New release: Dead State

Dead State
Christina Ramey writes in to announce the release of Dead State, a turn-based, 3D isometric survival wRPG set in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.

The narrative premise:

Dead State is…set at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse – a deadly illness is rampaging through the world, turning those infected into the walking dead. As society is beginning to fall apart, the player must organize a scant handful of allies, working on fortifying a shelter, scouting for food and supplies, making uncertain alliances with others, and attempting to hold together a group as humanity teeters on the brink of extinction. And although the zombies lurk as an ever present threat, the biggest obstacle to the player may just be other humans with the same goal: survival at any cost.

The baby of Seattle-based Doublebear Productions, Dead State has been in gestation for a long damn time now; since at least August 5, 2009. The reason for this long development cycle becomes apparent when you take a gander at the game’s list of features, which include:

  • Open-ended gameplay: Large explorable world and non-linear storyline allow players to explore the landscape of Dead State freely, and encounter new challenges each time they play
  • Engaging story and characters: Story and characters written by veteran game developer Brian Mitsoda (Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines) – features realistic and compelling dialogue and expertly-woven story elements
  • Compelling player choice: Players not judged by a linear morality scale, but asked to make difficult and challenging decisions to keep themselves and their fellow survivors alive
  • Complex and reactive character AI: Allies react realistically in combat situations, human enemies employ variable tactics against other character, zombies follow frightening mobbing behavior
  • Innovative mechanics: Noise mechanic affects how zombies track prey by sound, resource management within player shelter allows for streamlined upgrades and organization of ally tasks

A picture is worth a thousand words, of course, and so this release trailer is presumably worth at least a few orders of magnitude more than that:

There’s also a gameplay video from June available to show off how the game plays in more detail.

I confess, I tired of the whole zombie apocalypse thing long, long ago–but this game’s focus on turn-based strategy and human drama generates more than enough interest to overcome my zombie fatigue. You can expect me to check this one out soon.

Dead State is Windows-only; you can nab it from GOG or Steam for $29.99.

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1 Comment »

  • BarryB says:

    Looking forward to your review. Zombie apocalypse games don’t do anything for me, either, but if truly makes thoughtful, engaging use of the features it lists, I might be tempted.

    …Or, I may just boot up King of Dragon Pass, again.


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