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Review: State of Decay – Year One Survival Edition

State of Decay brings the zombie survivor out of you in this unforgiving and yet rewarding open world zombie experience. There aren’t any “good” tutorials to start with, but once you start playing the game from time to time, you’ll notice most of the things are self- explanatory and you’re on your way. Just get one thing straight, you don’t have superhuman surviving skills but you’re playing a real life person in a messed up world. Once a game character dies, it’s permanent so you’ll better be prepared when you go out venturing in this dangerous world.

This open- world zombie survival game has a very good role- playing setting as you switch between several characters. The main goal of the game is of course surviving, but this means in any way possible. It goes from recruiting new survivors, getting your supplies up and maintaining your relationship with everyone you’re confronted with. All of these aspects combined with fatigue as you run or fight, makes the game a very realistic experience. For example: if you run, you’ll have to take a breather to get back your energy, you can’t swing your weapon constantly, the environment can hurt you and so on. The environment is also filled with abandoned places for you to scout and grab everything you can but make your decisions wisely as quick searching makes a lot of noise. You can find weapons, food, materials, … etc.

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Your characters level up as you scout and perform different actions against zombies or other persons. Each character can level up their running, searching, sneaking, fighting, shooting. You can play different characters just by switching between them during the game. Be careful as you go all out with your best character, since game characters can be removed from the game permanently, so will all your resources and attributes of that character vanish. Think hard and play smart. Keeping your characters moral high, will eventually earn you a victory. If the morale lowers, survivors will run away and you’ll be left out there alone! Take out zombie hordes one by one and don’t pull every zombie out there .

You can use different things to defend yourself against those zombies. You’ll have hatchets, hockey sticks, guns, … and cars to your disposal but be warned. Weapons degrade the more you use them, ammunition and guns are very scarce and cars can make a lot of noise to alert other zombies, this goes also for guns. Now, the more damage you’ll do, the quicker it degrades. Keep your eyes open at any times, to look out for your next equipment. You can use your hands to get rid of a zombie but it takes a while before they finally die. A good thing is the stealth aspect. You can sneak around zombies or eliminate them very quietly as you take them from behind.

 

A good simulation of an apocalyptic world full of zombies

 

Another good aspect of the game is the influence. Everything you do like creating an outpost, completing missions, upgrade your equipment, refilling or depleting your supply locker will let you “earn” or “lose” influence points. This lets you consider your actions, since influence is a big thing in the game.

Technical issues tend to pop out regularly like framerate issues ( even on 1080p), zombies showing up through walls, texture popping, … It’s a decent looking game but this is where the gameplay really stands out. These technical missteps don’t take away the amusement and interesting story. Although some of the choices you’ll make in the game can definitely be though and sometimes ruins the experience.

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The survival edition contains two expansions added to the game: breakdown and lifeline.Breakdown adds a new mode “surviving as long as possible” which contains hero characters with their own abilities and weapons. It’s more surviving than telling a story and adding new weapons and equipment. Lifeline is all about playing the game but with another perspective. You play as one of the military units named Greyhound One who need to investigate the whole situation.

Conclusion:

The game is very decent and I loved playing it. The whole pack of different and unique aspects ties in the game perfectly. This game has one of the best feelings when it comes to surviving a zombie apocalyptic world. The choices you have to make, the surviving, maintaining your groups morale, rebuilding society, … makes up for a good zombie simulation. Technical issues are there, but they can be resolved by future patches. It doesn’t take away the whole experience. Too bad there isn’t a co- op mode which would have been awesome.

8/10