State of Decay was developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released June 5, 2013 for 1600 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
When a collection of zombie-obsessed game industry veterans formed Undead Labs, their sole passion was to play in the ashes of fallen society. They would craft an open sandbox world and fill it with extinction-level contagion. They’d insist upon hard decisions and scraping by one day at a time, and in return, you’d be afforded the opportunity to live out your fantasies in a simulated zombie apocalypse. Now, so many years after that kernel of an idea was born, State of Decay narrowly misses the mark, drooped under its own weighty ambition.
Yet, despite its flaws, State of Decay aims so high that it achieves something many games never aspire to reach. Like the apocalypse it portrays: once the shock and awe begins to wane, once we accept the imperfections of the world, there’s joy to be found and a story to write. As you ponder the layout of your temporary shelter, tally up your resources and balance the fragility of your flock, it becomes clear there’s something special about State of Decay residing around its rough edges. It’s an experience unlike many other, and uncovering it is well worth the investment.