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State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition Builds a Bigger Zombie Apocalypse

State of Decay was one of the gaming highlights of 2013 (and much of 2014). A persistent, open-world zombie survival game, with base-building, resource management, and perma-death? Heck yes! It was unique and addictive – the kind of game that is different for every player, yet with a cohesive, universal feeling and message. And soon, State of Decay fans and newcomers alike will get to experience the post-apocalyptic adventure in a whole new light in State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition for Xbox One.

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State of Decay puts you in the center of a zombie apocalypse in Trumbull Valley. With an ever-growing band of survivors under your control, you have to figure out a way to stay alive long enough to escape. In Year-One Survival Edition, along with the base game, you get both DLCs: A more open-ended, “how long can you survive” experience (Breakdown), and a more structured experience (Lifeline) that includes a different location (Danforth) and you playing as a military unit, Greyhound One. Year-One Survival Edition comes with all three for $29.99 – which is an insane deal.

For its Xbox One upgrade, State of Decay gets a fancy new coat of 1080p paint. New textures add an increased level of detail to the world, and the lighting changes make day more vibrant… and night more treacherous. The increased draw distance lets you see zombie hordes coming from way down the road, giving you more time to prepare (or panic).

But State of Decay is really about the people, and developer Undead Labs made improvements to them as well. New animations make both humans and zombies move more fluidly and realistically, while an improved interface makes it easier for players to manage items, equip weapons, and make snap decisions during an intense horde attack. On top that, some of the characters from the Lifeline expansion are now playable in the Breakdown expansion.

Oh, and you’ve got a knife now – a sweet, sharp-ass knife. So if your melee weapon breaks, you can go all Michael Myers on the zombies instead of kicking them to death.

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For the loyal State of Decay fans, Microsoft and Undead Labs are sweetening the deal: Everyone who already owns the Xbox 360 version receives a 33% discount on Year-One Survival Edition when it hits Xbox One later this year. On top of that, returning players receive a new exclusive character, the sword-wielding Indian-American badass, Gurubani.

Year-One Survival Edition is truly impressive, and definitely closer to the vision that Undead Labs had for the original game. State of Decay was an ambitious project – and it’s exciting to see it on hardware powerful enough to really handle its apocalyptic scope.

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