Building (Critical) Consensus: State of Decay

state-of-decay-box-artJust after implying yesterday that we’ve been inundated with generic zombie games, we get an indie game that does the opposite of The Last of Us. While TLoU is about the story, the characters and the approach to how you play, Undead Labs’ State of Decay is an unabashed zombie survival horror.

The presentation of State of Decay might not be perfect but the depth of the gameplay and combination of the various gameplay mechanics make this one of the best zombie games ever made. It’s just too bad that it’s an XBLA exclusive. I’d love to try this on PC.

IGN (89%): State of Decay’s ambition reaches farther than most $60 titles, so its value is unquestionable as a $20 download – especially given how it manages to successfully meet so many of its lofty goals… Decay belongs in the pantheon of great modern zombie games alongside Valve’s Left 4 Dead series and Telltale’s Walking Dead episodes.

OXM (80%): With rough textures, framerate hiccups, and geometry that often visibly winks into existence not too far in front of you, State of Decay won’t win any beauty pageants… But it also seems like every inch of real estate has been blessed with loving attention. Whether you’re running around on foot or joyriding in abandoned vehicles, it’s hard to resist the constant “I wonder what’s in here?” allure of every closed door.

MeriStation (80%): State of Decay is a game marked with an ambition far from what we usually see on Xbox Live Arcade games. As sandbox it is not as comprehensive as we can find on the console but as a themed survival game zombie is unique, replete in areas such as community building, resource management and allowing the player to choose how to deal with your adventure in this apocalyptic world, besides adding RPG elements and strategy game.

[Ed. Note: The MeriStation review was very roughly translated from Spanish and edited for grammar and clarity.]

Game Informer (70%): Moving between moments of greatness and moments of glaring ineptitude, State of Decay leaves me with mixed feelings. It has a great idea at its core, and I want to give the developers at Undead Labs credit for that. But lots of games begin with great ideas; executing those ideas well and letting the player experience them fully is the challenge. That’s where State of Decay falls apart.

Joystiq (70%): The technical hurdles are very steep at first, but once I put about five hours in, the sting started to dissipate. These flaws mar the atmosphere that State of Decay tries to create. If you can stomach them, however, the game’s sense of urgency and its mountain of tasks and systems will be a nice vacation away from the societal constraints of your everyday, zombie-free life.

About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on June 11, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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