State of Decay: A guide to surviving zombie apocalypse

Daniel Woodhouse

Zombies have made a comeback to popular culture in the past ten years. Considering the mass amount of movies, books, comics, games and TV shows involving zombies, it doesn’t look like they’re going away anytime soon.

Like any other zombie apocalypse story, the video game State of Decay revolves around an unknown illness that appears out of nowhere, causing people to turn into zombies and start eating their fellow humans. The game is an open-world sandbox that allows players to explore a small Rocky Mountain town.

Players start out with a character named Marcus, however, this person is neither the game’s protagonist, nor is he the only character that is controllable. The game allows the player to switch between survivors who have joined his or her group. Once another survivor’s trust is gained, the gamer can play as them and hone the survivor’s skills, so they’ll have a greater chance of not being a walking cadaver’s breakfast.

State of Decay portrays an accurate reality of a hypothetical apocalypse, and makes it fun to be a part of.
State of Decay portrays an accurate reality of a hypothetical apocalypse, and makes it fun to play through.

The game begins at a home base, which is where the player and their group stay to rest and relax after a day of scavenging for supplies, while being chased by carnivorous corpses that, unlike the humans, never seem to run out of stamina. Unlike most zombie games, in order to put zombies down for good their brains must be destroyed.

When exploring the surrounding areas, the survivors search for food, weapons, ammo, medicine and building materials to keep their community alive. The player is able to establish outposts to ensure their fellow survivors get home on time and in one piece, and meet other groups of survivors to trade with. Once the player has gathered more materials, they are able to upgrade the home base’s defenses and build complexes like sleeping quarters, med centers, training areas, watchtowers, workshops and even a little garden to give a sense of “normality.”

Besides the regular zombies, there are a number of other types of undead, such as the feral and rabid yellow zombie that literally tears its victims in half, armored zombies that are immune to bullets, the chubby zombie that is filled with acid and will explode when it dies, and the “Big Bastards,” which are enormous fat zombies that will repeatedly smash victims into the ground.

Though the story does end a bit abruptly, State of Decay is a well-written, fun filled Xbox Live arcade game — props to developer Undead Labs on such success with their debut game.


5 out of 5 stars