State of Decay

It’s been a while, once again. On a short break from schoolwork, I’ve gotten back into the achievement hunter frame of mind, but when I noticed I was at 99 games played, I wanted to pick a good one for #100, not just something my husband bought six years ago that I never wanted to play except for the 1000GS… it just so happened that State of Decay was released that same day!

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft
Platform: XBLA (reviewed), Win
Genre: Survival horror, open world
Mode: single player

I heard it compared to DayZ, but it doesn’t really compare. I suppose it’s a more casual version of DayZ, in that you are trying to survive post-zombie apocalypse. You have to scavenge for supplies and weapons, but they are far more common in SoD.  I have yet to run into a problem with running out of supplies. There are also story lines that progress throughout SoD, with certain other survivor groups having their own set of “missions” that you can help them with.

One of the more interesting game mechanics is the death system. You can control one of many of the survivors (but not all), but if one of them dies, that’s it. No reloading a save. No raise dead. They’re gone… and so are all the things they were carrying and all the xp and work you had put into them. On this note- Feral Zombies (the ones that are kind of greenish-yellow, huge, and hunched over) are no joke. Get a car and run them down. You go into melee with it, and it will likely rip you in half… literally.

There are some issues with giant hunks of twisted car, rocks, or fences popping up right before you run into them when loading isn’t keeping up with travel, as well as some zombie clipping issues, jumping through walls or AI pathing issues, but overall, it works and does what is intended.

Combat itself is workable, you can melee or use guns, but guns are loud and require ammo. Any competent zombie slayer knows melee is the way to go. Your weapons will break after excessive use, though. Graphics aren’t anything to write home about, neither are the voice actors, but for a low-budget XBLA title, it’s not bad. It’s fun, can get rather exciting at times, and is something to pass the time waiting for the DayZ standalone to come out.

My tips: Achievement hunters: play Marcus until you get the Badass achievement, and he’s one of the few characters that can get the Double Kill skill for Double Dead. Use coffee or trucker pills to bring your stamina back up after you’ve been out long enough for the max to run down. Use cars. They say in-game that they don’t have enough cars/fuel, but I drive everywhere and haven’t had a problem. Run down hordes and go up to infested buildings, honk your horn, and run over the ones who come out before going in hand-to-hand. Modern trucks are about the best car in the game- sturdy, fast enough, and common. I’ve heard cop cars are the best for running over zombies, but there aren’t many of them. I also prefer to only play one survivor until he’s dead, simply because then you can unlock special abilities. When you spread out the xp, you have a bunch of weak survivors. When you play one, you have a badass.

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