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Friday, November 8, 2013

State of Decay: The Nighttime Lasts Forever

I have been playing a lot of State of Decay by Undead Labs for the Personal Computer this week and the experience so far has been rather interesting. I remember the first time I heard about the game from a friend who just couldn't wait to buy State of Decay when it was planned to be released for the X-Box 360. When I watched the gameplay videos, I remember telling my friend that the game looked like it was inspired by the DayZ mod for ARMA II. He seemed to be offended by this for some reason, I am not quite sure why because that's a bit of a compliment to the game, and claimed that it's a whole lot more than that. I was very interested to play the game back then but I have that strong feeling that it would be coming to the PC and it did! State of Decay has been in Steam Early Access since September 20th but it has finally gotten a full release on Tuesday November 5th.  Well, now that I have played the game, I can confirm my original suspicion but of course, that is not necessary a detriment.

Marcus Campbell, the hardest working man in this zombie apocalypse.

I will get into the brain-splattered details of this zombie survival simulation game in my upcoming review but I do want to share my experience with the nighttime element of the game. You know how mortified I am these days of horror games - thank you Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterflies - and the first time nighttime arrived in this game, it was quite challenging for me. I quickly went back to the first safe house in the game only to discover that there was no electricity thus there was no light in there. It was pitch black everywhere at night and that flashlight that you do get to use on your character doesn't really help much. So there I was, in almost complete darkness, trying to find a prompt that would allow me to get my character to go to sleep... and it was nowhere to be found! I frantically looked at the menu screens and it was still a no go. After crouching quietly in the eerie darkness for 5 minutes, with the sound of zombies moaning and groaning in the distance making things worse, I began to realize that the nighttime is not going to pass anytime soon and that the game is forcing you to do things in the dark. Thus, I set out to do my first night time mission: which I spent crouching in the bushes on my way to my destination. The nighttime in this game is brutal, especially for someone like me. It's scary and dreadful yet there is no way to bypass it without sacrificing progress and thus my success in surviving since time management is key in here. But this is a good thing also because I am also retraining myself to conquer that fear of the darkness and the unknown. Sure, I still scream when a zombie pops out suddenly on screen but compared to how I normally react in other games, it's something to celebrate about. Stay tune for more analysis for State of Decay soon but if you are a zombie game fan, this one is certainly a no-brainer.

FIRST IMPRESSION: 4 out of 5

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