State of Decay: Lifeline was developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released May 30, 2014 on Xbox 360 for $6.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Over the past two or three years, the popularity of zombies in video games has grown to the point where it is now almost impossible for many gamers to differentiate what makes any given option stand out amongst the ever-growing pack of average also-rans. Thankfully, last year’s State of Decay was certainly one of the better zombie titles and was especially impressive as (initially) a fairly modest XBLA exclusive. Undead Labs followed up its initial success with the Breakdown DLC, which, although still very good, left most fans of the series wanting more – in particular a new and expanded location. And that, in a protracted kind of way, is exactly what the Lifeline DLC is all about.
This time, the action takes place in the fictional city of Danforth and centers around a military squad known as Greyhound One, with players exploring a storyline dealing with the activities of the soldiers during the initial days of the outbreak. The structure is similar to the base game, but the fairly large home base is fixed, the missions generally feature a tighter timeline and players will need to contend with periodic zombie sieges that present a stiffer threat to NPCs (and overall success) than anything seen in previous outings. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the military setting adds a tremendous amount of firepower to the player’s arsenal, including more weapons and ammo; plus a raft of new traps, supply drops and assistance resources. Lifeline also features a number of new tweaks — like the ability to place rucksacks in trucks, effectively enabling more comprehensive supply runs — that occasionally have a material impact on the game.