Developer Undead Labs turned a few heads when out of the blue, they released State of Decay for XBLA in the beginning of June. It took the marketplace by storm with players wanting to feed their zombie-bashing needs due to the offering of an open-world sandbox zombie game. This time around, however, Undead Labs decided they’d up the ante by focusing more on the survival aspect of living amongst the undead. For those that have played the XBLA version, it was evident from the beginning that Undead Labs had a lot of work to do in terms of quelling the bugs and glitches that seemed to dominate the game. This time around, the game is a direct port of the 360 version.
Undead Labs has had State of Decay on Steam in beta for a while now where players could opt to buy the game and hop in the unfinished product and report issues along the way. The game was released from beta on November 5, so I decided to hop in and see how, if at all, it has improved itself over the XBLA version. Because PC games are always better than console games, right?
State of Decay - Mouse Woes
I played State of Decay for a solid few hours non-stop, and if I had to thrust my hand into some magician’s top hat to pull out a word that would miraculously convey my feelings, it would be: hopeful. I realize I’m being pragmatic, and while this isn’t a review, my qualms with this first impression focused on utilizing the mouse to play the game. Before the initial launch out of beta, players could only play State of Decay if they had a 360 controller plugged into their PC. For me, playing with the mouse and keyboard compared to the 360 controller was annoying, at worst.
I would often go for a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood looking to loot goodies, as any survivor of the apocalypse would. Upon finding a group of zombies, I’d whip out the trusty rifle to shoot some domes only to find my mouse snapping in large variances around the screen. This would cause panic as I was bum-rushed by the undead, causing me to flee to a safer distance. Only, when that happened, and I would move my mouse to adjust the camera as I ran, it would pan in the above-mentioned capacity, causing me to run in a completely different direction.
State of Decay - Out of Beta Doesn't Mean Out of Updates
Wait a second? This game is out of beta! Undead Labs has stated that by no means are they done releasing patches, however. They understand that there needs to be more work done when it comes to mapping proper aim to the mouse. That delights me because it says they care enough to bring us a quality product. Some might not agree with me due to the fact that most would interpret a released, out-of-beta game to be free of error, but that’s just not the case. No game is perfect, but they are attempting to perfect theirs as much as they can. That speaks volumes.
I am hoping the same can be said for the graphical irregularities. The irregularities I speak of are the glitches, like having the main character walk through a wooden door, having zombies walk through walls, and the like. These issues aren’t new, and if anyone were to Google 360-related graphics issues with the game, they’d find a lot of people with a lot of graphical problems. Though I am uncertain if graphical perfection is Undead Lab’s primary concern, it would be fantastic if they could work out these kinks in a future patch.
State of Decay - The Final Word
That all aside, I still had a ton of fun romping around Trumbull Valley, reliving the old days when I could drive down to the beach, have a drink, and then smash into a withering mass of rotten meat. Again, I want to reiterate that developer Undead Labs is working feverishly to ensure that this game of theirs, as well as their IP, remains to be a competitive best that we can all enjoy. The biggest question I have – along with the 99% of those that have played State of Decay – is, where’s the co-op?
It’s a rhetorical question, and I realize that working coop mode into the mix would present the devs with potentially more problems to hash out. They’ve mentioned time and time again that they would love to add multiplayer to State of Decay, but the unfortunate reality is that they’ve kiboshed all future plans for co-op for this current State of Decay. What does the future hold for this hot dev? Time will tell. Tune in soon to read my review!
This review was originally published on 11-08-2013. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions, and for historical context.