IM PLAYIN State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition

I was a huge fan of State of Decay on the 360; it was quite possibly one of my favourite games of that generation. That’s saying something, considering that it was technically an ‘indie game’. So I was pretty damn excited for its re-release on the Xbox One. This was a game that I sunk countless hours into on the 360, but I did have my worries that I wouldn’t be as committed to the Xbox One version. My apprehension was misplaced, however, because it turns out that I’m just as addicted to the game this time around.

As far as the game goes, there are only minor differences. The biggest change is the graphics, as the game is now a much smoother 1080p, 60fps. It’s definitely noticeable, too. But it is still riddled with the same old drops in frame-rate, which is a bit of a shame. The game itself has been somewhat updated, you can now shove bags of supplies into the boot of a car – which was painfully missing from the original game. There are also a few new vehicles too. But I must admit, these changes could well have been implemented on the 360 version and carried over to the One – I haven’t played the original in quite some time. Otherwise, it’s still a solid experience.

This isn’t going to be a review, though – I’ve already done one of those for this game. Instead, I thought I would explain to you why I’m playing State of Decay again, and why I was willing to re-purchase it for the next-gen console.

For me, State of Decay is a totally unique experience. The game has pre-set characters, missions and a story but, for the most part, you’re left to make of it what you will. If you want to go off and complete the missions, you can. But, if you want to just stick around, explore the world, search for supplies and expand your community – that’s cool too. It’s a user based experience, and you can make the game whatever you want it to be. Personally, I occasionally dip into the story, but in the most part I tend to explore and focus on survival. It’s a really stripped down way of playing the game – much like the daily grind of what it would actually be like, trying to ensure the survival of a group of people. In all, it’s just a pleasant experience – if you factor out the constant stress and fear that one of your favourite characters might die at any second.

The great thing about the Year One Survival Edition is that it comes with the two DLC modes, Breakdown and Lifeline. I’m yet to properly play Breakdown, so I’m not going to comment on that here. Lifeline, however, is quite different from the main game. For me, Lifeline feels like it’s less about survival and more about the mission. You play as a group of army personnel, and a few ‘civvies’, tasked with the sole aim of extracting important survivors from world. It takes place in a more urban environment than the main game, and it feels as though the whole survival aspect takes a backseat. Though, you can still do the whole survival thing, if you want. But, in general, I use this game mode as a way of breaking off from that ‘grind’ of survival. I quite like that, though, because it gives me the opportunity to play the game in a different way. It stands as a testament to how adaptable the State of Decay world is, and how many layers the game actually has.

In all, I love playing State of Decay because there just isn’t an experience like it – not on the next-gen consoles at the moment, at least. It’s the type of game that you could play for half an hour, or half a day, and enjoy it just the same – which is tough to find these days. If you’re looking for something different to play on your Xbox One, you should look no further than State of Decay: YOSE. It might not be the prettiest game, or the least buggy, but what you’re getting is quality nonetheless.