Review: State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition (XB1)

Make your stand against the collapse of society in the ultimate zombie survival-fantasy game. Explore an open world full of dangers and opportunities that respond to your every decision. Recruit a community of playable survivors, each with their own unique skills and talents. Design and fortify your base against the relentless hordes of the undead. Perform daring raids for food and ammunition, and do whatever it takes to live another day.


  •  Graphics have been updated to 1080p so the world has never looked better.
  • Import Xbox 360 save file.
  • 1500 Gamerscore.
  • Comes with the main game plus both DLC packs: Breakdown and Lifeline.
  • New content added such as new vehicles,skins,music,under barrel attachments and new ammo types.
  • Air drops: New addition where random air drops will fall which contain top tier loot but will be surrounded by zombies.
  • Game DVR setup to auto record events and cool killing sprees.
  • Community events and challenges.
  • Night/Day cycles.
  • Huge sandbox-esque feeling game world.
  • Control different survivors with different skills and downfalls. Some are suited to melee, some stealth. Play to each characters strengths.
  • Cheap price point and even cheaper for previous owners of the 360 version due to the upgrade programme.
  • Earn xp and rank up your characters to unlock more skills or special moves.
  • You can loot houses,offices, storage lockers, anything can be searched. Searching can be slow but speed searching will speed it up. Be warned that speed searching means you make a lot more noise and with that, run a higher risk of attracting more zombies.
  • Cars can be found in game, Use them to travel to nearby towns or do a scavenger run. You can carry passengers on your travels. And even put loot in the boot.
  • You can climb up to high ground and survey the land. ? will pop up, Hovering over them will reveal what they are and mark it on your map. Its worth doing this on a regular basis as the landscape changes so much.
  • The mini map on the HUD is also a noise tracker. A circle will pulsate as you make noise, Make too much noise and it will show you the full area of effect.
  • Build a home base for your survivors and upgrade it. Go on supply runs for materials and build garages, an infirmary for the sick or maybe a garden to make your own food. Its easy to set up and use.
  • You have to manage everyone’s well being and make sure everyone has food,ammo etc.
  • You can setup out posts around the town so you have somewhere safe to hide.
  • Many types of zombies are in the game and all require unique ways of killing them. Hordes will form and roam the streets. Zombies are really well done in their actions. They will bang on doors,rip your car to pieces and smash your boarded up windows. Out in the open they will charge after you.
  • Many characters to interact with.
  • Tense atmosphere where you never feel safe.
  • When looting, the map will update when you have left resources and tell you what they are. Once all the loot has been retrieved, the map will update the location with an X to let you know its empty.
  • Infestations appear at random times. These are houses completely over run with zombies but have huge rewards for clearing them.
  • The stealth mechanic is the safest way to travel on foot. Climb over walls and fences as you attempt to survive. Hiding in bushes renders you invisible and able to scout all around before moving on.
  • Building new parts for your home base or sending out a message for help on supply locations, All done in real time.
  • The game world is always running. By this I mean your supplies/morale will go down even when your not playing.
  • Complete story missions or one of the many,many side missions to earn xp.
  • Once your character dies that’s it. They are out of it.
  • Finishing missions will up your reputation and overall standing within the group. Influence key decisions including and not limited to outpost setups, or setting up shop in a whole new town.
  • Huge selection of weapons, From melee weapons to guns. Using guns will attract more zombies, But get the job done quickly.
  • When you find supplies, You can choose to wear the bag yourself or call in a scavenger to collect them for you.
  • You have the ability to board up windows at any time and well worth doing when on the run.
  • The lighting effects at night are really good. Armed with just your torch, the whole world drops into darkness.
  • Leaderboard support so you can show off your killing streak to the world!
  • True zombie survival game.


  • Zombies can just appear at random, especially annoying when you spend hours cleaning a house just to have one appear in front of you.
  • Clipping especially from zombies, Get hit through walls for example.
  • Scenery you can vault over is hit and miss.
  • A lot of screen tearing.
  • Slowdown in built up areas or when fighting a horde.
  • For the first few hours you can feel a little bit lost and confused as you get to grips with all the confusing looking menu’s.
  • Animations look a bit shoddy.
  • Night time feels longer than day time.
  • Save issues, Despite saying it has saved, That’s not always the case.
  • No online.
  • Menu system is clunky.
  • Long loading times in places.
  • Missions can glitch up and prevent you from finishing them.
  • Controls are awkward at first.
  • Cliche Zombie film story.

In summary, Despite a few bugs, The game is brilliant fun. Zombie fans will love how much thought and work went into the game. The buzz of going out on scavenger runs to feed your group is unparalleled. The atmosphere is always tense, You never feel safe and would always like to have a wing man/woman with you. The game world is huge and expansive. It will take you hours to find all the little secrets the world has to offer. Upgrading your home base is a brilliant addition and one that will ultimately define your legacy in the game. They have done a good job of upgrading the graphics and adding new content, But this does not mask the fact that problems in the first version are still apparent in this version. In short it is a flawed masterpiece but you will love it regardless.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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