State of Decay Preview – Are We Tired of Zombies Yet?

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State of Decay LOGO

The answer to that question obviously is no. So here we are sitting on the release of yet another zombie title. I booted it up wondering what redeeming qualities the game would have seeing as its garnered quite a bit of sales recently, and found myself having to pull myself away from it just to type this little preview up. I’m not sure if this game just kinda flew under my radar or what exactly happened on the lead up to this, but I cannot believe I wasn’t aware of a survival horror game that looks like it could have been taken out of Swery 65’s Deadly Premonition.

State of Decay Maya

State of Decay is a third person survival horror game with an emphasis so far on survival. As a huge fan of survival mechanics in games, I was excited to see the game focus on getting you to explore your environment to rummage for gear. Unfortunately that mostly involves weapons, pain killers and snacks in the hour or so I’ve played so far, but I’ve moved to the point where the game begins to open up.

You start off as a pair of hikers on a mountain oblivious to the fact that “cannibals” are eating people for no reason at all and must proceed to join up with a group of injured people holed in a rangers station. You then meet up with a very capable female soldier and proceed to try and get some sort of shelter. There are typical zombie movie setups that you’ll recognize along the way, but the game doesn’t take itself to seriously so it works itself out quite well.

The gimmick with State of Decay is that the characters you bring along with you on your perilous trek through zombie mountain are interchangeable. From what I can see, you’ll have to use your brain and keep your group from dying out. Since you can’t actually exchange the weapons and gear without a storage locker, this puts a fair bit of strategy in to the game. The AI for your companions is fairly good. They seem to attack when somebody is too close, they duck and sneak when you need to and they rely on you to work their pouch, so they aren’t going to do something ridiculous.

State of Decay Norma

So far State of Decay is looking like it could be a really interesting game. We’ll see if they can carry their themes well enough to justify the slightly higher $20 price tag they are wanting. State of Decay is live right now for those looking to demo it on XBLA.

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(Senior Writer)

I have been gaming for 20 years and have seen this industry go from one geared towards children, to one that has grown to accept all demographics. I've grown up side by side with video games and I've seen it turn into this phenomenon. Of course I also enjoy entertainment in all mediums whether it be film, book or sports. I'm just a huge nerd that loves writing about his hobbies.