay by the lake so the survivors packed up and left. Started a home base in a small city close by. I proceeded to scavenge for necessary stuff. Ed, one of my original survivors was hurt in the opening of the game and needs a doctor. My first chance to add new survivors I lost my main guy. A fat zombie showed up and killed him, as I preluded to earlier. Protip: shoot “Big Uns” in the head till they die right away.
Day two morale is low, supplies are low. So I focus on gathering materials. I want to build beds and a medicine area. I get the materials but then find that I no longer need to find the doctor. It seems time ran out from when it was pointed out to me where the doc was. Ed died of complications. Crap. I’ve lost two now. Instead of finding him, though I went ahead and built outposts around town. This helps keep zombie hoards low and regular zombies to a minimum. Quickly morale went up and I started having enough supplies. I met the army.
Day three thankfully no one else died. I lost some survivors, but found some of them, through missions, and I am sure the others will turn up eventually. But I have to make sure to do the missions quickly as they do turn up otherwise they could die. I realized that I already had a medical area so I removed the duplicate and added a garden, while I started upgrading the existing medical area. Both stopped construction due to needing “special” materials which I had to go out and get as a mission. I met with the army again and picked up two more survivors. Also, after, the army started asking us for missions. The survivors want to move to a bigger area, probably in a new city. Near another set of survivors I need to greet. There’s also a group at the farm where the doctor was, they’re criminals or were before Z-Day I believe.
Anyway, that’s my not very spoilery assessment of this game. I hope for DLC’s and maybe even co-op.
Shortened URL: http://is.gd/StateOfDecay