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State of Decay: Lifeline Review

 

State of Decay’s Lifeline DLC is something I consider nearly the complete opposite of Breakdown. As I stated before, Breakdown slowly ramps up the difficulty and you should maintain a small, but efficient group. Lifeline though? Hell. No. The difficulty comes at you and it comes at you fast and you need to grab every survivor you can in order to actually survive. In Lifeline you start off well equipped, perked, and prepped to defend yourself, but over time your supplies diminish as you hastily use them in your vain attempt to survive. You want a challenge? You want intensity? Then you will want to pick up Lifeline.

The map, while smaller, also feels a lot more dense. There is hardly a dull moment and you can almost never turn around and say “Hmm there are no zombies around me.” The map largely consists of the highway, which will take you from point A to point B with some maneuvering, and is generally infested with zombies. I found that most of my time was spent driving on the highway trying to get to small towns. While the map is good and does what it should, I can’t help but feel a strong desire to go in to the actual city, which is blocked off, but for good reasons. Those reasons being that they are completely infested and overrun with zombies. The redzones on the map are the areas you can’t really enter, which just so happens to mostly be the heart of Danforth and also just so happens to be completely infested with zombies, but it would have been awesome to at least get a look at the center of it all, because what Lifeline was supposed to do was give us is a chance to see the beginning, but we come out knowing only a tiny bit of additional information of the outbreak itself.

 If it is marked red you can’t go in and if you can you get swarmed by zombies

The story isn’t anything too special, but that doesn’t mean it is exactly bad. You start off as a small group of soldiers who are stranded by the catastrophe and have to attempt to survive. You being on the highway with the objective “Kill Everything” and eventually have to find your way back to base. Along the way you are tasked to rescue VIP’s that may hold the key to stopping the infection.  There are better ways they could have started this off and it wasn’t exactly as epic as it could have been, but the story to me has never shined as something epic or too over the top. It is standard to a flaw at points though, but the main attraction was never really the story of this game. A bit in you discover a radio host who blurts out generic insults to the military, but also hands out information on survivors. Lucky for us we no longer have to constantly hear “Whatcha got?”… “Oh…. you know…. stuff.” however, her insults and lines really aren’t that much better. The main point of the story is that the soldiers at the outpost have to survive for as long as they can and grab as many VIP’s as they can, I do not know if there is a VIP limit or not, but in my game it slowed down drastically after about the fifth one. The story isn’t exactly where this DLC shines though, because as I stated above, we really do not learn too much about the start of the infection. Where it does shine though is in the difficulty.

 

 The difficulty in this DLC is real and it comes at you really fast. There is a new feature called danger levels, which basically tell you when your base is going to be attacked by a large group of zombies. The danger level system ranges from 1 (No danger) to 3 (Attack imminent) and after level 3 you go through a siege of only about 100 zombies or so. It does get pretty ridiculous and the problem I mostly have is the fact that I only have 5 survivors and I’m lucky if 2 of them are actually helping me out, which makes my life EXTREMELY hard as I usually lose at least 1 person a siege due to this. With that said you are also are constantly running around grabbing supplies, doing missions, or helping people out. This DLC  is more time based though as your base is open to attacks and some of the missions are actually time sensitive. Every siege you survive eventually brings in a new, bigger, and scarier siege and I can’t help but scream “Holy crap!” at the amount of zombies bum rushing my base, banging on my gates, and flooding over the fences, it truly can be quiet epic. The sieges alone are intense enough to make a regular sized group cringe, but throw in the fact that you have a very small group and you might cry in a corner with your thumb in your mouth as your group is viciously torn apart. I’m basing this off of my own group, which is 5 survivors ‘strong’, but if you do everything perfectly, keep everyone alive, and help everyone… it will still take a while to even reach 20 survivors and God knows how big the sieges will get at that point.

The red and white dots = enemies

Overall at the beginning I was somewhat disappointed, I did not enjoy the anticlimactic opening and the seemingly small map, but it all works and it works VERY well and feels much better after I’ve gotten to fool around with it more. I’ve already gotten 7 hours of play from a $7 DLC and I honestly can see myself getting at least 30 hours from it. What Undead Labs has done for me is prove that they can craft a DLC worth my time and put an appropriate price tag on it as well. While the map is more restricted than the original, it still offers intensity and density in a smaller, but lively map. The story is the biggest flaw in this DLC, as there are several missed opportunities by Undead Labs that could have turned it from a mildly interesting story to an intense and engaging one. You want difficulty from the get go, well, this is the DLC for you.  It can be somewhat unforgiving for even some of your minor mistakes, every survivor counts, and every time you live to see another day is a reason you should rejoice, but not for long. What you can get in this DLC exceeds the price tag as it is intense, replayable, and overall a blast to play. If you were expecting just another version of Breakdown, you were wrong. What Lifeline feels like to me is the opposite of Breakdown and that isn’t even close to a flaw.

Yeah, life did not end well for her as she was literally ripped in half

Overall Score: 8.5/10

RGN Rating: Silver Game

Developer: Undead Labs

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Available On: PC, Xbox 360

Played on: PC

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the developer for the purpose of this Review.

 

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20140529 and was last modified on 20140529 .

State of Decay: Breakdown Review

 

State of Decay may have been something you overlooked over on it’s release last year as an XBLA Exclusive, hell, even I did until late last year when it finally made its way to PC. State of Decay for Tristan was a 7.9, but this is the review of the DLC we missed out on. State of Decay’s first DLC is titled Breakdown, giving me what I’ve wanted for some time, sandbox mode. That was the original reason I skipped over the game, but in addition I also was waiting for the PC release as I preferred the comfort of my PC vs. the coldness of my sad, Xbox Live-less 360. This wasn’t exactly a game I hadn’t looked forward to and the wait did kill me, but it was well worth the wait especially with the DLC added in. I rarely consider DLC worth it in the long run, but I can’t help but say it for this game.

 

This brings us a little bit of a different approach than normal sandbox modes though as the difficulty is real, you can run out of resources, and you need to have a somewhat tactical approach to everything. You need to scavenge for building materials, food, medical supplies, and some times people. You can get a large group, but somewhere down the line you will notice that a smaller group is the best idea, as a bigger group kills off your resources faster. You can progress whenever you get the RV in shape (Which isn’t very hard) and go to a ‘new’ valley. At first I was somewhat disappointed as the ‘new’ valley is really the valley you were just in, except the resources are back and randomized again. Every time you do this though you jump up the difficulty and I believe the maximum is 11, but to my knowledge no one has ever gotten that far.

 

 The story is pretty cut and dry as a sandbox and does not really have too much of an impact, but you do meet groups of survivors and learn a little bit about them as you help them. Really though, you do learn a lot of minor things about the characters you play and talk with. They will tell you neat little stories when you help them, play them, or whatever else you can do. The stories are generally pretty interesting and offer a little piece to that character’s personality. The survivability can be summarized rather easily as well. You need survivors (Not too many), supplies, a base, and awareness. Your survivor will get tired, your weapons will break, and your supplies will dwindle. Further more, the game actually progresses while you are offline. You will lose people, supplies, and depending on how you leave your camp everything can go to hell with your absence. Don’t let this bother you though as it isn’t any too major, but if you leave your camp unhappy and return 2 days after not playing, more than likely you are coming back to a MUCH more unhappy camp. You can leave for weeks though at a time with only minor changes as well. The first day of absence seems to have the biggest changes and after that it seems to drop.

 

My biggest complaint would be the dialogue between the main character and Lily. The main complaint is the recycled dialogue exchanges that happen way too often if you play as much as I do. “What did you bring me?”… “Ohhhh…. you know…. stuff.” this happens almost every time you bring back some supplies. There are a couple generic lines about survivors, helping a survivor, and hordes, but it doesn’t hurt the game too much luckily, but I have been annoyed to the point where I just can’t take the generic chat exchanges. This generally happens whenever I am doing quick supply runs and I just grow tired of hearing the generic “Oh…. you know…. stuff.” ~ Every Character You Play. This could be easily fixed by just adding the “Oh, I picked up some medical/building/food supplies for the group!” but really this is just a minor complaint.

 The difficulty ramps can be pretty extreme as well and can get to you fast. Hordes increase, car count decreases, faster zombies come out, infestations increase, and your survivor cap decreases. The smaller a group you have the more supplies you save, but there is strength in numbers. The difficulty gives you enough time to adjust to the game, but the ramps can leave you shaking in the corner, rolled up in a ball, and crying. I’m not exactly the type of person who hates difficulty (unless it is done poorly) and in this case it is a great thing and Undead Labs has done it properly. You are almost always thrown in to a new situation when you reset the valley and it can refreshing, but some times frustrating. During the reset you take a few survivors with you and they are carried over to the next ‘valley’ with you, so, choose wisely!

 

 

Overall State of Decay’s first DLC is a success. It adds something that nobody could refuse and gives it to you at such a low price of $6.99. It is rare that you find great DLC packs for so cheap and nowadays it is hard to find any DLC that is actually worth it, but Breakdown is not only worth it, it is underpriced. As even by level 3 I’m still discovering new places around the map and it has VERY high replayability. I can’t say I agree with Tristan’s review of the base game, but that is neither here or there. This DLC is something you should grab and I think State of Decay is something worth grabbing as well. It offers you hours of fun for a very reasonable price. If you do only have the base game, I would strongly suggest purchasing the DLC, because it adds an entirely new depth to an already entertaining game at a low price. There aren’t many real complaints that I can bring up about this, but the one valley (while big) can get old eventually and it would have been awesome if they had at least one other valley or just one randomly generated valley, but that combined with some of the generic lines make it a little less than perfect. Even with these minor faults though the price, the replayability, and the overall DLC makes it extremely hard to not purchase.

 

 

Overall Score: 9/10

RGN Rating: Gold Game

Developer: Undead Labs

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Available On: PC, Xbox 360

Played on: PC

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20140528 and was last modified on 20140530 .

RGN Daily News #36: New Black Ops II DLC + More News

The RealGamerNewz brings together all of today’s news including the confirmation of our earlier rumor of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s new DLC including “Buried” cowboy zombies mode and 4 new multiplayer maps. We also discuss a lot of other topics including shootings related to gaming, the latest DLC and game releases, and more. Apologies for all who were waiting for today’s episode which arrives a little later than usual due to a few technical difficulties.

Some of the topics discussed include:

-Oddworld: New N Tasty Not Releasing on Xbox ONE After All

-Black Ops 2: Vengeance DLC Rumor Confirmed

-DriveClub PS+ Edition Explained by Sony… Again

-inFamous Second Son Could Have Multiplayer

-Today’s Deals on Games

-State of Decay Xbox 360 Exclusive Sales Figures

-TitanFall Will Arrive on Windows PC and Xbox ONE

-Elder Scrolls Online and Monster Hunter Online Beta Invites Arrive

-Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection Releasing July 9, 2013

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130619 and was last modified on 20131220 .

State of Decay Sales Numbers Are In, They Are Decent

State of Decay sales numbers are in. For an XBLA game this title is doing big numbers, over 500,000 sales have been achieved thus far and it’s already being christened with rewards by its creators. State of Decay will receive a new Sandbox mode further expanding the freedom-based zombie survival gameplay experience currently offered only on the Xbox 360. There will also be a Windows PC version of the game planned and released to commemorate its success thus far. It will be interesting to see now if the game will continually be expanded or if a sequel will come to fruition instead.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130619 and was last modified on 20130619 .

State of Decay Review

Microsoft’s new zombie game State of Decay developed by Undead Labs for 360 and on PC. But at the moment this new IP has hit the Xbox Live Arcade. State of Decay is a zombie game where survival and strategy does matter. You either live or you die it’s simple.

Soundtrack, Audio, Voice: The music is very similar to the popular tv show The Walking Dead. It would make sense since when playing this I am reminded of the show a whole lot. The audio mixes in well with the only out of place sounds are during feast scenes that rarely happen, unless you just suck and die a whole lot. Voice acting is good for a game focused on many different characters that you can play as. Other characters voices fit as it seems it the game had a pretty good budget for a huge array of voice actors.

Graphics, Physics, Glitches, Engine Performance: The graphics are very very good especially for a Xbox Live Arcade game. The PC’s graphics do look better though but honestly it looks great on either system. Physics are pretty realistic but with a kinda Dead Rising combat type feel that pushes a few things away. Glitches are not barley there, the only time I noticed something was when I was driving and the map was loading in front of me at one point, other than that perfecto polished. The CryEngine 3 works it’s magic in State of Decay. As I said the fact that the game looks great and feels smooth like a Crysis game (of course it’s nothing like Crysis) is just another plus for this game.

Zombies: State of Decay features a whole lot of different zombies. There are walkers the slow normal zombies. Faster zombies you would see in a movie like World War Z. Big Brute like zombies, like the Tank from Left 4 Dead. Screamers which just attract other zombies. Crawlers which do as the name suggest crawl. Then there is these beast like zombies that charge. There are plenty of other zombies I came across that you will have to find out for your self about.

Gameplay: The game play at some points resembles Dead Rising. But at others could be compared to Yakuza but a lot better. In the end the style plays like State of Decay. Fighting off zombies with guns and melee weapons that can break. You pretty much have to go at the zombie either alone or with people from your homestead. You can combat with cars as well but they take damage easily. Your best bet is stealth on foot and quick attacks. The framrates also drop a lot which is one big issue.

Story: The story is pretty clear cut, it’s all about survival. Basically the story revolves around what you do. It is a really personal experience. You can really get a true sense out of yourself in this. If your character dies the character is dead you want to live you don’t want to die. No one wants to die. You have to build up your homestead to keep people safe and find food and so many other things that make the word death different in this game.

Replay Ability: Very High

Final Verdict: State of Decay is a true testament of wanting to make you live. The zombie overrun open world map feels real when you move around it. State of Decay earns itself a 9.9 out of 10.

 

Overall Score: 7.9/10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game

Review Copy Info: a copy of this downloadable game was purchased by  RealGamerNewz for purposes of this review.

Available on: Xbox 360, and PC

Played on: Xbox 360 

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20130618 and was last modified on 20140212 .

RGN Daily News #34: Buyer Beware – Are Gameplay Trailers Real?

In this episode of the RGN Daily News we discuss the latest gameplay trailers released before and after E3 2013 as the next-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE were revealed by Microsoft and Sony (finally). We will also discuss some upcoming reviews that we are bringing to the site soon including ShootMania Storm, The Last of Us, State of Decay, Remember Me and more. The day’s events go down with a tea spoon of history as Hitman and Tristan’s Twisted World reveal some of the inner-workings of the game industry older than some of the gamers out there speaking on them. Enjoy the show and as always let us know any and all feedback, we look forward to the next-generation gaming moving the art and business of games to new heights.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130615 and was last modified on 20131220 .

Microsoft’s Secret Weapon: State of Decay Xbox 360 Console Exclusive Zombies Gameplay Trailer Released

CryEngine 3 open-world survival game State of Decay for Xbox 360 (console exclusive) and PC is featured in the following gameplay trailer released today by Undead Labs and Microsoft Studios. Although many may be sleeping on this title and possibly haven’t even heard of it yet, we have seen an explosive stream of innovation and consumer demand from the Zombie subculture and game genre and this title is poised to make an impact on Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 this June 2013.

The game itself looks to combine open world aspects of hugely popular ArmA 2 mod, Day Z which also sets players on a huge map finding their way around surviving the Zombie Apocalypse and yet there is also influence seen from the Dead Rising series in the way that comedy is thrown into the mix for a passion-filled bloodthirsty gameplay formula. State of Decay from Dead Labs will serve as Microsoft’s Secret Weapon since it will not be available on PlayStation consoles and will force those who love the new zombies gaming trend, as most gamers do, to get down with Microsoft either on 360 or PC.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130414 and was last modified on 20130414 .