Review – State of Decay: Lifeline
The latest piece of DLC for Undead Labs’ State of Decay released last week. After having played with it for a while, I can say that while it’s still a little rough around the edges, I’ve walked away happier than I did with Breakdown.
As I had stated in my video hands-on earlier this week, the core game play hasn’t changed here. You have a base that needs to be protected and maintained. You will need to keep your survivors fed and well-trained, and above all else keep them alive. You will swap out with different characters when they are tired and hurt…or…uh…dead. you need to go out on supply runs and kill the zombie runs and Oh dear God, help us! runs. You’ll bring back survivors and fight zombies off together – something of which you will be doing a lot of.
Lifeline casts you as the leader of a small army platoon, Greyhound One, sent to Danforth to help them clear out the zombie mess they seem to have gotten themselves into. When you make it to your base just off of an expressway off-ramp, you can see immediately how dire the situation in the city is. You’re tasked with finding people who will be helpful to figuring out how all of this happened, and how to fix it and bringing them back safely to the base so they can be helo’d out of the warzone.
In addition to army stuff, you can also take on tasks for the remaining folks in Danforth. That’s outside of your responsibility, which labels it cleanly under the ‘optional’ category. Watch out though – if you don’t, you’ll be chastised by a local radio station for not being a good neighbour.
Unfortunately, these army personnel haven’t been keeping up with their fitness regimens. Cardio, wits, stamina, all of them will need to be built back up from scratch. This kind of leads to some serious problems when you come back to your base and it’s being attacked by zombies. Each time this happens (and it happens often), the horde gets bigger and stronger. If you’re not ready, well shit, you’re never going to be.
As I’ve discussed multiple times before, a new title update makes searching for supplies much more useful by adding inventory to cars. You can toss a sack of supplies into the back of a truck and keep on searching for more. So now it doesn’t take nearly as long to find those supplies you so desperately need – but there’s a catch. Lose or destroy the vehicle, lose the supplies.
The worse part? Not losing or destroying the vehicle is easier said than done, thanks to the glitchy nature of the game.
I like playing State of Decay, but I can’t deny that the game is littered with enough bugs and technical gaffes to make Bethesda cringe. When a zombie runs out of a door and attacks you while still laying down (as in it glides across the ground like a majestic water creature) or your car flips after gently hitting a wall on a freeway off-ramp, that’s an issue that needs to be addressed. No, that’s an issue that should have already been addressed. You’d think that with all of the cooperation that Undead Labs was getting from Microsoft, they’d have used the extra time to invest in a little more quality assurance. But I digress –
Fixing those glitches could turn a good game into a great game, even if it doesn’t have super-realistic graphics.
State of Decay: Lifeline is available for the PC and Xbox 360 for $6.99.