Okay, as the title points out, I may be a bit bias because I love open-world zombie-action fiction (just so long as it's not Nazi-Zombies or just run/gun with the depth of a puddle)... but I must admit, due to the fact it's made by Microsoft (which I loathe for the constant Windows OS issues for the past 3 decades) along with not a huge fan of Xbox... I still reluctantly have to give this game a solid 10.
I know, most that aren't into zombies that might be reading, are probably ready to dismiss this, but hey, your loss. The game is like a mash-up of so many other things... it's lightly The Sims meets Dying Light meets Mercenaries: The Zombie-Edition (if there were a Mercenaries: ZE) that is, in a giant "End-of-the-World-simulator".
This game has a bit of everything, and with State of Decay 2 right around the corner, felt it was due time to give this game my review.
The game has NPC-coop/team play, strategy, needs, scavenging, survival (light, thank goodness), crafting, scouting, etc. I'm not even sure where to start... the game is open-world, fairly sand-box, and has tons to explore and experience. I could explain it all day, but it's definitely an experience that's better played directly than hearing about.
But if I had to explain it... the game starts out, and you stumble upon somebody being attacked by zombies... as you team up with them, then continue to scout and scavenge, and find safety and a place to set up base-camp, you start coming across other survivors... while each person has their needs and objectives you have to keep in mind. As you continue to survive and find other survivors, the character you're playing starts coming to grips with what's happened, and it's like they're learning what zombies are for the first time and finally accepting that the world has ended.
Although, due to map-size limitations (even though the map is huge), the game can feel somewhat repetitive here or there, but give it time and the story continues to remain dynamic, interesting, and exciting.
The expansions truly help this game too... at least "Breakdown" does. Even though Breakdown, after a few "maps" can get a bit repetitive, you pretty much survive and scavenge, get to the exit vehicle, and then load into a new generated map with everything in different places, continuing the cycle.
The other expansion "Lifeline" is *okay*, but starts leaning more into the role of the military, sort of delving more into an Arma or Call of Duty vibe. I never did play Lifeline too long, or at least survive that long, to really describe well fully what it is, but it's probably worth having just in case you ever want to try it out.
Anywho, that's State of Decay... and again... Zombies make any game better... Q:-)
PS - I'm actually getting ready to soon fire this game back up, as I've had it shelved for a bit... been rather curious to see if there's any good mods for it, as I haven't really checked, but will be sure to edit and note if there's any real "must haves" if so. ^_^
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