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    State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition, An open-world zombie survival game without the hassles of human contact

    Talk open-world zombie games and invariably talk turns to DayZ the PC-exclusive MMO that famously proved right the old movie cliché about humanity being a bigger threat to itself in times of apocalypse than the undead shufflers themselves. Most of the time, the zombs took second billing to the other human-controlled players in your game world, who would as soon stab you in the eye for a tin of canned spaghetti than entertain any notion of forming an alliance. But as compellingly open-ended as DayZ was, the constant skulduggery wore thin. If only there was an offline equivalent, where the zombies could take centre stage and do what they were born to do namely suck your brain out your ear through a straw.

    As it turns out, Xbox 360’s Live Arcade service has actually hosted such a game for two years now. State of Decay received a lukewarm reception upon its release in 2013, mostly due to its rough-and-ready presentation, as flaky and inconsistent as any of its subject matter. The hope is that this Xbox One remaster allows the game to finally fulfil its promise of being the offline DayZ a persistent game world  where you’re tasked with establishing a base and venturing out into an expansive zombie-packed world to scavenge supplies and food for your fellow survivors. 
    Hope is this remaster will fulfil the ambition of an offline DayZ
    Hands-on time, however, points to this being a modest makeover, with the character model textures and lighting getting particular attention. Other tweaks improve the experience a greater draw distance means more scope for forward planning, and does better justice to the size of the world you inhabit. 

    Year-One Survival Edition also takes some of the base management features introduced in the Lifeline DLC pack enabling you to set traps and choose battle tactics and transplants them into the main game. Life life is one of two DLC packages included in this package. The add-on gives you more firepower, since you’re now part of a military unit known as Greyhound One. The other chunk of side-content is Breakdown, which strips the story from the main game and adds an even greater emphasis on survival. Technically, this mode is endless, but the difficulty curve is such that the ‘Year-One Survival Edition’ tagline seems laughably optimistic. Maybe a few hours instead, if you tread lightly?

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