State of Decay: YOSE Day One Edition Review
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

When I first reviewed the original version of State of Decay I called it "Shallow and unfinished but surprisingly deep," and now a few years later the newly released Year One Survival Edition is slightly less shallow, still as unfinished and just as deep. While a lot has changed in the video game industry since the game's original release in the summer of 2013, State of Decay really hasn't besides slightly improved graphics and a bit more content, which is a shame because every time I went to play it I was constantly reminded of the game that this could have been, and that Undead Labs set out to make in the first place.

...the smart man's zombie game.
State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition Review Screenshot

For those who missed the initial release, State of Decay is meant to the smart man's zombie game. Instead of just mowing down the undead with a series of automatic weapons, you're thinking about energy levels and structures for safety. Think of it essentially as the Doomsday Preppers simulator. You'll start with the most basic of equipment like a branch to fend off the undead and not much in terms of shelter but as you progress through the game you'll have the opportunity to buy (yes, buy, don't spend much time thinking of how this is happening in the zombie apocalypse) bigger shelters and better weapons. It's an interesting mechanic which really and makes you think about these scenarios in ways that other games may least that's the idea.

Like the original game, State of Decay's Year One Survival Edition has a lot of ideas and just no real way of knowing how to implement them. Everything has a consequence in State of Decay, whether it's deciding whether to take a car when you go out scavenging for resources knowing that it will be faster but will also attract more zombies or if that last heavy piece of material is really worth it, knowing that it will slow you down in the long run. This all sounds great right? Except it never really feels like it's implemented in the nearly the right way. I may be in the minority here but I never really felt a sense of danger in State of Decay, even when being confronted by a ton of zombies; I just tried to avoid them, and while sometimes it was easier than others I never really worried about losing party members because they were all so disposable and I never really fostered a connection with any of them.

State of Decay also has a tendency to make everyone and everything seem incredibly dumb. You'll constantly have to double back and ensure your party members aren't getting mauled by the undead and this makes the vast majority of the game feel like one big escort mission. The whole thing feels like a stage production at times too, I often laughed when a character would give the all clear in an area where zombies where just standing around a bit down the road, waiting for me like actors waiting for their cue. I could be making all the noise I wanted and they wouldn't even come near me because I was so far away. Some of the missions, especially those in the first half of the game were ridiculously lazy as well; "go up to that hill and survey for survivors" oh, you mean that one five feet away and only a few feet higher than we are now? Sure thing chief. wasn't a good choice.
State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition Review Screenshot

As surprisingly deep as State of Decay can be, it has a habit of getting you really into a mission and then some technical glitch will pull you out of it. Countless times zombies and even my party would find themselves stuck in buildings or boulders, or really anything in the environment. It wasn't a huge deal when the enemies did it but when one of my characters would get stuck and my choice boiled down to either restarting or going without that party member, it wasn't a good choice. These HD re-releases are often made to fix issues with the original release but Undead Labs didn't do that, they just seemingly worked around them.

The Year One Survival Edition packages the original base game with it's two main DLC offerings, the unlimited sandbox mode of Breakdown and the story based Lifeline. Breakdown is easily the better of the offerings as it gives you more time to putz around with the game's surprisingly deep systems but Lifeline just reminds you that they're there and haven't been fixed yet. I'm not even going to lie, I haven't finished Lifeline simply because I have no need or want to.

Despite all of these complaints, State of Decay's Year One Survival Edition is worth at least playing, just wait for a decent sale. It's got a surprisingly deep survival system and allows you to experiment in ways that other games don't — it's just a shame that the rest of the game is so uneven. The saddest part about State of Decay and it's Year One Survival Edition? Every time I play it I can't help but think of the game that it could have been, and the game that Undead Labs set out to make.

Overall:  6/10 Presentation: 6 Gameplay: 6 
Lasting Appeal: 7 CHEATfactor: 10 
CHEATS USED: Unlimited Health, Add Influence, Unlimited Durability, more
Despite all of this, the trainer for State of Decay's Year One Survival Edition is easily one of the best I've used all year. Any prepare would love a system to ensure that their stats including health, weapon durability and influence were always maxed out, and the trainer does that. This is one trainer that I can't see myself playing the game without.