Skip to main content

Undead Labs reveals State of Decay, a zombie survival sandbox which "develops in real-time"


Two years ago, developer Undead Labs began work on an open-world zombie survival game codenamed Class3. Today, the project has been revealed as State of Decay, and the first gameplay footage released. The announcement also confirms that Undead Labs is a game developer and not an actual laboratory, in which case Class3 might have been a horrifying plan to raise the dead. We're very relieved.

"State of Decay is an open sandbox world that develops in real-time, dynamically generating content based on your actions, the choices you make, and the ever-increasing zombie threat," reads the description on Undead Labs' website .

"Decide where you'd like to set up a fortified safe haven for you and other survivors you've rescued, then form raiding parties to gather resources and create supply chains. Use the materials you've gathered to develop your community as you see fit, but be careful — resources will deplete as you pillage areas, and zombies are attracted to noise and activity. Take up the offensive by assaulting hordes before they reach your settlement, or focus on improving your defenses against the massed zombie attacks. Every choice and every action matter in this fully simulated, evolving world."

So State of Decay isn't just about cracking zombie skulls -- it will challenge players to fight for the full spectrum of survival necessities, including food, water, and shelter. Skulls will be cracked, though, as the description also promises that we can "dive through windows, jump on cars, and take it to the living dead with baseball bats."

With the information provided, direct comparisons to anything seem premature. There's no mention of multiplayer (scratch DayZ and The War Z) and there's no indication of mission-based story progression (scratch Dead Island and "GTA with zombies"). The defining focus here is the dynamic content generation. Perhaps unfortunately for us, however, the focus is also squarely on the Xbox version.

In last month's announcement of the PC version, Undead Labs stated: "We are doing our development on the Xbox. The interface is designed for the Xbox, and we assume you'll be playing Class3 on the couch with your feet up. Making a PC version available just turns out to be simple enough to make it worthwhile."

Tyler Wilde

Tyler has spent over 1,200 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.