Klark Kliff Notes of Videos and Interviews:
State of Decay takes place in a huge tract of land with two central towns and numerous other areas to explore. Although the game is officially set in "Anytown, USA”, it was suggested that the dev team took some inspiration from Eastern Washington state -- a hot, dry, spread out, rural area . (which means, these people likely have poor people interwebz, no worries, cloud on the way)
You are free to go absolutely anywhere on the map you so chose, and every building on it can be opened and entered for the purposes of exploration, hiding from the undead, or scavenging for supplies. (In an dev interview I heard 99% of the buildings)
. A big portion of this game is scaveging for supplies in order to keep your group happy and building/structure resources working.
Scattered cars can be used for faster travel, but your character is easily able to scale slopes, hop fences, and otherwise move in a natural, logical fashion through the landscape. From what I can tell, cars are a useful resource for not only traveling but slaying hoards of zombies, but appear to be limited and take damage.
Much like Walking Dead, as you further explore the world, you will come across survivors. Some will be friendly and some not-so-friendly, but at this point, the dev team says there are reportedly no hostile human factions to contend with, just an endless amount of respawning zombies. (sad face. no Governor?) After meeting people, you have to build relationships with them before they can be recruited. Once trust is established and the other survivor calls your base his home, you are able to switch from the original set of 3 characters and take control of your new zombie survival buddy.
State of Decay takes a "community" approach. Rather than investing in any one particular character, you are encouraged to take turns with each member of their group in various ways. (each character has a limited amount of health and stamina) Frequent activity will drain this, and it can only be replenished by letting that character rest. To continue playing, a fresh character must be put into action while the exhausted one chills at your home base.
Another interesting way of encouraging the utilization of other characters is that they each have varying skill sets. While the combat-centered former hard arse soldier is sleeping in the barracks, the former gardener can tend vegetables in a guarded safe-zone planting area to increase the food supply available to the group. Another character may be great with carpentry, another may be a faster runner, and so on and so forth. While some skills are common to all characters, there will definitely be an advantage to putting those with special aptitudes on work details which suits them.
Once you have a sufficient number of people have been permitted/added to the group, you can assign them different roles in a variety of locations. Some can tend the safe houses and outposts which are built by the player, some can staff clinics, some can help research new weapons and generate ammunition, and so on.
As far as bases and structures go. There are multiple strongholds/bases scattered within the game that you will unlock as your character progesses. Obviously the further into the game, the better the base is at defeding off hoards of zombies that show up on your front door. The defenses, along with the resource structures within your base are upgradeable if assigned to the correctly skilled member of your group of survivors.
For the community to survive, it will take more than one gung-ho (sP?) hero chopping heads off of the undead to last more than a few hours. In SoD, every able body must pitch in, and you the player controls it all. False: IRL Zombie Apolypse me, anti, and pevy would run shite and all be gun toting, machete wielding badasses.....if they left their wifes/girlfriends to die. Don't worry fellas, I'll have us a truck load of hot loose Messican women from the great state of Texas to serve us chalupas and suck our D's everynight
I watched a video earlier today of a dev giving an interesting example of how this might play out when he described discovering some ammunition in a house on the other side of the map. He radioed (sp?) back to headquarters and told one of his non-active characters where the supplies were, and then that character used pathfinding AI to make its way to the loot. As that character was traveling, it picked up a pack of zombies as it crossed town, so the developer hopped in a car and ran down the horde to in order to give the runner some assistance.
Every character in the game has a randomized set of skills. These skills overtime, with use of character, can be upgraded or level up on their own, I'm not sure. But not every character has the same base set of skills. The survivors can’t have more than seven skills and up to four traits/abilities, and they probably have fewer. The seventh would be the survivor’s Weapon Specialization. Each survivor can have four Signature Abilities, but only one of each type. (Offensive, Defensive, Utility, and General.)
Examples of signature traits/abilities i heard mentioned
Decapitate (Offensive) -- focused attack guaranteed to decapitate the target.
Rage (General) -- Sometimes taking your anger out on something is therapeutic. Every time you kill an enemy, you regain a small amount of Stamina.
Thievery (General) -- You are the night. Doors are never considered locked for you, and you make no noise when you search.
Sexting (General) - i shite you not. it's a dev joke and serves no purpose. But I promise you IRL Zombie Apolypse I would have this skill maxed out from the get go. AMIRIGHT?
If you've read this far into this wall of txt (which I hope you have, i puts lots of effort into this <3)
you are wondering, what about weapons KK? Undead Lab devs proclaim there are 99 different guns in this games. No, not 15-20 guns in assorted colors or attachments, but actually 99 different guns. And yes, you can upgrade the guns and add attachments (supressors, sights, etc). From the gameplay vids I've watched, it appears that Anytown, USA was a NRA stronghold. Errbody packing heat. Along with 99 guns, if that wasn't enough, there are an endless amount of other weapons, such as hatchets, machetes, golf clubs, baseball bats, etc. Also have attachments.
Be warned, much like explosions and crashing vehicles, guns attract zombies and from what I can tell, attract them quickly. So you'll need to choose your battles and when to use stealth or when to go a guns blazing.
Ahh, the obvious next question: Multiplayer? Doesn't appear so. Sad face again. To much to ask for I suppose? One slight, yet major capability that keeps this game from being perfect, IMO. Pevy would've made the perfect TDawg (I mean Daryl)
Price? that hasn't been release yet. Stop being poor (had to put that in here somewhere), i doubt it's more than any other XBLA title you cheap ass.
Ahh, and finally, how long is the storyline? I've read, depeding on the side missions you take on along with storyline missions 15-20 hours. But again, it's an open world, so you could get lost for hours wrecking vehicles, slaying zombies, and causing general havoc. The final mission does end the game. Big fricking deal, start a new game and stop at the final mission. Summary (or for those with short attention spans, most of you):
Grand Theft Auto like graphics and movement set in a giant open world zombie apoclyptic survival game, where building a "community" is equally important as straight killing zombies.
This post was edited on 5/23 at 8:30 pm