This Isn’t A State of Decay Review, Just My Early Impressions
I’m nearly four hours into Undead Labs’ zombie sandbox RPG State of Decay, and I’m loving it. As such this article isn’t a review of sorts, it’s just my initial impressions of the massive scale downloadable title available on the XBLA. The file size (1.81GB) lets you know this game is teeming with content, and it’s unique take on the zombie genre has me smitten.
Without as much as a hello, your character and a companion are immediately staving off an undead attack. It seems things have taken a turn for the worst in the last 3-4 weeks while the two of you were on an extended fishing trip. You’ve just docked your boat and touched dry land when the horde comes knocking.
After surviving your initial run in with the braineaters, the first rational thought is to seek out the park’s ranger station. There you find a group of survivors, some wounded, and some intact that have set up a triage within the station. This is where your ultra brief tutorial hits the road, and your off and running (literally). That isn’t to say you won’t be learning new game features along the way, but from this point on, you and your companions are in real danger. The danger of their frail, human bodies being consumed by the flesh eating scourge. When characters abruptly die in State of Decay, they’re gone for good (like a George R. R. Martin novel). This cultivates a higher sense of stress, and hopefully awareness in your surroundings.
During your short time on Mount Tanner you’ll learn combat and survival skills. I found the melee combat satisfying and visceral. Weapons fall into disrepair rather quickly, as they would being used to bludgeon what used to be people to death. Firearms are rather scarce during the opening hour, but become more prevalent later on. I’m surprised to say at this point I’m having a tougher time holding onto a melee weapon than a firearm.
I’ve only just started actually upgrading my current holdfast after going on several supply runs to the surrounding suburban area. It’s necessary to switch between members of the community from time to time as the threat of sleep deprivation looms. This was one of my favorite aspects thus far in State of Decay. Each character has a set of skills they bring to the table, and I found that choosing a specific character to carry out a task that readily suits them to be a really cool feature. Character progression happens on it’s own based on the way you use your current character.
Technical issues are readily apparent at times, but they don’t detract from the experience in most cases. A zombie arm clipping through the wall of a house lets me know to stay away! At this point, this is about as far as I go without going into the story elements or ruining anything, but I think a summary is in order: This game is cool, it doesn’t cost much money, you should try it. Look for a full review by the end of the week!
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