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

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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 Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.