State of Decay is a great zombie themed game developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. The game puts you in the situation of a real zombie apocalypse in an open world and players get to experience what it would really be like if an infestation of the undead became a reality.
Death in droves
The game takes place in Trumball Valley, a rural community with farms, orchards and small towns. Cities are a certain death trap and it’s easier to survive in the farm areas as you will soon find out when your character, Marcus, the initial survivor you control, arrives back with his friend Ed from a fishing trip and discovers that civilisation has changed somewhat. Initially you will hide out in the Ranger Station, but once this becomes overrun you will have to seek shelter. Joining other survivors barricaded in the church seems a good idea, but you are soon going to run out of food, ammo and other necessary survival items. Scavenging runs on foot are intense and its best if you locate one of the limited vehicles to use as transport. It’s suggested that if you go out at night keep a keen ear open for zombie moans and potential ambushes.
If you were thinking of selling your Xbox 360 online you might want to reconsider, just to play this game. As your group endures deaths and new decisions are made, missions are unlocked dynamically and you can choose the risk and reward system you wish to pursue. Rescued survivors offer benefits but also increase the need for survival materials and the game has finite resources which could run out and leave you at the mercy of flesh eating zombies.
Maps and mayhem
The mini map in the corner of the screen can be maximised to give you a third person perspective, offering a bird’s eye view of resources, those in need of rescuing ,areas that have been hit or places you can search for materials. You also have limited capacity to carry supplies so you may have to choose which supplies and ammo you take from each location. Top left of the screen is an indicator of your status, including your survivor’s morale, your influence and your remaining population of survivors. When a survivor dies you switch to another survivor, so even though you began as Marcus you may be killed off in that form quickly.
Stealth is the name of the game and any noise attracts a horde of zombies, so whenever you are out of base keep as quiet as possible. You will also need to manage your survivors and ensure they have everything they need at the base and those whose morale drops may leave, so keeping the community happy is also part of the game. You can help the community by building outposts or traps for zombies when they are on missions and the more trust you gain, the more survivors you will accumulate, equalling more lives for you if you fall prey to the undead.
Overall, State of Decay is an awesome game with great graphics and an interesting storyline. It’s very challenging and is spot on with a genre that’s extremely popular right now.
State of Decay is available now on Xbox Live Arcade, and coming to Steam for PC soon!