State Of Decay: Year One Survival Edition (Technical and Additional Content) Review


State of Decay: YOSE Review

*Please note that I am not going to be specifically breaking down the contents of the game.This review is specifically outlining the enhancements and specific content additions for the Xbox One version of the title. I can assure you that this is the definitive version of this title and it is wholly worth old State of Decay players to jump back into the title and the perfect place for new comers to the to-be series to get started.


State of Decay is a post-apocalyptic zombie survival horror game with elements of resource management and base building. Additionally the title incorporates social simulation in regards to survivors that build up the player's end of days community. The title was initially released on the Xbox 360 in 2013 and later on Windows, and most recently for the Xbox One platform as the Year One Survival Edition. State of Decay also boast the title of the Fastest Selling Original Game ever on Xbox Live Arcade, standing at over half a million paid downloads in it's first week following it's release.


Undead Labs took the opportunity to respectfully market the title to returning players by not only offering a discounted price of 33% (upto June 2015) but also by rewarding them with additional content. The revamped Edition offers the base title State of Decay, both the Lifeline and Breakdown download contents and an exclusive new character; Gurubani Kuar.

Year One Survival Edition also supports the Xbox One's DVR system for clip capture and live streaming, along with screen shot support and the ability to add clips to your upload studio either manually or automatically.

For those who like a challenge like myself Undead Labs have added all new achievements for the title with upto 1500 Gamerscore. This is most certainly a welcomed addition for myself as I really enjoy working for every last achievement, and this mindset is what really helps boost that re-playability. Additionally community challenges and rewards will be added along with individual challenges.


From a combat stand point many changes have been made. There are an array of new weapons and weapon attachments such as under barrel attachments. The only type of special ammunition I managed to scavenge successfully was the Incendiary type but there are also additions like under barrel grenade launchers.

Undead Labs has most definitely given State Of Decay the next gen treatment. To begin with the title now runs at a glorious 1080p which was missed out on in the previous version and within the game itself this change is very noticeable. The 1080p enhancement is most appreciated in the base game: State Of Decay as it is set in the fictional location of Mount Tanner. The light that breaks through the forest canopy creates a dazzling and vibrant environment.

This environment is present almost immediately after the player is plunged into the world. A world that strongly emphasizes the upgrade in graphical fidelity. It's very strange for a game to be so detailed and vibrant whilst simultaneously being horrifically gruesome and brutal, but this stark contrast aids the realism of the universe. Despite there being a zombie apocalypse the world around the survivors and the nature of the wilderness carries on.


I say that graphical enhancements are mostly appreciated in the base game and of course the DLC Breakdown (as they take place in the same world map) solely due to the vibrancy of that environment. Contrastingly the game map of Lifeline is situated in a bleak fallen city, which is made up of duller and a harder color pallet. Of course things are just as sharp in Lifeline as they are in the base game however the vegetation of the rural setting of State of Decay really accentuates that. The textures and shadow effects have been remastered as well, which really brings out that realism once again.

Additionally 25 new vehicle skins have been added which really break up the old feeling of bland repetition when it came to vehicle design on the 360. You'll definitely find some wacky vehicles that you'll really want to look after because of their unique design. I personally came across a star spangled banner paint job and some trippy oil slick looking finishes during my long sessions. As driving is a large feature of the game you may soon start finding yourself valuing awesome looking vehicles over your survivors themselves.


One of the strongest attractions towards the title is most definitely the studio behind it. If you encounter any bugs or glitches the developers are always committed to ironing them out and providing you with the best player experience they can provide. In the previous title the requests of the fan base were taken on board and some even became features within the game itself.

An example of this is the request and addition of vehicle storage. Why I feel this is important to point out in a review of a title is that a mutual respect between a developing studio and the consumer is often lacking in the industry. Active development and respect for the community is definitely a sign that the product you're investing in is worth your time and money and is definitely a lesson many major players in the industry need to learn.

Overall State of Decay Year One: Survival Edition is the definitive edition. For the money you'll be spending you'll most definitely be getting value and content for your money. With the base title, both DLC packs, 25 vehicle skins, new weapons, characters, music, textures, achievements and so much more you'd be crazy to miss out on Xbox Arcade's crowning jewel. This is a must have in any Xbox One owners gaming arsenal.

Main Image via UndeadLabs
All Others via VG247
Review code provided.


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