We had an amazing time with Lifeline at PAX East two weeks ago. Everyone had a blast running around the new map, checking out the new characters and the new facilities, and getting the crap scared out of them while venturing into the underground street tunnels of Danforth.
The live game we played was hilarious. (If you missed me blathering about it before the show: All the jobs and hobbies in the game went into a hat. Each person waiting to do the demo picked one – doctor, sniper, TV watcher, cop, dentist, teacher, high school jock, etc. In order to enter a drawing to win a copy of Lifeline, you had to try and form a survivor enclave with your fellow demo survivors. In order to get a guaranteed win, your group needed at least one medically trained person, a weapons trained person, a construction trained person, and three to seven other people of any ability.) Total strangers were forming groups on the spot. People were camping the booth looking for the rare specialties.
My absolute favorite moment was when a big group of people had everyone except their medic. A nice couple came up behind them, and drew jobs. He got “paramedic.” She got “fisherman.” I couldn’t help it; I had to stir the pot. So I said to the man, “That group only needs a medic. So what are you going to do? If you go with them alone, you automatically survive the apocalypse. But you could tell them that the condition of taking you means making room for her.”
You could see him thinking. You could see HER thinking, “WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS!?”
But the existing group heard me. Remember, they weren’t friends. They’d just been thrown together by circumstance, people that happened to have a good spread of skills and talents. And you could see THEM thinking… “of course he’s going to want to bring his wife. Who are we going to kick out of the group so we can have the medic?”
It was completely awesome. It was like watching State of Decay coming to life.
(Then one of the original group members actually read the rules card, and shouted, “Wait, we only have eight people and we’re allowed to have up to ten! We have room for both of you!” and the moment passed with hilarity all around.)
But that was just what we did to kill time in line. Watching people play Lifeline was a huge moment for us. It was the first time players had their hands on it, and until you all have tried it out, we don’t really know how it’s going to go. If the PAX crowd was any indication, this is going great.
All we know for sure about launch right now is “early June” and “probably close to what Breakdown cost.” As for more game details, Geoffrey is in the middle of writing his next design article this one a good look at the new facilities and outposts. But if you can’t wait, what I have here is the most complete round up of PAX coverage that I could put together.
Massively/Joystiq: SoD Eyes Multiplayer; Stays Offline
“While it’s broadly accurate to say that State of Decay is a template for an eventual MMO, the game has stood on its own and served as a very successful title.”
Ten Ton Hammer: Top Picks From Pax
“What it is: A very worthy expansion to one of the best zombie apocalypse simulators on the planet
“What we saw at PAX: A complete rundown of what makes Lifeline tick, and why it isn’t just more landmass tacked onto the original game”
Xbox Gamer: Lifeline Preview
“I had a smile on my face the whole time, as did Chris as he explained the game to me and watched me die a couple of times by hordes of zombies.”
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