State of Decay came out in early 2013. It is an Xbox Live Arcade game. State of Decay is an action based zombie game that also adds survival elements to it. It attempts to strike a balance between more action packed running zombies and actual, shambling zombies. The zombies in State of Decay will catch you if you walk, but cannot if you are running. There is a plot in State of Decay, I just never got far enough to really see much of it. I always ended up getting frustrated and having to start over.
State of Decay does a lot of things right. Combat is fun and wonderfully brutal. It is extremely satisfying to break a zombie’s head with a crowbar. I highly recommend getting the suplex skill as soon as possible. Not only is it effective to the point of being broken, it is also fun to watch. Combat makes sense, as you can easily dodge zombie attacks and you can easily beat them down (aside from some of the tougher special zombies, which don’t make sense with what the game seems to be going for) and the only problem becomes your stamina, which makes sense. I have no issues with combat, I enjoy it.
Looting and sneaking around is also a lot of fun. I enjoyed searching and clearing buildings. Then heading back to base to stash everything was fine as well. It made me feel like I was really attempting to survive. Climbing up to a high place to identify things surrounding me made a lot of sense as well.
What didn’t make sense in this game was the fact that all of the AI were supremely stupid. You never got a chance to do what you wanted or needed to do because someone was always in trouble. For instance, Marcus, my toughest melee fight, who I’ve used to kill over 20 zombies at once with, is huddling, scared, inside a building with one zombie sitting outside. If you don’t help him, he will most likely die. This happens over and over and over again. Someone requests a decoy. People need help. The AI picks up supplies and runs right into a horde because they can’t think for themselves and realize that doing so is a bad idea. They die. The AI will try to trade 1 crate of ammo for 5 crates of food when we have 10 ammo and 120 food, and they’re made when you don’t accept the trade. There also isn’t a way to get a computer to come with you if you want some help fighting some zombies. This means that once you reach the church, say goodbye to having someone watch your back when you need it. You also can’t drop things in your inventory, you can only destroy it. How does that make any sense? Even with full morale, you’ll find that people go missing.
On one playthrough, I was using Marcus for a long time. I kept him going by giving him coffee and such. I made six outposts, creating a great safe zone around my base (The Truck Warehouse) as well as getting a ton of supplies and helping out all of the computers who ran off and got stuck somewhere. Then, I head back to base and find that 1/3 of my people are missing. Marcus is tired. I let him have some rest and switch to someone else. In literally one minute, I check my survivor list to find that Marcus went missing and died. How is that conducive to the game play? I had full morale. I haven’t played the game since honestly. Everyone is probably dead now since the game uses a certain number of resources every day, which means its back to the ranger station once more, having to watch the same cut scenes again…
State of Decay had a lot of good ideas. I just wish they hadn’t been messed up by some absolutely atrocious ones.
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