Zombies Ate My Neighborhood: State Of Decay

By Nathan Grayson on August 22nd, 2012 at 9:00 am.

OK, before overly jerked knees and seismic facepalms leave RPS liable for one of the most puzzling injury outbreaks in medical history, know that State of Decay – while arising from the ashes of a zombie MMO project once called Class3 – doesn’t look like a Day Z clone or anything along those lines in the slightest. For better or worse, it appears to be a fairly over-the-top (I saw body slams) undead shoot-’em-up/beat-’em-down – but with an “open, sandbox world” that “dynamically generates content based on your choices and the ever-increasing zombie threat.” To be perfectly honest, I can’t actually find any info on whether or not it even has a multiplayer component anymore. But, somewhat shockingly, Grand-Theft-Auto-meets-zombies hasn’t really been done before, so there’s potential here.

There’s also a fairly heavy survival element – as is typically the case with these things – requiring you to scavenge in between bouts of impressively ridiculous violence. Here’s Undead Labs’ elevator pitch:

“State of Decay is an open sandbox world that develops in real-time, dynamically generating content based on your actions, the choices you make, and the ever-increasing zombie threat. Decide where you’d like to set up a fortified safe haven for you and other survivors you’ve rescued, then form raiding parties to gather resources and create supply chains. Use the materials you’ve gathered to develop your community as you see fit, but be careful – resources will deplete as you pillage areas, and zombies are attracted to noise and activity.”

“Take up the offensive by assaulting hordes before they reach your settlement, or focus on improving your defenses against the massed zombie attacks. Every choice and every action matter in this fully simulated, evolving world.”

Also of note: Microsoft’s publishing on both Xbox and PC, so Skulls-of-the-Shogun-style Windows 8 shenanigans aren’t entirely out of the question. But boy are there a lot of questions, and – by way of  a thrilling, neck-and-neck race between smoke signal, carrier pigeon, snail mail, actual snails carrying mail, and email – I’m attempting to get them answered. Is State of Decay strictly single-player? Does it have a pre-written story, or is it entirely dynamic? Will Windows 8 factor into the equation at all? You’ll know as soon as I do.

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48 Comments »

  1. mikmanner says:

    2012: The year of Zombie game announcements and online f2p games in beta.

  2. roryok says:

    boo urns for stealing Dead State’s thunder a bit in calling it State of Decay. It even has a road sign in the logo!

    Other than that it looks fun, although the stomping on a zombie’s head bit looks a bit silly.

    • tlarn says:

      Yeah, I thought back to Dead State as well while I was watching the video…

    • stonetoes says:

      Stop the video at 27 seconds and the “ramshackle watchtower inside the chain-link fence of a large stone building” looks incredibly reminiscent of Dead State’s stronghold. Probably just coincidence, but it does feel like they’re going for a similar aesthetic too.

  3. Njordsk says:

    Zombies.

    *sighs*

  4. Zeewolf says:

    Exciting, but … with Microsoft publishing it, I fear for the worst. Because they are the worst.

  5. tellytoy says:

    What about Undead Nightmare in Red Dead Redemption?

    • roryok says:

      is that a pc game? I don’t remember playing that on my pc

      • Victuz says:

        One day when I can afford a super computer that can run a 360 emulator effortlessly…

      • roryok says:

        Even then, it probably won’t be the same. There’s finally a properly working PS2 emulator so I can theoretically play Ico and Shadow of Colossus, but I still find it too tiresome trying to figure out keyboard commands in place of a joypad and all that guff.

        • smoke.tetsu says:

          Then plug in a friggin’ gamepad and be done with it. There’s a port there with the initials U S B that they can be connected to you know?

        • noodlecake says:

          Hehe! I always think that! There are SO many games that just play better with a gamepad and when they are ported to PC people whine that the mouse and keyboard controls aren’t as good. There’s only one solution! Oddly for most people that seems to be whine a lot and refuse to buy it despite it being an incredibly fun game.

          • aliksy says:

            I pretty routinely refuse to use a gameplay except for like.. final fantasy, where input is limited to mostly menus anyway.

    • cool4345 says:

      Wasn’t a PC game, and i wouldn’t really say that it had “zombies”.

      There’s the L4D/dead rising zombies that are just kind of there for comical effect or just not really scary, and then there’s the real resident evil-type zombies.

      Also, undead nightmare didn’t have online multiplayer and it wasn’t really a full game, pretty much just an add-on.

      There hasn’t really been any notable examples of GTA+zombies that i can think of.

    • Roshin says:

      Saints Row 3 has zombies.

  6. zeekthegeek says:

    No not really. The areas in Dead Island are tiny and have such a locked down progression it’s hard to really call it ‘open’ at all. It has some sandboxy elements

  7. TheBigBookOfTerror says:

    There was a sandbox/GTA-like game for the Xbox about a zombie apocalypse in development, but it was cancelled. A shame as it looked a lot of fun. It was towards the end of the original Xbox’s production.

    • Premium User Badge

      Chaz says:

      I think it was called Dead Run or something like that and was going to be PC as well as Xbox. Can’t find a single scrap of info on it any more though. I had a couple of game play videos of it a good few years back and it looked quite good. It looked like a cross between Resident Evil and GTA3. GTA3 style open world with first person shooting on foot and hordes of zombies and Resident Evil style monsters.

  8. Stromko says:

    I would not expect State of Decay to be any more of a sandbox in actuality than Dead Island was, but DI had a lot of design problems so SoD could still be a very worthwhile addition to the genre if it turns out to be well made.

    The animations look very rough and jerky in the video but presentation matters like that are usually what AAA development / publishers are good at fixing. The other side of the coin is you can generally expect a scripted, linear experience, no matter what the pitch is, because that’s what the focus groups and executives and stereotypical console market wants.

  9. BigMistake says:

    I don’t want to sound too anal, but State of Decay hasn’t been born out of “ashes of a zombie MMO project once called Class3″. Class3 was the codename for this game, and was always intended to be a third person, open world game (albeit with coop and for Xbox only). The MMO version of this game is called Class4 (those of you who read Max Brook’s Zombie Survival Guide will know why), and isn’t dead. Undead Labs is planning on building Class4 with the knowledge and tech they developed in Class3.

    Please research this stuff a bit more :/

    EDIT: The questions you closed with can all be answered from the Q&A’s!

    • ran93r says:

      I stuck my head in here to shake the same stick at Grayson, been keeping my eye on this since way back.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      ‘Lots of people had questions about the plan for co-op play in Class3.

      Class3 will not have co-op play at release.

      Since we announced our co-op goals more than seventeen months ago, we’ve been working nonstop and sorting out what we can and can’t accomplish in Class3. It’s an ambitious game — certainly among the most ambitious XBLA titles ever created — and we had to prioritize our development resources. Since we plan to rapidly build a massively multiplayer online world around the Class3 design foundation, we decided to defer co-op play in Class3. Our hope is to add co-op play to Class3 during the development of Class4, but for now Class3 will be a single-player experience.’

      http://undeadlabs.com/about-state-of-decay/

      - Honestly though, they should have put it somewhere much clearer than some back end forum post, I’m not surprised that Nathan missed it at all, they should really make things like whether it’s a multiplayer or singleplayer game more obvious…

  10. frightlever says:

    Haven’t played it but there’s a zombie mod for Vice City.

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/gta-long-night

    Which is exactly GTA meets zombies.

    Or there’s this:

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/gta-raccoon-city-stories

  11. ferdy says:

    Meh. The Secret World completely ruined zombies for me.

  12. paravrais says:

    Perhaps would have been worth mentioning that this has actually been in development since way before DayZ or WarZ were conceived? Also this game hasn’t risen from the ashes it’s just had it’s official name revealed. Class 3 was never intended to be an MMO, it is Class 4 (which will be the follow up to State of Decay) that will be a fully fledged MMO. Think of Class 3/State of Decay as an extended single player beta version of Class 4.

    Maybe if you’d read more of the website instead of that one article…

    Though I *am* glad Undead Labs are finally getting some media attention.

  13. makute says:

    It looked OK until the wrestling part. At least, I hope they don’t include weapons like an electrified machete, or the Hammerfan.

    • Mattressi says:

      Yeah, I don’t understand why most sanbox-ish zombie games have to be really silly in nature (whether through stupid wrestling/martial arts moves on zombies or ridiculous elements like electrified machetes). I was moderately interested until that part, though it being third person puts me off enough as it is. To top it off, it seems like they hired Bethesda’s animator’s slow son to do their animations. It definitely beats TES games for the Worst Animation Award.

  14. tungstenHead says:

    That is one ugly game. Still, it looks like it could possibly be kinda fun. There’s not much on show there yet.

  15. Dudeist says:

    L4D2+DayZ+Dead Island+Micros money
    Not milestone

  16. poohbear says:

    It’d be awesome if there was a survival zombie game where u coudnt use guns all the time cause it’d attract dozens of undead, kinda like the walking dead series! running around with a gun or explosives just makes it like every other fps!

    • Geen says:

      Cataclysm, zombie survival roguelike. Firing unsilenced gun without a car or a few thousand bullets (Cannot actually carry that many, even with a backpack.) is suicide, unless it’s an air rifle or something. Shotguns will attract just about everything in a city to you.

  17. Miltrivd says:

    Looks like it could be fun, closer to Left 4 Dead and Dead Island than to DayZ and what Dead State is aiming for, in my opinion. Looks like lots of action, so I think survival focus and immersion are not the real focus.

    I read that it’s mainly Single Player (co-op would fit it pretty well tho) and they are making another game that would cover the online version.

  18. Chubzdoomer says:

    Another zombie game. Yay for creativity.

  19. Kefren says:

    I’m waiting for City of the Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qmku_LWkV8

  20. Lokai says:

    Hey Nathan, check out these FAQ’s they put on the forums. They explain many of things you have questions.

    http://undeadlabs.com/forums/showthread.php?483-Q-amp-A-Zombies-and-Survivors-in-Class3-7-13-12
    http://undeadlabs.com/forums/showthread.php?7-Q-amp-A-World-of-Class3-6-29-12

    There is a story, but it doesn’t seem to be forced upon you. It is entirely singleplayer at the moment, but if this game is successful then they plan to make it something similar to the War Z.

  21. Highstorm says:

    I find myself very bored with the fast-zombie type.

  22. BluElement says:

    “But, somewhat shockingly, Grand-Theft-Auto-meets-zombies hasn’t really been done before, so there’s potential here.”

    What about the mod in GTA4 that turns all civilians into zombies?:P