How long can you survive?
State of Decay’s first DLC expansion is set to release this Friday on PC via Steam, and Xbox Live. Despite its technical issues at the time, I was a big fan of the original game, so I was really excited to have a reason to head back to Trumbull Valley. Let’s take a look at what we get in the new Breakdown DLC.
What You Get
State of Decay Breakdown is a completely new game mode that allows you to see how long you can survive increasingly difficult versions of Trumbull Valley. It start off with you and Lilly escaping your camp after it was overrun by zombies, and as the only two remaining survivors, you need to find a new place to live. You’ll find a couple of communities on the map that you can join, and from there you’ll have to work together to survive as long as you can. Once you’re ready to move on to a new, and more difficult, version of the map, you’ll have to find an old RV, fix it up, and ride it into the sunset with six of your favorite survivors. Everyone else is left behind to fend for themselves. There’s nothing else to the story in Breakdown, with no required missions to complete, although you’ll still come across plenty of optional missions, and you’re free to do whatever you want as you try to stay alive. If you didn’t like the story and the mandatory missions that came with it, you’ll love the freedom in Breakdown. The rest of the game is the exact same, as you’ll have to manage your community, explore for new resources, save survivors, clear out infestations, and everything else that was featured in the main game.
When you arrive on a new instance of the map, you’ll have to find another place to live and survive until you find another RV and move on to the next difficulty. You’ll arrive with only a small amount of the resources you previously had, but you will keep all of the items in your stash, and anything you researched in the Library. This is an endless loop that you can play for as long as you have survivors to choose from. Each new instance of the map features less resources to find, less vehicles to drive, and stronger enemies to deal with. The goal is basically just to see how many times you can escape and how long you can survive. I’m in the middle of my fourth round, and there are already fewer vehicles around the map, and there are noticeably less resources to be found, so it doesn’t take long to notice how difficult things are going to get. The zombies are also much tougher, and there are way more special zombie types showing up, so I can see this getting very extreme, very quickly from here. I can’t even imagine how tough the double-digit levels are going to be.
Breakdown also includes an improved loot system (this will be included in an update for the main game as well, and will be released on the same day as the DLC), which allows you to find better items, more often. This means that if you already have a bunch of clocks, you’ll find less of them as you explore new areas. You’ll also be able to gain access to new weapons as you unlock new survivors. To unlock these special Hero survivors, you’ll have to complete different challenges, such as killing zombies with different weapons, earning Fame, playing for 10 hours, and other tasks. Each Hero comes with their own unique weapons, and different abilities that you’ll need to survive, such as being able to repair vehicles, heal members of the community, grow better gardens, and more. Once you’ve unlocked a new Hero, you can go back and start over with them at any level that you’ve already completed. Otherwise, they’ll just become a part of your community and you can switch to them whenever you want, as long as they’re still alive of course.
Even though Breakdown will become ridiculously hard, you don’t have to experience the tougher levels if you don’t want to, and you’ll still be able to play it for hours and hours. You can complete each level at your own pace, which makes it a great fit for players who want a new challenge, and players who just want another reason to play State of Decay again. I like the balance on the fourth level so far myself, as it’s still more challenging than the main game, but it’s not too hard that all of my survivors are dying quickly. It didn’t take too long to get there, as I did it in less than four hours, but you could do it even quicker if you wanted to just rush through each level and get to the really challenging ones. Good luck with that.
State of Decay’s Breakdown DLC may not come with a ton of new content, like most DLC, but it does add an interesting new mode that extends the life of the game for however long you want it to. It’s challenging, but it also allows you to move at your own pace and only face the more difficult levels when you’re ready. It’s an endless supply of killing zombies, managing your community, and exploring the deadly countryside of Trumbull Valley. What’s not to love?
Release Date: November 29th, 2013
Available On: Xbox Live Arcade and PC via Steam