Saturday, June 21, 2014

Get State of Decay [Online Game Code]

Get State of Decay [Online Game Code]




Have you ever met a gamer who tries to apply logic to glitches? Taking a previous reviewer's criticism of zombies spawning on top of you, they'd say, "well that's meant to reflect the impossibility of constant DON'T have eyes in the back of your head." To which you reply, "Oh yeah? Well why did I crash to desktop?" And they retort, "Well THAT is meant to reflect..." and you don't hear the rest, because you've written them off. This game will draw that particular demographic. You are on notice.

State of Decay is brilliant. It's the closest thing to the Walking Dead game you want, but likely will never be made. It has all the best of the resource management, ammo conservation, survival horror games. If you run from A to B and arrive exhausted, you'll be too tired to attack effectively. If you return to base half dead, but opt to go back into the fray without food or meds, you stand a good chance of dying. You learn to think ahead, come prepared, and take your environment seriously.

So why the average rating, you ask? I've owned this game for three days. I've started it over four time: Once because I did something I shouldn't have (this game has a learning curve and no formal tutorial) and three times because a character died due to lag, a crash, or the aforementioned ninja spawning. The game has a truly annoying autosave system. The save is not there to aid you in the event of a crash, merely preserve "realism" and punish you if a character dies or you "fail" a mission. Aside from MMOs, I've never seen lag where the NPCs don't lag with you. They don't lag with you here. So a spike of any kind stands a good chance of wiping you out. Autosave. End of story.

A word on failing missions and characters dying:

Missions: Before long, you will get bombarded with missions. This game boasts an impressive cast of helpless AI. You can switch to these characters and thrown down, but without you at the helm, they're useless. You will be inundated with requests to come and save/assist various people. Without your aid, there is a chance that they will die. This on top of storyline quests that take you all over a map. You can relocate your community to ease this burden, but it remains a burden nonetheless. You have one main "base" and several "outposts" that you can build. How glorious it would be if you could strategically place characters around the city in these outposts. But you can't. Once you shift from character to character, the former character begins returning home, which results in a lot of unnecessary travel and covering the same terrain over and over and over again.

More problematically, merely driving NEAR a mission will throw you into it, even if you were preoccupied with some other informal task (e.g. collecting resources). Leaving the "mission area" will cause you to fail that mission. The game will autosave. You will never have an opportunity to do that mission on the current play through.

Character death: It's permanent. No surprise. That 'permdeath' does a lot to set the tone. You can go over your way to save a deathly ill character, have them recover, then die at a routine outing/on patrol. Few things set the tone of helplessness and futility than that. But dying due to bugs, glitches, and a mediocre spawning system make these death cheap. Maybe you're better at rationalizing than I am, but I have a hard time embracing an exacting system that does not account for glitches and game errors. You pay for your mistakes and Microsoft's -- which you Windows users will feel to be nothing new, but like no more here. There IS independent software that allows you to manage backup saves. I neither endorse nor criticize. If you can use it responsibly, to account for game errors, but eat the tragic death when you legitimately screwed up? I say do it.

Nitpicking: The game tries character development with various contextual dialogue after you've chosen a waypoint on your map (which is essentially "accepting a mission") that dialogue is typically cutoff by an announcement of some routine mission. You never hear the rest of it.

Your fellow survivors lose "trust" in you when you do things like shoot them or burn them with a molotov (sensible enough), or hit them with a car. The hitbox for the cars is massive. Merely driving NEAR them will cause this loss of trust, even if you came nowhere near hitting them -- and don't expect them to do engage in any defense inside the car, either.

Full Disclosure: I got this game for free with store credit. I do not understand people who say "this game would be more fun if I bought it on sale." Fun is fun at any price. However, getting for free tempered my expectations. Take that for what you will.

Bottom line: A terrific game if you can survive the drawbacks. I haven't tried the backup save manager, but that may significant improve this game for me. If so, I will not come back and change my review. I am reviewing a game, not independent software.

I hope this review has been useful. Happy gaming.