State of Decay: Lifeline drops you into an infested city with a mission to locate key scientists and other valuable civilians, and airlift them to safety.
Your first assignment brings you to an abandoned strip mall on the edge of town. Its empty parking lot has plenty of room to land a helo. Its position next to the highway gives you access to neighborhoods all over the city. And its eight-foot barbed-wire fence gives you a small measure of security. It’s the perfect place to establish your base of operations.
The soldiers in your unit start calling the place Black Friday, because of the crowds of zombies trying to get inside. If you’re lucky, you should only have to hold out for a few days before your mission is over. If you’re not…well, there are worse places to die.
From the map, you can see that this is a brand-new base, built from scratch to protect your unit in Lifeline.
It has four custom outdoor sites, an array of brand-new facilities, a layer of zombie-killing defenses, and some new mechanical tweaks.
Your mission in Lifeline is a race against the clock — you can’t afford to wait around for a day while your weapons sit in the supply chest, waiting to be repaired.
So when you build the new military Field Workshop, it unlocks the ability to repair weapons instantly from the supply chest interface, simply by spending a few Materials.
And if you really invest in that Field Workshop, you can eventually upgrade it into an Ammunition Shop. This allows you to take the raw Ammo resource and process it into whatever caliber of ammunition you might want.
Found a .50-caliber sniper rifle, but only have three rounds for it? Not anymore — get yourself an Ammunition Shop, and you can fill up that magazine as many times as you want, provided you can get the resources.
In an overrun city full of panicking civilians, it’s a lot harder to track down supplies over the radio. But as a military unit, you have another option — spending some Influence to order a supply drop from HQ.
Supply drops take time to deliver to your Landing Zone, but once they arrive, they make an enormous difference. You can order packages that contain any of the five core resources, or even order weapons from among the 40 new firearms that Brant (our resident weapons manufacturer) created just for Lifeline.
But file your requests quickly — we can’t guarantee that these options will always be around.
Replacing the old Library is the Ops Center, your commanding officer’s base of operations. You can still research new crafting options here, but more importantly, this is where you get to select your Tactics.
Tactics determine what your soldiers will try to accomplish while you’re out pursuing missions. Set up supply lines, search for stranded soldiers to reinforce the unit, organize zombie hunts to thin the horde … what you choose says a lot about your priorities as a leader.
These are what really set Black Friday apart from the other bases in State of Decay. Outside the perimeter, there is an open area where you can install a variety of traps, to make it possible to weather a full-scale zombie attack.
Mines are the simplest perimeter defense. Spend some Ammo to stock them up, and they’ll thin out any horde that tries to run across them with a cannonade of explosions. The first wave of zombies usually bears the brunt of this defense — as the mines thin out, the zeds can cross them safely in greater numbers.
Propane tanks are a favorite for commanders who love precision and efficiency. Placed around the outer perimeter, they sit and wait for a well-timed gunshot to set them off in a fiery explosion, taking even the most heavily-armored zombies with them.
Fireworks traps (bundles of fireworks attached to compressed-air canisters) use a pyrotechnic display to lure zombies in, before going off with a giant bang.
Flying a helicopter into your base is like ringing the dinner bell — Lifeline features the largest-scale zombie attacks anywhere in State of Decay. You’re going to want to keep your defenses stocked … or else you’ll be dealing with the horde yourself.
New Outdoor Facilities
Power was one of the first things the city lost, and working generators are hard to come by. You’ll need to build your own Generator facility at the base to keep the juice flowing, and to unlock your most powerful facility actions.
But even more important than electricity is the Latrine. You have limited slots for facilities, so you may be tempted to leave the “useless” Latrine off the list. That’s all well and good … until the E. Coli settles in. Make your people go without a Latrine, and soon you’ll find that they’re getting sicker by the day.
Home away from Home
Our goal with Black Friday was to do more than simply add another Home Site to the game. As players, we identify with our base almost as much as we identify with our favorite characters … which means that this new base is probably our single most important means of expressing what State of Decay: Lifeline is about.
It’s about facing the apocalypse as a soldier. It’s about working with capable, confident professionals that you respect. It’s about preparing for everything, and then making fast decisions when things go wrong.
It’s also about blowing up zombies. Enjoy!
(And don’t forget to tell us what you’re thinking in the comments — just click the green tape!)