Battle and levelling-up in Dead State
Unlike many other zombie apocalypse games, you won’t level-up by simply smashing skulls in Dead State. Skill points and perks come from completing tasks for survivors, scavenging food and materials to make the school more secure (further enhancing your team’s moral). It’s oddly refreshing to play the ‘what if’ rather than the ‘wouldn’t it be cool if’ scenario.
Sound plays a vital part in Dead State. Shoot a zombie and it will attract more. Bash down a door (if your mechanical level is too low to lockpick it) and you’ll not only attract the dead, but also bandits inside and nearby. Of course, you can also use it to your advantage, leading zombies away and setting up bandit distractions with certain weapons.
Setting The Tone
Dead State is no Dead Rising or Dead Island 2. It’s a brutal depiction of what such an apocalypse could be. Many survivors will be hostile, team members can easily turn on you (and other survivors) and that’s all while you’re already occupied with killing walkers, scavenging food and managing your shelter.
Locations play a fantastic part in Dead State’s overall look and tone. Deserted hospitals, car parks and supermarkets all help set a chilling atmosphere. Take the time to take-in those surroundings and you’ll almost be able to picture other survivors stories, before their tragic end or departure.
Make no mistake, Dead State won’t hold your hand until you’re ready to part with your zombie-smashing, gang-thrashing stabilisers. I’m a huge fan of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the Enemy Within add-on, and I can easily say that was a walk in the park in comparison to Dead State.
XCOM players will feel right at home with Dead State. Free movement is available while exploring and scavenging but once trouble comes shimmering (or patrolling), you’ll be covering positions and counting those action points!
The ‘what if?’ question is a powerful plus for Dead State. That level of urgency, desperation and uncertainty plays perfectly throughout the entire game. The uncertainty of what lurks behind that door (enemies are only visible when in immediate sight of the playable characters) or what member of your team will suddenly turn against you. The urgency of securing your shelter, gathering food and ammo, and the desperation of needing to go out that one more time, even when you’re fully aware your team just isn’t up to it.
Double Bear have created a survival horror simulator with bucket-loads of future potential. When we put our 100hrs+ into Dead State, it was with the games first post EA build (1.0). There were issues that we felt needed pointing out with shelter NPC’s, combat and exploration. However, we can’t write about these because Double Bear have already fixed these issues and are even adding new additions to the game, with every update!
If you’re a fan of zombie games that seriously fight back, you can’t go wrong with Dead State. It’s possibly one of the most challenging and rewarding survival horror games out there.