In this day and age, zombies pretty much rule everything. There are hundreds of books, films, games and even music dedicated to the shambling undead. A new game about these fascinating, walking corpses isn’t going to change the world, right?
Enter Undead Labs with their newest title State of Decay, which is now available for Xbox Live and will be coming soon to PC. It’s an open-world survival horror game with permadeath, a deep scavenging and upgrade system and plenty of zombies to hack and slash through. Is it any good though?
Initial impressions of the title are pretty great. You start the game as young man named Marcus Campbell who is a survivor of a massive zombie attack. Star a friend, both venture out into a world that is has more dead people than living.
Gameplay is handled from a third-person perspective, tasking players to go out into the open world and complete missions in a large map. Players can run, crouch and jump to safety, and can fend off zombies with shove attacks or use scavenged weapons like melee weapons and firearms. Combat plays out in typical fashion, with players bashing and shooting zombies down until they’re dead. Downed zombies can also be quickly dispatched with a wicked-looking finisher. Combat in general is pretty fun and gruesome, though it’s somewhat simplistic and can get repetitive.
State of Decay does nail the whole ‘survival’ element, outperforming other games in the genre. After reaching high points in the map like watchtowers and rooftops, players can quickly scan through their surroundings and pick out which places are searchable, working vehicles, and dangerous zombie hordes that roam the streets.
Once locations are scanned over, players can then head out and scavenge the places, getting new weapons and health items, and materials that are used to rebuild your homebase or build new stations.
Speaking of home bases, players will be in charge of them once they arrive. The home base houses other survivors that sleep and eat there, so players must scavenge abandoned towns for food, construction materials, weapons, medicine and more to keep these people in tip-top shape. These elements are consumed daily in real-time, so players have to constantly be on top of this to keep the residents happy, while also using these to create or upgrade stations, request other survivors to scavenge supplies that you’ve previously found, and purchase new gear. It’s a sim-like gameplay mechanic that really makes the game feel like an authentic zombie survival game, and it’s pretty great.
Stay tuned for the full review of State of Decay in the next few days.