Dead State is a turn based Role Playing Game about zombies. Now usually, this sounds like a formula for disaster, as most zombie games are fast paced, and super tense, and while Dead State certainly isn’t fast paced, it can be a very tense game at times. The game starts off with your created character waking up after a plane crash, after being guided through a quick tutorial, you pass out and then wake up in a school surrounded by strangers. You find out that you’re in the fictional town of Splendid, Texas and you learn that the zombie apocalypse has began (Side note: the game tries to make this a really big deal when the other characters are telling you this, but it doesn’t really work since you just fought a zombie in the tutorial mission).You then head out with 1-2 other survivors (Depending on player choice) and start scavenging, and after that the story is whatever you make it out to be. There really is no set order in which you have to complete missions, sometimes they’ll just pop up and you can either take them or ignore them. Dead State is one of those games that claim that “your choices will have consequences” and unlike your average Telltale game, Dead State does deliver on this promise, pretty much all of your choices will have serious consequences. Without going into detail, one of the best examples of this is shortly after you become the leader of the Shelter. One of your sub leaders has a problem with a member of your group, and demands that this member be kicked out of the group immediately. You can either side with the sub leader, and kick out the member (who happens to be one of the strongest characters in the game, by the way) which will result in the sub leader siding with you on important issues, or you can refuse the sub leaders request, which damages your relationship with the sub leader, and if you continue to upset the sub leader, they will then challenge you to try and take over the community you have worked so hard to build, OR you could just take them out into a field alone and kill them before they cause any more trouble. You see, it’s choices like this that make Dead State great. Your options are pretty much open-ended, and you can actually do whatever you want, whenever you want.
Now let’s talk about the gameplay. It’s basically like a standard turn based role playing game, you move your team towards an enemy, you attack said enemy, you try not to die, lather, rinse, repeat. It’s certainly not bad, but it isn’t really anything extraordinary either. That being said, whenever your team is surrounded by about 12-20 zombies, things can get really tense really fast, especially since Dead State has perma-death. The music also really helps set the tone for such encounters, although it can be a tad repetitive at times. Whenever you’re not battling zombies and looters, or scavenging buildings, you spend time at your community, assigning jobs to the inhabitants, and forming relationships with them. All of the survivors that you encounter are very well written, with a lot of interesting moments, so you want to make sure to make an effort to interact with them as much as possible.
So in closure, Dead State may look like just another zombie survival game, but it’s much, MUCH more than that, and it is definitely worth your time and money.