State of Decay studio Undead Labs has announced it will unveil a new game next week, and it's not a sequel to State of Decay. According to a spokesperson on Twitter the game is "not at all a zombie game", promising emphatically there will be "No zombies" and "no Microsoft".
State of Decay
If you see a soldier in a zombie movie you can be pretty certain they're around to accidentally mow down innocent civilians, intentionally mow down innocent civilians, or generally make things worse by attempting to impose order on a now-lawless world. The cheek! State of Decay's next DLC - teased a couple of weeks ago - throws this trope out the window by depicting them as a good bunch of men and women trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Set during the outbreak, Lifeline puts you in control of Greyhound One, a unit send to infected city of Danforth to rescue some scientists, who I'm hoping are also dogs as the name suggests. Interestingly, rather than beginning the expansion with nothing and scavenging yourself into a zombie-killing machine, Lifeline will play out in reverse, by giving you plenty of resources at the start then seeing how you cope as, one by one, they're snatched away.
Open-world zombie survival sim State of Decay is getting more DLC. But like friendly neighbors in a post-apocalyptic world, details are hard to come by at the moment. What we do know from developer Undead Labs is that the new content carries the name "Lifeline" and will debut a new map.
Zombie-based zombie-'em-up (featuring zombies) State of Decay has released its first expansion, Breakdown, which unshackles the survival aspects from the story, letting you endlessly plunder the game's world as you see fit. Bleed one instance dry and you'll find yourself in the next, and then the next, with the difficulty upped to make it harder each time. As it was only released yesterday, Breakdown is not taking part in the Steam Autumn Sale, although its main game is - State of Decay is currently half-price for the next day or so.
You kids these days, everything with you has gotta be fast. Your internet connections, your high-speed trains... even your zombies. In MY day we had dial-up, and regular-speed trains, and SLOW zombies. And we LIKED it. You should be an old coot like me, and add slow zombies to State of Decay (along with other changes) using the George Romero Mod.
There are a number of things the George Romero Mod does, or can do, for State of Decay, and you have the option of choosing exactly which changes you'd like to make and ignoring those you're not interested in. First and foremost, you can use it to adjust the speed of the zombies. In the game, the default zombie speed is somewhere between the slow zombies of the original Dawn of the Dead (1978) and the Usain Bolt zombies featured in the remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004). The mod slows them down a bit, so they’re more of the shambling, lumbering, more-staggering-than-sprinting variety, in keeping with the tradition of Romero's original vision of animated corpses.
Open world zombie survival game State of Decay took its sweet time coming to PC, but you can't say the same about its first chunk of additional content: the long-teased Breakdown DLC. Breakdown will hit a certain last-gen console and past-current-and-future-gen PCs on November 29th, which is when zombies traditionally celebrate the festive period. (They have zombie reindeer and a zombie Santa and everything - it's really quite lovely, actually.) What is in, on, or under Breakdown's bonnet, you ask? Why, a new, pretty-much-endless sandbox mode, along with "new achievements, survivors and weapons". All that and a bag of chips (warning: game might not contain chips) can be yours for $6.99.
It's expected that Early Access games will start out missing a few limbs, unnaturally shuffling forward in a slow daze. If they go well, though, they're more analogous to Frankenstein's monster: new features woven onto the main body to create something that the public will set upon with vigour. Hopefully that'll be the case with State of Decay, the open world zombie survival game. It's due to leave the safety of Steam's Early Access program on the 5th November.
Undead Labs' zombie survival simulator hit Steam Early Access in September after a highly successful run on Xbox Live this summer. State of Decay has only been playable for those with a controller however, so those wishing to use a mouse and keyboard to experience horrifying chases across the American countryside have been left out in the cold. Undead Labs may solve that by the end of the week.
This week's podcast is all about Steam's three, big announcements. What do SteamOS, Steam Machines, and the Steam Controller mean to PC gaming? How does it all work? How much does it cost? Does Valve want to replace your main rig? Your living room entertainment center? All of the above? How would Nicholas Cage fare in the political landscape of the 15th Century?
State of Decay is a game with zombies. It’s not a game about zombies. That’s an important distinction to make, because, as Undead Labs’ Jeff Strain – an industry veteran who co-founded ArenaNet and was lead programmer on a little-known MMO called World of Warcraft – points out, the very best zombie fiction is focused on the choices and compromises we make in such dire circumstances.
“We’ve been watching zombie movies and post-apocalyptic movies for ages,” he says. “From Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead and its remake to Zombieland, it struck me that what made them all compelling was that [they were] about the decisions people had to take, the relationships they forged, and the sacrifices they had to make to survive.”
You’ll experience all of that as you explore State of Decay’s large open world. While it’s a game with a distinct beginning and endgame, its focus is on unscripted events, its systems naturally producing emergent narratives. You’ll befriend AI survivors who fight alongside you as allies, while essentially doubling as extra lives. There’s safety in numbers, of course, but would you be better spreading your resources less thinly over a smaller, close-knit group?
The thing about the zombie apocalypse? There just isn't time to make sure everything you do is made with meticulous perfection. Go all tortured artist over that barricade, and you might as well be erecting a sign saying "free brains, one careful owner". With that in mind, Undead Labs will today launch a rough-and-ready PC version of their open-world zombie survival game State of Decay. The Steam Early Access launch will then be smoothed out through community feedback. See, teamwork. That's another thing that can help stop you from being the first course in a brain buffet.
Undead Labs, the company that pumped out State of Decay on the 360 earlier this summer, has confirmed the PC version is hitting Steam’s Early Access Program in “a couple weeks or so.”
There are many places you'd expect to see an announcement of the PC version of a game. Xbox Wire - the official news pipe for Microsoft's various, randomly numbered console boxes - isn't one of them. Despite that, Jeff Strain, founder of Undead Labs, used an interview with the site to confirm the PC version of their open world zombie survival game State of Decay. The man at Microsoft whose job is to systematically exorcise all mention of the PC is going to be in a lot of trouble.
Zombie-infested open world survival sim State of Decay is out now for the Xbox -1, but we haven't heard a groan about the PC version for quite a while. Unfortunately, now that we have, it's not all good news - while the game will be coming to lap/desktops at some point, "it isn't going to be soon by any meaningful use of the word 'soon'." The zombie apocalypse just got a little more depressing.
You'll need supplies to feed, clothe, and house the needy mouths hunkering in your safehouse in Undead Labs' open-world survive-a-thon State of Decay. A lot of supplies. Lucky for you, they're happily strewn about in abandoned shops, homes, and eateries. Just as unlucky, scores of those annoying shamblers aimlessly mill in the way of your scrounging. Undead Labs' Halloween gameplay video shows a return to the basics of stealth and subterfuge to avoid detection—which ostensibly involves whipping a blockading horde into a fervor with carefully thrown firecrackers. Whatever works, I suppose—by the way, that mask totally succeeds in hiding your identity from mindless dead people.