State of Decay is an open worldzombie apocalypse survival simulator and the first game from developer Undead Labs, founded by Jeff Strain (aka lead designer of World of Warcraft.) Released on XBLA on June 5th, 2013 and released on the PC on September 20th the same year, State of Decay is set in the rural Trumbull Valley: 16 square kilometers of farmland, forests, and small towns. The player returns from a week-long camping trip to find the dead has risen and must establish a group of survivors to endure the zombie apocalypse.State of Decay combines elements of multiple game genres including third-person combat, base building and community management, loot collection, upgrading skills, and permadeath, among others. The game is single-player only (Currently Undead are working on a Co-Op DLC), but will pave the way for Undead Lab's future zombie apocalypse MMO, tentatively titled Class4.The game's official website is here.The game received positive reviews from critics, with IGN giving it an 8.9 out of 10, but they did point out that the game had framerate issues.It was released on September 20th 2013 for PC on Steam's Early Access program (Notably, the game looked better and has keyboard support, but mouse control is very clunky - an Xbox 360 controller is still preferrable - and the graphic options cannot be fine tuned). Details can be found here.The first DLC, Breakdown was released for seven dollars on November 29th. It comes with a much heavier focus on survival.
State of Decay contains examples of:
A.K.A.-47: Most of the 99 guns in the game use fictional names to various degrees. For example, Maya's Remington 750 rifle is referred to as the 750 Forester, while the various Glock pistols have the maker's named simply shortened to G. Most, if not all, of the Kalashnikov variants in the Assault Rifle category keep their names.
Glock does, however, list the official model name of their weapons as "G17," "G19," or whatever, so that is not necessarily an example.
Action Girl: Many of the female characters can be trained up to become this. Examples are Maya and Sam.
Anyone Can Die: There is no real "main character", no one in your community is safe. Death is permanent; once a character is dead, they're gone for the rest of the game.
Averted temporarily with characters whose storyline isn't completed. These include Ed, before he gets sick and dies if you fail to get Doc Johnson to cure him in time, and Alan, who gets infected and has to be killed. Before their scripted deaths happen, they are all but invincible.
Also averted with Lily, as she cannot be killed, ever. Well, maybe when everyone dies, so will she.
Armies Are Evil: The Army eventually comes into the valley, but they are definitely not there to help. They shoot anyone that tries to get out with no warning, don't explain the situation to anyone, and kick the valley's inhabitants out of their own homes because they're "squatters".
Awesome, but Impractical: In the late game (Or in the early game if you're lucky) players can find light machine guns and grenade launchers, both of which can obliterate entire hordes of zombies with ease and both of which are nearly useless due to ammo scarcity. LM Gs tear through powerful rifle rounds that would be better used in A Rs or hunting rifles while the grenades used in the game's launchers are so rare it's not uncommon to finish the entire game having gathered less than 20 of them.
Heavier weapons like sledgehammers and wood axes are incredibly effective against groups of zombies, due to their sweeping attack that can kill or knock down multiple zombies with one hit, high durability and power.
Finishing moves: less stamina consumed, little to no weapon degrading, temporary invulnerability while performing the kill animation, and fun as hell to watch (Your character can stomp on a zombie's head, crush its head against the wall or perform a weapon type-specific kill animation). This makes melee fights enjoyable, instead of Boring, but Practical.
Special attacks: The Heavy weapon and Edged weapon specialists get an attack that cleave off the legs of multiple zombies, which immediately neutralize them (legless zombies can be executed, otherwise they die by themselves after a few seconds). Doing these attacks 2 or 3 times and you can wipe out a whole horde in the matter of seconds while barely losing any Stamina.
Shotguns (in the hands of a survivor with maxed out skill) are satisfyingly loud, allow for Dramatic Guncock, and can wipe out a whole horde with a single shell.
Big Entrance: You can shoulder in the door or jump through a window to enter a building.
Bittersweet Ending: The remaining survivors are able to escape Trumbell County thanks to Tan's Heroic Sacrifice, but Lily has only months to live due to her lupus medicine becoming literally impossible to find, and the final scene heavily implies that Trumbell wasn't the only area to be infected with the Black Fever.
Boring, but Practical: A few of your facilities can be considered this. The kitchen have an option to increase your survivors' max Health and Stamina, as well as reduce the chance of food poisoning and/or spoilage. The Sleeping area gives Stamina bonus and help characters recover from Tired status faster. The Infirmary help characters heal faster and prevent a sick character from infecting healthy ones. They are nothing fancy to look at, but surviving without them is going to be REALLY hard.
Assault rifles when firing in single shot mode. They have a combination of high accuracy, damage and large magazine size. It's more "fun" to go full-auto, but considering the scarcity of ammunition, sticking to the "boring" single shots will make your supply last much longer.
Some of the more mundane melee weapons are this. Sure you could be creative and beat zombies to death with a sawed off table leg or gardening hoe but a solid steel wrench weighs less and is far more durable.
Breakable Weapons: All your melee weapons eventually become damaged, and further hits with a damaged weapon will break it altogether. Damaged weapons are automatically repaired daily in any home base that has a workshop while a weapon that breaks from overuse is immediately removed from your inventory.
Bullet Time: Time briefly slows down when you dodge or are about to execute a zombie. Characters that have max Shooting level can choose the skill "Focus Aim" that slows down time for as long as their Stamina lasts.
Car Fu: You are welcome to use any working vehicle you find to run down the undead, though they will take damage and eventually become inoperable unless repaired regularly at your home.
Critical Hit: In blunt and heavy weapon, these instantly crushes zombies' head, while an edged weapon can decapitate. Specialization in each weapon type can increase critical chance.
Cosmic Deadline: There is every indication that Undead Labs was forced to ship the game before finishing the third Act, such as the presence of a third town with no story sidequests or anything of particular interest, and the rushed feeling of the endgame quests.
Donut Mess with a Cop: A somewhat indirect example. It could be a complete coincidence that the only police station in the game is directly adjacent to (or rather, attached to) a small donut shop. Could be.
Elite Zombie: The Screamer and Bloated zombies can tilt the odds against you, while the SWAT zombie's armour makes him a pain to kill with guns. Of all of them, though, Feral zombies and Big Bastards are easily the deadliest. Ferals are fast and can easily tear a survivor apart at low health, while Big Bastards are immensely tough to kill and deal massive damage to any vehicle that tries to run them down.
Escort Mission: a random type of mission quite commonly encountered. You need to escort someone to carry a resource to trade for another, or "rescue" and escort someone home. Unlike most examples of this trope, this kind of mission can be highly beneficial. Normally to get a survivor to accompany you, you need to spend 100 Influence, which is no small cost. When you get an Escort mission, however, you get a free zombie fodder that are quite capable at protecting themselves and protecting you, allowing you to clean houses, establish outposts and rack up kills to level up your stats and skills.
Final Death: Yep. No character is the 'main' one, and everyone who dies stays dead.
Finishing Move: You can do this to a knocked down zombie with a button combination. The animation is different depending on your weapon.
As can the normal zombies. It's rather unsettling to watch two zombies fighting over your corpse end up pulling you apart at the waist.
Have a Nice Death: Everytime the character that you control dies, you are treated to a lengthy scene of him/her getting clawed at, gnawed at, ripped in half and continued to be chewed on.
Heal Thy Self: played straight. Health items can restore you to 100% health. There's an exception, though. When you take too much damage, your maximum health is reduced and you need to rest in an Infirmary to recover.
Heroic Second Wind: When your health is depleted, the screen turn black and white and you get the prompt Press B to get up. Press it fast enough and your character will stand up in a dramatic fashion, knocking down all zombies around, with his/her health and stamina restored to maximum (though this maximum is lower than normal, which can only be recovered by resting in an infirmary), allowing you to fight back/escape.
Hollywood Silencer: Averted. Even with one of the rare silencers in-game that hasn't been jury-rigged out of a machine shop the silencers in this game generally only do what they would in the real world, slightly reducing the noise and removing the sharp *Crack* of gunfire. A .22 rifle being silenced will almost sound like the distinctive movie fwip while suppressing an AK-47 will only result in a slightly softer BANG. The trope is played completely straight in actual gameplay, however. So long as the weapon you're firing has a silencer attached zombies will not react to it, even if it's a full sized .50 caliber sniper rifle being fired directly behind them.
Honor Before Reason: At the start of the game, while heading to the Church, Ed will say they need to tell Lily her dad's dead. Marcus will then remind ED that he was just bitten by a zombie, so if he wants to tell them before they heal him, the trio will likely be kicked out on their asses.
Hyper Space Arsenal: Only averted with material rucksacks. Your weapons are seen when you use them, and disappear otherwise.
Karma Meter: Come in three flavors, Influence (that are replacement for cash), Ally Trust (those who are "friend" become playable) and Neighbor Trust (items bought at their supply locker cost less and they can eventually join you when you raise their trust to full).
Kill It with Fire: Molotov Cocktail and Flame Fougasse are both effective against zombies. The latter makes fighting Juggernaut a lot safer.
New Game+: The upcoming "survival mode" is intended to be this, more or less. Completing it results in the entire map reloading itself and all of its scavengable materials while making the zombies more numerous and dangerous, and you are allowed to bring a certain amount of items and survivors from one game over to the next.
Nintendo Hard: In league with the likes of Dark Souls or X-COM. The combat is deliberately awful, Feral Zombies can appear out of nowhere and can instantly kill lone survivors if they catch you by surprise, you only have one save slot and the game autosaves every time someone dies, healing items are relatively scarce, the game will often spawn large amounts of zombies right on top of you, etc. The game becomes somewhat easier if you set up a few outposts to reduce zombie spawning near the base and start using cars as much as possible, but you can still be insta-killed from out of nowhere by any number of hazards.
The Hero: You initially start as Marcus, a hiker who returns from a camping trip with no knowledge of what has happened. But as you build your community, you can play as any group member and are encouraged to switch between characters to utilize their individual skills. Marcus is, however, one of the most effective survivors, especially early on, due to his Powerhouse trait, bonus starting Cardio and Leadership skill.
RPG Elements: Characters have base stats, and can upgrade their abilities through use and training.
Shout Out: Many, often poking fun at other zombie-related franchises:
The Walking Dead: There is a potential community site in Spencer's Mill (the first town) called the Kirkman Residence, a reference to Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. There also posters in Spencer's Mill that say "Richard Grimes for Sheriff", a reference to protagonist Rick Grimes.
Zombieland: The achievement "Rule #1" is a reference to "Rule #1: Cardio", an essential skill to avoiding zombie hordes.
Plants vs Zombies: In a backyard near the church in the first town, a series of lawnmowers and dead zombies is arranged in a reference to the game.
Evil Dead: Outside the city of Marshall is a sign saying "Campbell's Used Autos", a reference to Bruce Campbell who portrayed Ash Williams in the Evil Dead series.
The achievement for self-sacrifice is called "Ya Always Were An Asshole, Gorman!" - a direct quote from Aliens.
Stealth-Based Game: Being able to move quietly is useful for lower level characters. Searching around for stuff can make noise, too, unless you take it slowly. You'll definitely need to crouch in bushes and whatnot to hide from roaming hordes.
Taking You with Me: companion characters that have lost all health (i.e before they get ripped in half like the player character) can pull a grenade from Hyper Space Arsenal and blow themselves up.
Timed Mission: Non-story missions are generated randomly and only last a given amount of time. Failing to complete them can cause you to lose trust in your community, fellow survivors to die, cause the (limited) number of recruitable NPC's to dwindle and die or cost you valuable resources.
Toyota Tripwire: Door hits are instant kills in return for taking very minimal damage to your vehicle.
Universal Ammunition: In use for some calibers due to memory/technical issues. For example, the 7.62mm ammo feeds weapons that fire .308 Winchester, 7.62x39 WP, and 7.62x54 R. In another example, the .50 cal ammo feeds both .50 BMG rifles and .50 AE handguns.
Wide Open Sandbox: Want to clear a house and scavenge for supplies? Clear a zombie infestation? Check out a rumor of survivors? Advance the main story? It's all good. However, given many activities are on a timer, there's a distinct disadvantage to carelessly goofing about and ignoring every mission request.
Zerg Rush: a favored tactic of the zombies, of course.
Zombie Apocalypse: Very heavily implied. The extent is unknown, but Trumbull Valley is completely overrun.
If the game's codename Class3 is anything to go by, then that's probably the extent of the apocalypse.
Zombie Infectee: Done non-conventionally. Zombie bites are survivable if treated soon enough, but if left untreated they do eventually result in death and reanimation (although it's not specified the extent to which the zombies are a specific disease, versus simply causing non-supernatural fatal infections due to being rotting corpses.)