State of Decay
Back in June of 2013 I was completely amped with the release of State of Decay on the Xbox Live Arcade. While I am not traditionally a console gamer I spent a good deal of my time out in the loft playing this game at launch. When it came out that September of the PC I was even more excited because it meant that I would be spending more time playing it. Since then I have picked up the two expansions… that I have woefully not spent much time playing. This has been one of those titles that when it goes on sale I sent copies to friends, considering it is as close to the perfect zombie survival game as I have ever played. The only flaw however is the fact that this game desperately wants to be multiplayer. In fact when I told my friends last night what I was playing before the raid… the immediate response was an excited question asking if they added in multiplayer.
While I did not take the best reference shots, because I was too busy playing the game… I did dig up one of the screenshots I took playing the original steam release in the above section, and now directly above this paragraph is a screenshot from the Year One Survivor Edition… which is essentially an HD Remaster more than anything. I definitely find screenshot two more appealing. The first screenshot uses a lot of deep shadow to mask the extremely muddy textures, whereas the second shot is more willing to let you see things more naturally. Another thing that I really dig is that the game has some nice Depth of Field going on in the YOSE edition. You can see this in the second character on screen but even more so below in the shot of my character climbing the tower in town to scout for a view. The world feels more “real” which makes it all the more creepy as you are wandering the wastes looking for resources.
Year One Survivor Edition
The biggest thing I have noticed while playing is that the controls seem much more responsive. I am playing the game using the exact same black wired xbox 360 controller I did the first time, but this time around everything feels more fluid. If this were just shooting I would think potentially it was me, since between the times playing this game… I played a lot of Destiny with a controller, which has greatly improved my aiming. I am noticing it especially when I am driving a car however, that things feel more controllable and less all over the place. Additionally the melee combat feels more responsive. This is aided by the fact that our character has now learned how to use a knife, instead of simply kicking zombies when your melee weapon breaks. Stupid as this sounds, it feels even more “walking dead” thanks to this little motion. This works unbelievably well when your companion holds the zombie and you finish them off with the knife. I did a lot of this in the lake area before moving into the town for example.
I did not make it terribly far last night, because I was playing for about an hour before and after my World of Warcraft raid, but I did manage to get far enough in to remember why I liked this game so much. Since it had been so long since I had last played, I opted to just restart the original campaign, as it tends to be the best way to ease into the game. Additionally while running around yesterday at lunch I picked up a Xbox One copy for my boss, so I am figuring he will want to discuss what is going on in the game. He is not much of a gamer but picked up the Xbox One because his grand kids also have one… and is a huge Walking Dead fan so I figured State of Decay was just about the perfect game for him. I am one of those people that can do something, but struggle to talk someone through it… unless I am doing it myself. I figured the only way I could be of any help to him was to actually be playing the content myself.
Like I said earlier I did not make a ton of progress, but after having played this multiple times I feel like maybe my play is a bit more focused than it was the first time. As a result I have already rescued one group of survivors, cleaned out the veterinary clinic, built an outpost, built a sleeping area, built a workshop… and am working on building trust with a second group of survivors. Not too shabby for about two hours of play if I do say so myself. The whole “knowing what you are doing” aspect definitely speeds things up, as well as having a basic understanding of the lay of the land. The first time I played this game I was having to constantly check the map, whereas this time around I can navigate at least somewhat based on landmarks. I remember on my first play I overshot the church by a huge margin, crashed my car… had to get a new one… and finally made it back to the church at night. This time I went straight there, knowing there was no real sense in exploring until I had done the introductory stuff at the church.
This is still a really great game, and like I said at the start of all of this… the only weakness is it would be so much more enjoyable were I exploring with my friends. The bane of my existence is just how fast melee weapons break. I feel like this is a game about me searching for my next weapon, more than anything else. I rarely use guns, and prefer to take on the zombies in close range… in part because it doesn’t summon more zombies to the gun shots. Additionally I really do not want to summon a zombie horde down upon me. That said I did at one point clear out a couple of hordes with a random car, which was extremely gratifying. The other strange thing I have noticed is that I no longer fear the zombies. The first time I played this game I was scared to death of interaction with them. Every time I would search a location I would take the time to carefully board it up before proceeding. Now I just deal with the zombies as they come… so in a way it feels like the transition someone would have to make in this world. I understand it better, and therefore I am less concerned by it. Still having a blast after all of the time I have played the game in the past, which is quite the compliment to the developers.
#StateOfDecay #YOSE #UndeadLabs
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut
Year One Survivor Edition