It looks like Microsoft will unveil two undead-themed sequels at E3 this year: Dead Rising 4 and State of Decay 2.
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State of Decay is soon to be released on Xbox One, which provides a fantastic opportunity to start arguments with those who still think this is just-another-zombie-game.
UPDATE 4.45PM GMT: There's an official press release up now. Listed improvements to State of Decay on Xbox One include 1080p resolution, new textures, new lighting and increased draw distance. There are new animations, an improved interface and some new playable characters. And a knife, you've got a default (it sounds like) knife.
Existing State of Decay owners, in addition to getting the 33 per cent discount listed below, will also unlock a new exclusive character called Gurubani. He's an Indian-American sword-wielding badass, apparently.
No specific European details were mentioned.
Open-world zombie adventure State of Decay is coming to Xbox One next spring with the State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition.
As announced on Xbox Live head honcho Major Nelson's blog, this enhanced edition of Undead Labs' indie hit will bring the original "zombie survival fantasy" to Microsoft's latest console in 1080p. It will include both DLC add-ons, Breakdown and Lifeline, as well as some other entirely new content that will be announced in the months to come.
Eurogamer contributor Simon Parkin found State of Decay's persistent world had a lot of charm in how it combined various genres to breathe new life into the zombie apocalypse. "Its systems have a clockwork-like beauty, interlocking with rare grace to create a vivid, meaningful world in which player-driven stories arise with delightful frequency," he wrote in his State of Decay review. "Look past the ragged façade and you'll discover one of the finest open world games yet made."
Price and availability
Xbox Marketplace: £5.59
Windows only on Steam: £4.99
State of Decay's Lifeline DLC is due on 30th May for $6.99 (about £5), developer Undead Labs has announced.
In-development State of Decay expansion Lifeline will shift perspective and tell a zombie survival story through the eyes of a soldier.
Rather than be a survivor, you'll lead the force sent to protect and organise survivors against the apocalyptic horde.
Your unit Greyhound One will be sent to the outskirts of Danforth city to rescue scientists whose research is crucial. You'll have chain of command and access to off-map support, but your power will dwindle over time.
The second expansion for sandbox zombie survival game State of Decay will be called Lifeline.
There's no release date but it's being played internally, Undead Labs' Sanya Weathers wrote.
"All we can tell you is that it will offer you a new way to play your favourite survival game, that we intend to launch on PC and the Xbox 360 at the same time, and that yes, it will broaden your horizons by a few kilometres.
State of Decay developer Undead Labs has hired one Patrick Wyatt, a man who specialises in "developing really big multiplayer games", like MMOs, like Guild Wars - the game he co-created alongside Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain. (The only missing Musketeer is Mike O'Brien, current head and only remaining founder of Guild Wars developer ArenaNet.)
State of Decay developer Undead Labs has signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement with Microsoft Studios.
When the dust settles on December 31st, State of Decay will have been responsible for some of my most entertaining and memorable gaming moments of 2013. That probably makes it one of my favourite games of the year, though that's an honour it constantly battles to justify thanks to its hilariously shonky game engine. It's a real unpolished diamond, requiring a forgiving eye but rewarding you with rough-hewn pleasures galore.
Now we have Breakdown, the game's first downloadable content, and it's an appropriately troublesome thing. The DLC addresses a leading complaint from fans: once you've completed the game's story missions, that's it. You're kicked out of the sandbox and if you want the experience to endure you need to reload that last save and studiously avoid the final mission.
Breakdown, then, is a more true sandbox mode. The Trumbull County map is the same, but all the story content has been stripped out - no Army intrigue, no sinister neighbouring enclaves, just acres of desolate Americana and hordes of the undead to survive.
One of this year's sleeper hits has been Undead Labs' wonderfully free-form zombie survival adventure State of Decay, which released back in June on Xbox Live Arcade and more recently on Steam. If you haven't already, you must check it out: "a vivid, meaningful world in which player-driven stories arise with delightful frequency," wrote Simon in our review.
Popular open-world zombie game State of Decay is soon for an expansion, not that anyone will notice with all this next-generation hoo-ha going on.
Breakdown, as it's called, arrives 29th November on both Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, priced $6.99.
"Basically," Undead Labs' Sanya Weathers told me, "we built the expansion according to player requests. People wanted less story, more survival (and long-term at that) and increased difficulty.
State of Decay developer Undead Labs just announced that its open-world zombie game has sold over one million copies.
This is taking into account both XBLA sales as well as those who've purchased the incomplete Steam version on Early Access. By triple A accounts, one million may not sound like much, but for a smallish Seattle startup, that's a very healthy number.
The developer noted that its first DLC, Breakdown, will be available shortly, though no date was given. It then said it will give away five copies of it to random users who share a fond State of Decay related memory on the bottom of this blog post. The Breakdown add-on will contain a story-less Sandbox mode, new weapons, and new "Hero" NPCs that can carry items and do a better job of protecting players.
Undead Labs' open-world zombie survival sim State of Decay is coming to Steam Early Access today.
Xbox Live Arcade smash hit State of Decay has been updated with a new bug-killing patch that addresses a number of significant issues.
Top of the list is the game's "overlarge community bug", where players with high numbers of survivors were left with continual crashes and freezes.
"You probably will not need to restart your game from scratch," Undead Labs community manager Sanya Weathers wrote on the developer Undead Lab's official forums. "We worked very hard toward that end!
State of Decay, the terrifyingly successful open-world Xbox Live Arcade zombie game, will be released on PC before the year is out.
State of Decay developer Undead Labs has confirmed that its open-world survival horror game won't get multiplayer, despite the studio's desire to add it.
Why won't it, you ask? Is Microsoft keeping the man down, perchance? It turns out the answer is simply a technical issue rather than anything sinister.
"We were up to our eyeballs trying to retrofit our game engine to support an open-world sandbox game rather than the FPS style games it had been designed for," said executive producer Jeff Strain in a statement on the studio's forum. "That retrofitting would have extended to the multiplayer support as well, and we estimated it could have delayed release of the game by as much as half a year. It [cutting multiplayer] was a painful decision, but a necessary one given the realities of our team size and project budget."
Open world zombie survival success State of Decay has recieved a huge set of changes via the game's second title update.
The patch should be live now, developer Undead Labs announced via the game's official forums (thanks, OXM), and includes a number of tweaks that smooth over the game's slightly shonky release build.
It also includes the fixes from State of Decay's wobbly first title update, which actually ended up causing more problems for some players and failed to apply fixes for others.
Update: State of Decay has now passed 500,000 sales on Xbox Live, and there's a PC version actively in development for Steam, which is unusual for a Microsoft Studios XBLA game. It's not clear who the publisher will be on Steam.
It's been a tough few weeks for Microsoft.
Kesia Bertolucci died as she lived: punching above her weight. It ended on the floor of a disused chapel, her limbs torn off by a swarm of zombies while the bust of an angel watched her demise from the rafters with unblinking indifference. Contrary to what the folks back at base will suppose when they find the scattered hunks of her remains, her defeat wasn't down to the failure of the sand wedge. It broke in two during a moment of somewhat irresponsible showboating when she attempted to strike a zombie's head clean from its shoulders and through the chapel's stained glass window. As an amateur-boxer with unresolved anger issues, the preservation of Trumbull's local heritage came second for Bertolucci to the cathartic thrill of imaginative demolition. No, the seeds of her downfall were sown in the muscle car she borrowed to thrash out to the sticks on her mission to rescue her best friend's gay brother.
Jacob Ritter took a shine to local farm boy Eli Wilkerson some months earlier. Previously unable to muster the courage to express this illicit attraction (Trumbull is nestled in the crease of one of America's more conservative valley States), the end of the world presented the ideal opportunity to reveal his feelings. He hoped everyone else would be too preoccupied with boarding up windows and gathering medicine to notice his quiet slipping out of the closet. This particular night Ritter and Wilkerson had arranged to meet in a stable a mile or so outside of Fairfield town. The local cows had been skinned and chewed through some days earlier, so the pair assumed they'd be left well alone. But midway through the tryst, a crowd of zeds slouched up the road and began sniffing at the farm's buildings. Ritter radioed his sister for help in hysterics. That's when Bertolucci got involved.
The base had been overcrowded ever since Marcus Campbell, a local hobbyist fisherman, drove up to the gates and the rest of the group voted to let him and his friends in. Still waiting to gather enough building materials from nearby houses to build further sleeping areas, survivors were rotating beds, building a collective sleep debt that had tightened the general atmosphere on camp. Weary and overworked, alpha female Bertolucci wanted some space. She took the Dodge to vent some frustration, grinding her foot against the accelerator in lieu of being able to stamp on her fellow survivors' idiot skulls.
State of Decay, a sandbox zombie game that's getting a lot of attention, sold an enormous 250,000 copies in just two days on Xbox Live. That pace has only been bettered by Minecraft on XBLA.
Simon Parkin's review of State of Decay will be published tomorrow morning, in case you're wondering.
Sanya Weathers, director of community for State of Decay, wrote:
You wait years for a platform exclusive action game set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse and then two come along at once. Well, you likely haven't waited years - there's hardly been a shortage of undead adventures recently - but at least The Last of Us and State of Decay are gracious enough to serve their action with a little twist.
Undead Labs' hugely ambitious open-world zombie survival game State of Decay is due this Wednesday, 5th June on XBLA.
Open world zombie game State of Decay, which focuses on recruiting AI survivors and building bases, is finally nearly here. The Microsoft Studios-partnered XBLA game will be released in June.
Earlier this summer we looked at Undead Labs' wildly ambitious XBLA and PC open-world zombie game State of Decay and now a new gameplay clip has been released showing off its stealth mechanics.
These days stealth has become synonymous with "sneak around behind someone and knock them out when a button prompt pops up," but that would be silly with zombies, and Undead Labs knows it. Instead, you set off diversions to distract the shambling hoards.
Sure the path of least resistance isn't always the most exciting option, but having played some of State of Decay I can say that it's best not to get cocky. I thought I'd be an unstoppable zombie mowing machine in my car until they started ripping the doors off and yanking me out. They're persistent buggers, but I guess you ain't got much to lose when you're already dead.
Zombies seem to be everywhere these days. From traditional horror fare like Left 4 Dead, to the whimsical kid-friendly Plants vs. Zombies, to the solemn choose-your-own-point-and-click-adventure of Telltale's Walking Dead, it's safe to say that the undead are among us.
A year and a half ago we heard about an open-world XBLA game called Class 3. It all but disappeared for awhile, but has just resurfaced as State of Decay by Undead Labs.