Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

It's been a long time since we got to talk much about “State of Decay,” but some recent events have worked together to change that particular point. But the game that almost didn't make it to consoles thanks to Microsoft's rules about publishing games is set to make a big splash indeed, and continue doing so for a long time to come.

While at the recently concluded Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East event, Undead Labs showed off a demo for “State of Decay: Lifeline.” As excited as I was to get hands on “State of Decay,” I believe I'm actually now more eager to give “Lifeline” a shot. Why? As exciting and fun as the first version was, it looks like the DLC is actually going to be on par with the original, and potentially even more so. “Lifeline” takes players into the outskirts of Danforth, the neighboring city to Trumbull County that is also, not surprisingly, overrun by zombies. But in Danforth, the army has a much bigger presence than just one half-empty camp at the fairgrounds, so there's quite a bit more going on. The army is even regularly resupplied by elements of the army supply chain elsewhere. But oddly, the supply drops start getting fewer and farther between as you go along. Meanwhile, there are people in Danforth that need rescuing, and eventually, even the army is left to turn looter—or scavenger, whichever—in order to maintain its presence.

Immediately, according to the word at PAX, there's a lot more military-grade hardware that's available, understandable since you're the military and all. Ammo drops, supply drops...these all become possible. But as with the first game, it may be better to hold onto that ammo rather than use it in the early going since gunfire still draws zombies.

The early word suggests that this will be much like the original, so those who enjoyed the first “State of Decay” will probably be able to get behind “State of Decay: Lifeline.” But the really interesting part is that this is just the start of a long term operation. In all likelihood, this package is probably going to be able to make it into Danforth proper—which sure looked like it had some skyscrapers and such in the end of the last game—and that could mean some very big things to come. The word is that this game will get its release June 6, so it looks like another sweet, sweet summer of “State of Decay” action to come.

What's really impressive here is that this is, at its root, an indie game. It's absolutely huge. It's easily on par with many triple-A titles and there's little functional reason why it couldn't be regarded as a triple-A except for its completely digital distribution scheme. But this game has not only the current content in place, but it's also got content set for the immediate future and beyond as well. This could well ultimately become a franchise, and that's a development I couldn't be much happier about.

This is the point that should show the other studios out there that this is possible. It is possible to be a comparatively new, comparatively small game studio and put out the kind of content that will make gamers eager to play the next title. This is the one that really kicks off the indie revolution, and makes the next generation of games go beyond EA and its contemporaries. I'm really looking forward to what makes it to us next, and so too should you.

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