State of Decay: Lifeline Review
By now it is probably of no surprise that I am a huge fan of State of Decay. The post-apocalyptic, zombie survival game developed by Undead Labs captured my attention the day it launches and has continued to do so, now hundreds of hours later. The first DLC, Breakdown, was brilliant; it added a free roam game mode that many were begging for. Lifeline takes it a step further by giving us a new setting, a new mission, and some new features that can’t be missed.
Lifeline follows the U.S. Army as it tries desperately to take hold of the situation ensuing within our post-apocalyptic dreams. Zombies are running amok, of course, and ordinary civilians are trapped in some odd places with little chance of survival. That is, unless someone like you or me can drive insanely down the road, railing into undead scattered about the roads, and blast and smash our way to their hearts.
The main goal of Lifeline is pretty similar to that of State of Decay and Breakdown. The basic formula of scavenging for necessary supplies, saving survivors, and bringing it all back to base to survive another day, may seem like a tiring cliché. However, Undead Labs somehow perfected the formula the first time around. We’re on the second DLC and the concept of the game is still interesting. I am still enraptured by the idea of finding a pistol in the desk of an office, or a bag of medicine or food in a dilapidated hole in the wall. I’m not tired of the gameplay yet, and I don’t think I’m the only one.
The biggest new aspect of Lifeline, however, is the zombie sieges. Occasionally, the city just outside your reach becomes overflowing with the undead, which means they all come rushing at you for one reason or another. That’s fine with me, let them come, I have enough ammo and big guns to handle the problem and then some. A few waves encompass the sieges; with increasingly more zombies and the ever-difficult boss types. These break up the scavenging and savior gameplay we’ve come to know. The feeling of a siege being brought down upon you is wonderful, it really gets the adrenaline pumping as tens of zombies rush your gates, attempting to eat those within alive.
Another new feature, and one I have been hoping for since the initial launch of the game, is the inclusion of inventory space in your vehicles. All too often I have found myself with more bags of supplies than I could carry, forcing me to take numerous trips to bring everything back. No longer are such troubles a concern, as Undead Labs has allowed rucksacks to be put into the trunk or the back of your truck for storage, where they can be delivered to your base by parking the vehicle. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it is wonderful.
State of Decay: Lifeline is not without its faults, unfortunately. During my playtime, I experienced numerous frame rate drops, all of which sent me chugging along for a few seconds while everything struggled to catch up. These drops passed quickly, but they were still noticeable and distracting. This is an issue that can be easily fixed with a future patch.
Another gripe of mine with Lifeline would be the massive city sitting just outside your reach. The towering skyscrapers, smoking and on fire, beg to be explored. Those mean city streets would be a great place to scavenge and fight off hordes of zombies. However, that never happens, as the city is blocked from player access, which is too bad.
All in all, like the other State of Decay titles, I have to highly recommend picking up Lifeline. The price tag is more than reasonable for the experience and content you will receive with the expansion. The new features bring about a revival to the original game, while the few issues it does have are minute.
A huge thanks to Undead Labs for the review copy!