State of Decay is not your everyday zombie blaster.
A downloadable title for Xbox Live Arcade and PC whose lofty ambitions embolden it beyond its perceived destination platform, State of Decay is a CryEngine 3 powered, open-world zombie action title where the player is encouraged to formulate their own zombie survival plans and put them to the test. And by ‘zombie survival’ they mean more than just knowing where the ammo and conveniently placed first aid packs are as other games might only require.
To further highlight the alarming gulf in ambition between State of Decay and other zombie titles, the developer of the game Undead Labs, have published a blog post which goes into great detail about the importance of the characters that you run into and the skills that they possess to aid in keeping your red, drippy bits inside of you.
At its core, State of Decay is an open-world game in the truest sense; you can certainly roam about and kill zombies as you would do in any other game which would allow you to inflict violence on the shambling flesh-munchers, but at the same time, you have to be wary of things such as hunger, thirst, injuries and even the mood of the character you’re controlling. Similar to PC zombie survival phenomenon DayZ, knowing how to scavenge, exercise moderation on your resource consumption and most of all, knowing when you pick your fights are paramount to your survival in State of Decay.
Of course, while the broad spectrum of choice that the game offers gives you ample scope to go at it alone and refine your ‘lone-wolf’ techniques, State of Decay also provides plenty of creative latitude for putting down roots and seeing if you can whether out the zombie apocalypse by constructing your own base. And its here, far away from the aimless roaming gambit of personal survival that State of Decay really seeks to lift itself head and shoulders above its brain-nibbling peers as you not only have to make sure everybody is working for the common good of the base; going out on supply runs, taking on sentry details and more, but you also have to deal with their unique skills and personalities too.
For example, do you send out an office worker on a supply run knowing that he’ll be a sharper shot on the account of his shooting range hobby (and would likely garner lots of attention with an unsilenced weapon), or, do you send out the college football star; whose lack of firearms acumen is neatly countered by his tremendous cardio – essential in outrunning the ‘Zeds’ and getting supplies back to base quickly?
Its not even just skills either; you also need to take into account the personality types of the folks that you have working underneath you with Chatterbox, Selfish Asshole, Coward, Born Leader, Braggart, Autocrat, and Daydreamer being just some of the personality traits that can cause real changes in the way events unfold. For example, a ‘Selfish Asshole’ type might keep some of the supplies he takes on a supply run to himself, while the ‘Braggart’ type might boast to you in the midst of combat that he got a sweet headshot on a zombie, only to not pay attention to the other zombie behind him that opens his neck in quick fashion.
You can catch the whole blog post here and really, if you’re even disillusioned in the slightest at the uninspired modicum of zombie themed games that have been turned out lately, then State of Decay looks to be not just the thing to get you excited about the slavering cadavers, but also quite possibly one of the best downloadable titles of the year.
State of Decay is due out sometime later this year on 360 and PC platforms