If it's crap ... We'll tell you
What would you do if one day you came back from a camping and hiking trip only to find that the world had collapsed and the dead walk the earth? Personally I would off myself because screw that noise. Luckily this game doesn't make you want to just end it all. This is State of Decay.
State of Decay is an open world zombie survival game. You start off playing as Marcus, but as you play you gain more and more playable characters. These characters become essential as you progress and play the game because when you are not playing as a character they act independently of you. That means they can get sick, hurt themselves, or get in trouble. The more characters you have the better your chances, because as you yourself play your chosen character can get hurt or tired, making it so you have to let them rest and play as another character from your roster. In doing this the game makes you feel (sort of) for each character, so when the time comes to put one down if they are too sick or too hurt, you have second thoughts and in my personal case put off the decision as long as you can. The characters are all given brief bios, what they did before the outbreak, their hobbies, jobs, thought process; so you can predict how they behave under certain circumstances. These stats also effect how the character plays, and how quickly different perks are accessed and leveled up. So after playing for a while you have characters you know make good scouts, characters who make good supply runners, and characters who can fight off some of the bigger and tougher enemies. The whole process is like building a fantasy zombie survival team out of stock characters with stock stats that tweek and change slighlty the more you play, becoming more and more specialized--eventually the scouts can outrun the dangerous zeds, the runners can distract them long enough to get away, and the warriors can plow right through them. It adds a certain amount of tactical decision making to what character you choose for what jobs.
The gameplay itself is nothing all that special. Its your standard run-of-the-mill third person fare. You use melee attacks to fend off individuals zombie or small hordes. The guns in the game are workable but nothing great. It goes into over the shoulder when you aim the gun. The zombies are only killable with head shots. I really liked that; I missed the days when you could only stop the undead by going straight for the brain, it's a nice return to form in the video game world where most zombie games just require them to take enough damage before falling down. Not in State of Decay, before you take that shot and possibly alert every zombie within a mile you better make sure the sights are lined up. There are often side objectives-- taking out infestations, hunting special infected, recovering trapped allies, and helping other besieged survivors. Doing these missions gives you influence which is the closest thing to currency in this game. The more influence you have the more things you can do and take from supply caches. The more you take and do, the more you need to help out and earn more influence. It makes for a semi-real world economy feel. Insted of using bottle caps, bullets or cash you get to do special actions and take weapons and medicine based on how much you do.
The story is your average zombie fare so there isn't much point in bringing it up. This world and game is all about making it so you and your adopted family survive as long as you can. It's great fun and finally a zombie game makes you feel like a survivor as opposed to a walking tank. The game is far from perfect or finished. They plan on adding a multiplayer component, more guns and items. So they plan on supporting this game for some time. The survivors and resource suplies are all randomized so the game is very replayable. I highly recommend this game and plan on playing it long into the future.
I give this game a 5 out of 5. This game is more fun, scarier, longer, and more replayable then most sixty dollar games. So for only twenty dollars this is a must buy for any zombie fan.
Written by: Kevin Mason (AKA Lempi ELinika)
Edited by: Sarah Lawhorne (AKA Severin)