State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition ReviewState of Decay: Year One Survival Edition Review

State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition Review

Reviewed on Xbox One

April 22, 2015

When I reviewed State of Decay on Xbox 360 on June 5, 2013, I gave it an 8.9 – the highest end of “great” on our scale without graduating to “amazing.” Here’s how I summed it up then:

“State of Decay’s ambition reaches farther than most $60 titles, so its value is unquestionable as a $20 download – especially given how it manages to successfully meet so many of its lofty goals. I spent about 12 hours in this Zed-infested world, and while I saw most of what’s there, I could’ve spent a few more hours exploring. And since I focused on melee weapons the first time, I fully plan to start another game with a gun-centric character…Decay belongs in the pantheon of great modern zombie games alongside Valve’s Left 4 Dead series and Telltale’s Walking Dead episodes.”


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Coming back to it on the Xbox One for the Year One Survival Edition, I realized I’d forgotten how much I love State of Decay. It’s deep, raw, unforgiving, and even emotional — all in the very best of ways. It’s neither a pure action game nor your typical open-world action-adventure. It is, in fact, a systems-based role-playing game with permanent (and sometimes far-reaching) consequences for your characters. You’ll need to manage: relationships with fellow survivors, your group’s resources, injuries to you and your group, your backpack weight, your influence, your fatigue, and more. That may sound like an intimidating list, but through an easily understood and managed interface (press up on the D-pad to access it anytime), Decay’s elements are intuitive and digestible.

Year One Survival Edition also bundles in State of Decay’s two excellent expansion packs: Breakdown and Lifeline. Each tells a side story with a different gameplay angle: the former being a sandbox-emphasizing, challenge-oriented romp, and the latter letting you play from the perspective of the military — a group at odds with the player in the primary campaign. Each is clearly meant to be played after you complete the main game, but it’s refreshing that neither is simply more of the same.

Unfortunately, being re-released on a more powerful console has not cured its technical and presentation-based ills like I’d hoped (and reasonably expected) it would. Clipping bugs, warping characters, and frame rate problems all still plague State of Decay on Xbox One. Even running in 1080p with higher-resolution textures and a few other minor cosmetic upgrades, Year One Survival Edition still very much looks like an Xbox 360 game. At least the annoying screen tearing has been rectified.

But, please, do not judge this book by its cover. Everything I said in my original review still rings true: This is a special game, and captures the post-zombie-outbreak survival experience I’ve always wanted to play. Is it worth double-dipping if you already played the heck out of it on 360? If you haven’t played the expansion packs, I’d say yes — particularly when existing State of Decay owners get $10 off YOSE’s $30 asking price. If you’ve already squeezed every last drop of fun out of this game on 360 or PC, though, the additions here are minimal.

Originally written and published by Ryan McCaffrey at IGN Entertainment Articles. Click here to read the original story.

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