Once known by the unassuming moniker Class3, Undead Labs has been hard at work on their vision of what the zombie apocalypse would be like. Perhaps two kicks away from suffering irreparable genre damage of the highest degree, zombie video games may have somehow surpassed the bald space marine trope as far as testing our will is concerned, but there’s a chance that Class3 – or rather State of Decay could manage to inject new life into the tired genre and perhaps revitalize the way gamers look at it.
Last seen earlier this year via a bts video that was shot on an iPhone, developer Undead Labs has taken the veil off of State of Decay and it’s pretty much what one would expect from a zombie action game. It may sound like I’m expressing my sometimes not so subtle cynicism, but the game seems to provide all the action one would want from a zombie game – namely the ability to head stomp the undead, run herds of zombies over with a car, and light them on fire with the always handy and easy to make weapon that is a Molotov cocktail.
It may seem like State of Decay is as predictable as the yearly release calendar of Activision or the structure of a JJ Abrams project (there’s always a sappy moment at the end with music playing), but it’s not that standard; at least as some of us jaded gamers may expect. As we can see in this debut trailer for the game there does appear to be equal parts action and running Usain Bolt style as to not become zombie chow. So for those who want some survival elements in a zombie game then State of Decay looks to supply that. Even better, survival against zombie hordes is a key element as a central mechanic revolves around hunkering down in a house trying to survive zombie attacks and fortifying defenses when given the chance.
The other biggie about the game, besides the fact that it’s finally coming out, is that it features a dynamically changing world that’s molded by the actions of the player. Exactly how deep things will get is presently unknown, but it would be interesting to see the world retain damage or at least have key survival tools (weapons, items) appear in different areas to give the game a random and slightly hectic vibe.
Aside from a few jerky animations, which could be cleaned up as development continues, State of Decay looks interesting. At this stage a lot of people may be burned out on the zombie genre or want things on an epic scale such as Dead Island, but as a XBLA title State of Decay looks good and it’s rather impressive to see an open-world game come from a relatively small studio.
A release date still hasn’t been given for State of Decay, but the game should appear shortly on XBLA and the PC.