State of Decay, released on Xbox Live Arcade back in June, was the surprise of the summer.
The little open world zombie game that could, State of Decay’s ambition and post apocalyptic wish fulfillment eclipsed the slightly ‘ragged around the edges’ feel of a game that by all rights, felt too big for XBLA.
Undead Labs just announced that its first flagship title has hit 1m sales between iterations for both XBL and through Steam Early access.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Undead Labs have responded to the call from fans for an even more open world with a higher level of difficulty.
The result is State of Decay: Breakdown, which has been passed to Microsoft for certification and is expected to be released by the end of October on XBL. Originally positioned as an update, Breakdown appears to have made the move to full DLC status – no official word on this yet but TwinStickGaming expects Breakdown to carry a price tag between £5-£10.
Similarly, whilst Breakdown is confirmed as coming to PC, “eventually” is the ballpark release date for that platform.
Referred to as Sandbox mode at times throughout its development, Breakdown ups the ante in State of Decay by increasing zombie potency, limiting resources and increasing the need for stealth, smart planning and caution. Gone are the times where you had more resources than you knew what to do with. Cars are no longer State of Decay’s WMDs and will be increasingly short supply. With Breakdown, Undead Labs looks set to put the danger back in State of Decay’s endgame and increase the survival aspects of the title.
State of Decay takes place in a valley setting complete with rural farmland and small towns – in Breakdown, once the player clears the valley, they move on to the next with a small team of survivors. Think of it as a new game + where the difficulty scales upwards every time.
The goal is to “create a version of the game that gets so hard by the end, I can barely play it” says Undead Labs.
Whilst State of Decay’s occasional jankiness could be forgiven in light of its staggering scale and sandbox gameplay, the main criticism I had of the title was that, after a point, the zombie threat became much less threatening. The upcoming DLC release of Breakdown looks set to increase the high stakes, tension and replayability of a title I poured many hours into over the summer.
As a man whose favorite game of this generation is Dark Souls, I say, bring on Breakdown.
For more details on the ins and outs of Breakdown, visit Undead Labs here.
More State of Decay news and a full review of State of Decay: Breakdown to follow.
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