State of Decay brings a new style of gameplay to the zombie game scene, incorporating third person action, RPG and community/resource management into a nice open-world zombie survival game.
In the game, you control a single character at a time and can switch to others when you become friends with them. Each character has their own inventory and stats and traits that may help your community. For example, some survivors might of been a vet or doctor before the outbreak and can use the communities medical supplies more efficiently.
Your community is a collection of survivors who have banded together and found a defendable home to live in, you can upgrade your home base using resources you scavenge in the world and find new survivors to recruit into your community as well as help other established communities and organize resource trades with them.
The game is entirely single player but the developers have tried to give the game a more dynamic feel by making events happen in your game while you’re not playing it. I’m not too sure how I feel about this, it does make things more interesting but I don’t like having that lack of control in a single player game.
Lily, your communities’ radio girl, will advise you about current events and distress signals that are happening in the world. These may include; nearby hordes that need to be wiped out, a survivor in trouble, a community member that needs help with a task, a sighting of an infestation that needs to be dealt with or even a friend at home base that needs help with their depression or anger issues.
While not completing tasks and story missions you will usually find yourself exploring and looking for resources to take back home. Food tends to disappear the quickest, especially when you have a large home population, so building a garden at home or finding a reliable source of food and building an outpost there is a must.
Characters can also specialize in certain fields such as blunt weapons, edged weapons or rifles, etc. Some characters will naturally be better at certain weapons or abilities depending on their traits… the main character I used was an alcoholic and she could not increase her ‘Wits’ stats at all because of that.
Cars are also a big part of the game, after a while of gameplay you will notice that you eventually run out of cars if you don’t start returning them to your home base after you use them. Vehicles can be an amazing zombie killing tool but can get damaged easily after running down a few hordes, so it’s always good to build a proper workshop at home and have a mechanic to repair the good cars you find.
When your community gets too large you will tend to have more problems with survivors not getting along with each other and various mental problems some survivors are having, offenders can be evicted if you don’t feel like having to deal with them and sick or dying people can even be mercy killed before they turn. Finding a bigger and better home is always something that should be on the smart survivalist’s mind when exploring.
The currency of the game is influence and can be spent at community homes to buy items out of their supply locker as well as support while outside of home such as artillery strikes and car delivery. A community with well built facilities will tend to produce more items in their supply locker each day.
When your character dies, you will have to play another character back at home whom you have made friends with – if you have no other player characters you respawn as a new recruit to the community with a few starting items.
My biggest issue with the game would have to be the graphics. It’s not the overall quality that annoys me, but in certain locations with certain lightning I find it very hard to see which was really off-putting for me. I also had quite a few bugs that made my game’s story behave very weird, luckily I was still able to finish it.
The game also has a DLC called ‘Breakdown’ which adds a never-ending gamemode that allows the player a bit more freedom than in the original game, however it should be played after you have finished the main story.
I enjoyed the originality of State of Decay, I felt like I really got attached to the characters I found in the game as well as my own which is rare for a sandbox-type game and I enjoyed being able to play with a community/home management system while also getting to play in an immersive third person action RPG. Unfortunately the graphics were bad enough to make me feel ill at times.
I give State of Decay 7.5/10.