Last Friday wasn’t just about release months and trailers. The real purpose of the media event was to give a few reporters four straight hours of hands-on gameplay, with plenty of developers ready to answer questions.
Here is what our guests have written so far (alphabetically by site):
State of Decay is a magnificent take on the zombie apocalypse theme, bringing something to the genre it’s been sorely missing. Depth. For those into complex simulations, resource management, and the smell of decaying flesh, it looks like this is one you’re not going to want to miss.
It’s important for people to realize that State of Decay is not really a zombie apocalypse game, it’s an apocalypse management game that happens to take place during a zombie apocalypse…The management systems are so great and so deep. They go a lot deeper than even I thought they would.
—4Player Cocktail Time Podcast (State of Decay coverage begins at 40:15)
My initial impression after the first fifteen or twenty minutes was that State of Decay is huge. Bigger than huge, really… It seemed absolutely massive. It’s been stated that this game is the largest ever released on XBLA, and the developers confirmed this. As a quick example of how big and open it is, the reviewer sitting next to me completed the church mission within five or ten minutes, whereas I discovered an abandoned campsite and started scavenging for usable goods. From there, I started checking out other interesting locations, and before I knew it, at least half an hour had passed before I had accomplished my actual goal.
Below the surface, so many systems are working in concert that it managed keep me – someone who is bored to death with the undead – completely enthralled for the entire four hours I spent playing it. If my four hours are any indication, State of Decay is amazingly deep, especially for an Xbox Live Arcade game.
Undead Labs is billing their upcoming XBLA release “State of Decay” as a simulation, a perilous trek through the ever-familiar zombie apocalypse with multiple interconnected systems requiring the player to do more than just shoot their way to safety. Survivors will have to gather supplies, form alliances, manage their stamina and health, make sure disease doesn’t wipe out their camp, and take on side missions to level up multiple playable characters. Even after five hours with “State of Decay,” I’m not sure I fully scratched the simulation’s surface.
It was apparent from the start that this team has obsessed over every detail for the past two and a half years. Guns and melee weapons have true-to-life weights, cars show body damage, melee weapons break, guns jam, food spoils, while every piece of environment art tells a story. It’s a world lived in and fleshed out tirelessly by 23 devoted developers.
Welcome to the real world. Nothing is guaranteed and some mismanagement can be very costly…State of Decay is completely open world and you will survive, explore, and manage inside of it.
We had one other guest whose coverage will be in Official Xbox Magazine when it goes to print. We’ll be sure to shout it out when it’s available.
Enjoy! If you’d like to discuss what you read, join the forum discussion already in progress by clicking the green “Comment” tape down there to your right.