Thursday, 21 May 2015

State of Decay: Year One Edition: XBox One Review

State of Decay: Year One Edition: XBox One Review

Platform: XBox One
Released by Undead Games

Something's rotten in State of Decay: Year One Edition - and it ain't just the zombies on show.

Remastered for the grunty XBox One from its 2013 release, this tale of ragtag survivors and the attacking zombie hordes is exactly what you'd expect from a cross between Grand Theft Auto and Dead Island.

Essentially, split over 3 DLCs, all collected together in one package, you're just trying to do what you can to survive an apocalypse, be it in the form of military action or everyday survivor, it's all your decisions.

Using various areas as bases, you head off on different missions; in one you're a simple guy named Marcus who's off fishing with his mate, Ed, when the masses attack. To survive, you have to bash their heads in, get to others who have survived and band together. In another, you're a military soldier, trying to protect your base and getting hold of various people needed for your missions - as well as using your car to plough through the hordes of the undead.

Food, medicine, shelter, weapons, ammo; they're all here for the taking and all for you to utilise as you wander from one level to the next. But the more people you find, the more ability you have to switch between characters and to play the story from other angles.

So far, so Grand Theft Auto.

The problem with State of Decay is how average it all looks on the screen - particularly for a next gen title release.

Zombies glitch, get stuck in apparently solid objects and pop up randomly with no warning. Equally, your character can walk through solid objects, jump through walls without actually going through them and looks like it was designed for a SEGA console way back when.

There's no finesse here and while the gameplay's relatively enjoyable, (plus it never gets tired of letting you plough into the undead with cars), the whole thing's fairly static. Cut scenes have about as much life in them as a piece of cardboard frozen solid on an icy day and there's little to progress here in terms of interaction.

Buggy it may be, and while that's endearing for a little bit, the frustrations of the gameplay come to the fore perhaps more than you'd expect. Collecting together the DLCs of Breakdown and Lifeline add a little more to the overall package, but don't fully give it the feel that it's a premium title.

All in all, State of Decay: Year One Edition is a minor embarrassment on the XBox One. Sure, there's fun to be had, if you fancy building a community, smashing in zombies and looking around, but for a next gen console, this retro hit doesn't quite cut it.


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