State of Decay (2013)
Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
State of Decay has enjoyed major success since its June 5th release this year. The game takes the classic zombie survival scenario that has been recycled time and time again, yet somehow brings a fresh and exciting gameplay experience that makes it almost impossible to put down. In a way which is similar to Dead Rising, there are multiple ways in which the story can play out depending on the choices you make and your success in various missions. This can make for a very personalized and unique experience with every new playthrough, but it comes with a few surprises here and there. To help keep you and your fellow survivors safe from the brain hungry hordes, here’s a list of the top 5 potential nightmares that you’ll want to try to avoid:
5- Being stranded with no vehicle:
Being an open world game the map is quite vast. However because it is set in the rural area known as ‘Trumbull Valley’ there are almost no towns, and the few it does have are spread out across the map. If you somehow lose your vehicle between towns you may have a very long walk ahead of you, and a lot can go wrong on a long walk. Drive carefully, and keep your cars in good shape.
4- Running out of resources:
The game has a finite amount of resources; items and vehicles do not respawn which means buildings can only be raided once. You may use up a lot of materials fortifying a home only to move to a bigger one, or you might simply run out over time. Either way, if you don’t manage resources wisely you may find that you’re living on borrowed time.
3- Your main character being killed:
Throughout the game as you go on various missions and befriending other survivors, you’ll find that you can select some of them as playable characters once they’ve reached a certain level of trust in you. This is crucial for balanced gameplay, providing other characters ample time to rest and recover from injuries, while also ensuring that you have a whole team of skilled survivors. Failure to take advantage of this means that if your most used character should die for whatever reason, you’ll be left with nothing but underpowered characters who are pretty useless in a sticky situation.
Another threat to your survival is a pesky disease known as “Black fever”. It starts off as coughing and gradually progresses until it eventually kills the person infected, they then reanimate as a zombie and can potentially kill other survivors. The disease is contagious and if not dealt with it can potentially wipe out your entire base. Always have an infirmary on site to help treat sick survivors, and if things are looking bleak it may be better to mercy kill the infected survivor rather than risk an outbreak.
1- Offline developments:
A unique feature of this game is that the world develops and progresses even while the game isn’t on. It isn’t unusual to switch the game on after a long absence and find that things aren’t quite the way you left them. Sometimes resources have been depleted, other times survivors have become sick or even departed from your group to take their chances elsewhere. This is by far the most troubling feature of the game and has the most potential for disaster, because the player has almost no control over it. Check on your game regularly or you may not have a game to come back to!