A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Some missions have you helping other survivors; other missions have you working together to survive.
Positive Role Models
Characters who help other people will survive longer.
Ease of Play
Simple controls for open-world gameplay veterans.
Violence & Scariness
Players use guns, vehicles, explosives, and both sharp and blunt objects to kill zombies, while zombies will bite, scratch, and rip apart characters. Zombies frequently lose limbs, heads in battle.
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"S--t," "f--k" sometimes uttered by characters in dialogue, battle.
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Products & Purchases
Many paid add-ons that include new weapons, characters, story expansions.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Players take medicine to heal themselves, including prescription pills they’ve taken from a pharmacy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that State of Decay is a violent, bloody, and scary action game where you have to survive a zombie apocalypse. Armed with knives, guns, and blunt instruments, you have to destroy hundreds of the undead before they eat you or your fellow survivors. The resulting combat is often bloody and gory. The zombies not only attack you en masse but will knock you down and eventually tear you apart. You also, while driving around town, will run across -- and thus over and through -- throngs of zombies, also resulting in their messy dismemberment. Players will take prescription drugs that you've taken from pharmacies or homes, and many characters will say "s--t" or "f--k" at times during battle or dialogue.
Is It Any Good?
As zombie games go, State of Decay is a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side, it has a rich, open world, with plenty of areas to explore. It also has tight controls that make it (relatively) easy to protect yourself from zombies. This comes in handy, since there are a lot of the undead, and your supplies are usually limited. The zombies also won't approach you one at a time but instead will swarm you from multiple directions. (Y'know, like they will when the real zombie apocalypse begins.) State of Decay also is a lengthy and deep game, especially if you get the Year-One Survival Edition on Xbox One or PC, which includes all the weapons, characters, and story expansions they added to the Xbox 360 edition.
What State of Decay lacks is variety or a compelling reason to keep playing. Because you're doing the same thing over and over -- killing zombies, looking for things to kill zombies, running away when you've run out of things that will kill zombies -- and often are as outnumbered as you are outgunned, the game loses steam after a while and becomes dull. It also can become frustrating when you find yourself surrounded ... again. It doesn't help that some of the text is so small it's hard to read some of the instructions and button prompts. But potential players also should know that the malaise actually takes a while to set in, so if you're a zombie fan or like testing yourself against seemingly impossible odds, State of Decay could be a fun apocalyptic time for mature players.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.