Adapt or Die

We all love zombies but most of us grew out of it after the sudden mass influx the game industry had on our beloved undead bretherins. There’s been many attempts at a zombie survival game but barely any have been able to sink their teeth in. Can Undead Labs shine some light on a decaying interest with State of Decay?

State of Decay doesn’t hold back as you’re thrown into the zombie apocalypse with starting character Marcus. Roughly for the first hour or so, the segment plays as a tutorial teaching you the mechanics of the game. Presented in third person point of view, State of Decay gave me a GTA style vibe with it’s open sandbox levels and freedom to do what you want.

On the surface, the game seems very common to what we’ve had in the genre before. Find, kill, loot and survive but it adds another element which brings up a level and that’s management. Survivors require looking after, they need food, shelter and weapons so you must look out for your crew as well as yourself.

 

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You’ll start off with a small base but you’ll then have to relocate and find new bases to house more survivors. Do I build more defence barriers? Do I send this guy out to fetch things? Decisions are things you have to take into consideration as it affects the morality of the crew, if you can’t provide – the camp morale will drop and you’ll need to reassure them … or you can boot them out of your camp. Your decision again!

The ordeal of fighting zombies is not straight forward as you must keep an eye on the stamina just in case it gets the better of you. Mashing it out (on one button – yeah) for melee attacks can make your character loose stamina quick which can quickly turn into a run or die situation so best play it safe. When you gotta bail… you gotta bail. Weapons are quite hard to come by but once you lay your hands on that sweet firearm, the art of killing gets easier but ammo is an issue and should be only used in really hairy scenarios.

“the art of killing gets easier but ammo is an issue and should be only used in really hairy scenarios.”

The premise of State of Decay is what I always wanted in a survival zombie title – the whole I do what I want in this zombie apocalypse but it’s not without a few issues. The game was quite glitchy and the graphics lag was horrendous.It just doesn’t give that polished look and feel. However I could easily ignore these as it the overall game felt more than the XBLA price tag.

State of Decay was interesting and gives a fresh jolt in a very saturated theme at the moment. If you ever wanted to experience a zombie apocalypse that ticks all the right boxes from situations straight out of your favorite zombie flick like Dawn of the Dead then State of Decay is highly recommended.

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Reviewed on Xbox 360 – Copy provided by developer.