Dead State is a narrative-driven survival RPG set at the dawn of the undead apocalypse. Drawing inspiration from classic RPGs like Fallout, X-Com, and Suikoden, Dead State combines strategic, turn-based combat with base building mechanics, character creation, and social management.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (606 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 4, 2014

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"Survive a zombie outbreak in Texas while upgrading your base, keeping the people who depend on you well-fed, somewhat happy and preferably also alive."

Recent updates View all (25)

December 19

Dead State v. Changelog

Hi everyone,

We’ve released a small patch in response to your feedback on the boards; this patch addresses three of the most frequently reported concerns of players as well as provides some other miscellaneous updates as well.

Changelog (spoiler-free)
Further optimized real-time pathfinding in small areas and fixed issue with stairs.
Fixed a major faction event.
Fixed some scripting issues which made it difficult to recruit a specific ally.
Fixed allies still asking for upgrades once they've been built.
Adjusted the panic threshold for a specific ally.
Updated GUI to list AP required to open inventory in combat.
Updated an ally perk.
Updated names of some neutral characters for clarity.
Adjusted noise levels on dog bite attacks.
Updated character floats in certain faction interactions.

Happy holidays from everyone at DoubleBear :)

24 comments Read more

December 16

Dead State v. Changelog

Hi everyone,

Our apologies for the delay on this patch, and thanks for waiting. We ran into a couple unforeseen issues while packing and uploading the build today that needed to be resolved before anything could be released.

Added autosaving feature.
Added feature to upload your own image in character creation.
Adjusted duration of status effects and fixed status lock issue.
Provided additional info for melee weapons, ranged weapons, and armor on inventory screen.
Further improved build stability and resolved rare crash cases.
Fixed issue with landmines causing errors with saved games; however, we're sorry to say that older saves with this issue cannot be recovered.
Adjusted dialogues and dialogue triggers in multiple maps.
Polished some levels and building models.
Adjusted loot distribution and balance.
Clarified text on some perks and items.
Optimized pathfinding to interactable objects.
Updated blocking in some areas.
Addressed cases of shelter activity not correctly appearing in the field.
Set flare gun ammo cap to six shots as per original design.
Adjusted “Be It Ever So Humble” Achievement to account for the correct number of upgrades.
Adjusted Elaine’s perk to correctly affect her Melee skill instead of her Medical skill.
Balanced some weapon attacks and stats.
Balanced armor stats.
Expanded size of ‘gather party’ zones in multi-level areas.
Updated data system to properly access the last data item.
Updated job board to properly allow repair tasks in all cases, apply ally skill bonuses on tasks, and reveal car after repair.
Updated ally reactions to killing neutral characters.
Adjusted the rationing penalty on the DRS to only occur in cases of Shelter-wide rationing.
Adjusted noise dampening among floors in multi-floor buildings to improve combat.
Adjusted loot balance on City locations.
Updated combat AP costs so that switching from Inventory to Character screen is a free action.
Addressed cases of Lightning showing incorrect breed portrait.
Polished multiple GUI displays more multiple resolutions.

About Delays
We on the team understand how excited you are to get the new patches as soon as possible, and we do our absolute best to do it in the time we estimate. However, sometimes unexpected things happen and we have to release past our estimated time or day. We do our best to communicate delays either through announcements, responses on threads, or by asking our mods to help answer questions as they come in, and we work as quickly as we can to get the content to you.

We don't expect you to not feel annoyed when you're awaiting a delayed patch. However, it's against our community policy to attack or harass anyone as an expression of that annoyance, whether they're a dev, a mod, or another player. Name-calling, threatening, and hostility are all unwelcome in the Dead State community hub. Please keep these rules in mind when posting!

What's Next?
The next patch will be in mid to late January, and it will include a mix of content and fixes. We'll be taking a brief hiatus for the late December holidays in the meantime, although we'll be checking up on things often. We're excited about what's to come in the future, and we hope you are too :)

32 comments Read more

About This Game

About the Game

Dead State is a compelling, high-tension survival RPG set in central Texas at the collapse of civilization and the dawn of the undead apocalypse.

As society is beginning to fall apart, the player must organize a group of survivors together, fortify a shelter, scout for food and supplies, negotiate with or defend against other factions, and maintain order inside the shelter as humanity teeters on the brink of extinction. Dead State is a full-fledged RPG featuring base building and management, turn-based tactical combat, and reactive story and dialogue with an emphasis on survival at any cost.

Attract new allies, scavenge food and supplies, and protect your shelter at any cost. Do you have what it takes to lead a desperate group through a crisis? This is your chance to find out.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 8500 GT / ATI Radeon HD 7290 (512 Mb) or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1500 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
449 of 503 people (89%) found this review helpful
84.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
Wanted to start off by saying I was a huge supporter of this game pre EA and during early access. I enjoyed beta testing the game for DoubleBear and helping them to use the EA process to better the game.

I think the game is a blast even in its frustrating buggy state.

Now onto the reason why I think people should not buy this game or support the company DoubleBear for any future games until the Give a public apology.

I don't know about all of you but I found Kickstarter and Steam Early Access to be a wonderful breath of fresh air. I was sick of big AAA and medium sized AA Developers and Publishers pushing out 3/4 made buggy games that after I paid full price for had to wait months before it was patched up and enjoyable. This was the norm and I was sick of it.

So I started supporting only EA and Kickstarter games, more than I could afford at times. Dead State is one of those games and I was very happy to support Doublebear.

Sadly DoubleBear betrayed its fans and sought to deceive new buyers into believing that Dead State was a finished product in order to take full advantage of the Holiday shopping season. Brian and the Dead State team had pages of known bugs and some of them were game and story breaking.

Ask yourself what reason would a Developer move a product that is known to be a buggy mess from Early Access to calling the game fully released. We the gamers are there Publisher and we were not on their backs pushing them to release the game in a unfinished state in order to reap the profit from the Holiday season.

My over all point is that when small gamer funded games pull the same fast one as big AAA developers something has to be done about it. This type of behavior and not be rewarded.

These type of actions corrupt the new system from within. If this is allowed to happen then we get get a bunch of small studios acting just like the AAA ones because they can.

I and many others went onto Dead States forums to ask for an appology and get an answer why they felt the need to move a unfinished game from EA to fully released. We all found ourselves pounced on ,forum post locked and in several cases found ourselves banned. These type of actions are those of people wanting to hide what they did not ones wanting to correct the mistake that was made.

I don't know DoubleBears reasons to fall to to such a low level. If they had funding problems there are so many other more honest options. We gamers have shown ourselves to be very giving.

I ask people to avoid this game until the game is finished and DoubleBear publicly apologies for its mistakes.
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179 of 197 people (91%) found this review helpful
51.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
All right folks, I have never thought of writing a negative review on this game, but now I really have to.
At first, everything was fine - killing zombies and hostile humans, upgrading shelter, recruiting dudes. It seems that starting locations/NPCs/quests were polished enough, made good impression. (Graphics sucks, but I can live with that.)
But then... bugs. Oh my god, I have never ever seen a game so full of bugs, unbalanced everything and stuff like that.
About half of the quests can not be completed. You are either given a task by NPC that never appears on your map and in quest list or you do everything requested and it it still on your list, can not be turned in.
Armor is too strong. With mediocre helmet/vest/gloves you are almost invulnerable to zombies and can kill dozens with bare hands. Endgame enemies are armored like hell, can only be damaged by critical hits even with the hardest hitting guns.
Some locations are clearly broken (yes, Austin hotel stairs, I`m talking about you!), pathfinding is awful. Characters teleporting somewhere far away when stuck (often).
Critical events also look broken. If most of the shelter agrees with my decision, why do they come to me next morning saying "you are an awful person, how could you do such a thing", Hey, yesterday you agreed to that!
I saved an NPC claiming she would be able to find a cure for virus. Next day she even tells me about the components required, but... the quest never appeared. According to devs, this quest (and "cure" ending) were removed from the game and her dialogues were actually a bug. WTF?
Eventually I visited every location and now I have nothing to do. Go fishing, sleep, talk to people. Repeat. It`s 80+ day of the game, nothing happens that would lead me to the end.
Game is in fact interesting and promising, but releasing it in this condition...
And guess what, yesterday (19 Dec 2014) devs said "guys, we`re going on vacation, next patch in a month". WOOOOT!

Take your time, wait, DO NOT BUY this game until they have released at least a few patches.
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102 of 118 people (86%) found this review helpful
99.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 18
Did two playthroughs at least, one in Early with huge numbers of bugs, and one in actual release, with sad to say only somewhat diminished number of bugs.

Disappointed to find that essential bugs I personally highlighted during Early were still there two months later in actual release. Interface glitches that cause a great deal of additional drudgery for the player, like the inventory sort locking up and refusing to let you sort by weapons and armor etc.. never fixed in a month or two of Early, and not for a month after actual release.

SPOILERS: Was impossible to actually finish the game after actual release: had all the resources for the cure ending, but the cure ending is not working - developers took it out for later, without bothering to remove all the conversations that tell the player you can do a cure ending. Killed a small platoon of rogue soldiers to secure a helicopter.. never actually see the option to use it show up, despite having a helicopter pilot in the group. Built a bus to escape.. option to use bus never shows up, everyone dies.

Also game balance is hilarious. Morale and food are both supposed to be strategic requirements that force hard decisions. Nope. Had 5000 odd food when we have a big hooha "Crisis Event" over giving some soldiers.. 50 food. Morale more than 10000 and climbing from doing absolutely nothing each day. It's a joke. About one third of the way through, zombies become inconsequential and you finish building all the upgrades except the science lab (uesless because it makes antibiotics which you will have plenty of, and combat usables which you also find plenty of); about halfway through, you can heal yourself and your teammates faster than the most heavily armed enemy can hurt you, and still have AP to kill off enemies. Unless of course the enemies have grenades, in which case they can spam them on top of you with blinding and knockdown effect, on your whole team, while not inside your assault rifle range. Dear developers.. GRENADES DO NOT OUTRANGE GUNS. Geez.

Imho this gets a lot of positive attention due to literally being the only game with a zombie-survival-rpg combo. Yes it's fun for the first.. 10-15% of a campaign. Where zombies are dangerous and there are facilities to build. Then it's just drudgery. Kill all the zombies, loot, kill all the humans, loot, kill, loot, loot, kill.. Even looting is meaningless halfway into the game, when you're topping up a supply that already will last for a month or 2 of complete inactivity, in a game where everything ends about 3 months in.

Recommend not buying until January. January 2016 I mean, where maybe everything will actually be fixed, and a sale might make it worth buying.

Developers are on holiday now apparently, so won't be patching all these crazy bugs till January. Not sure how that works. I guess once holidays start you don't really need to worry about your product not actually being in usable condition.
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76 of 94 people (81%) found this review helpful
25.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
I was pretty happy getting this game because looked good. But when u start advacing in the game u'll find out that this full release is really a pre-alpha. With every update they make they are breaking the game even more. I will suggest to get this when is on sale ( like 95% off ). So save your money is my tip.
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37 of 51 people (73%) found this review helpful
46.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 19
While I enjoyed the concept, style, and story of Dead State, I cannot fully recommend it. This is due almost entirely to the punishing morale system of your shelter. Even allys with "good" or "okay" moods give you a negative moral penalty. You have to constantly scour the country side in search of "special" morale linked items for individuals in your shelter. And even when you're constantly showering your allies with said items, a "good" negative moral penalty is the best you're gonna get. God help you if the generator runs out of gas, an ally dies(for any reason), or you mishandle a crisis event. Any of the following will lead to a morale death spiral. Inevitibly, the more allys you gain, the more daily negative moral penaltys you recieve and it ends with Davis gunning you down and a game over screen(worst case scenario). I enjoyed the gameplay despite the last-gen graphics, but the morale system killed the game for me. 5.5/10.
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35 of 64 people (55%) found this review helpful
36.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 18
Dead State has gone a bit under the radar of most people, and that is a shame, because even though I got wind of it too late to Kickstarter-back it, I bought it the moment it was fully released and I haven't regretted it for one minute, except for the fact that it's eating up virtually all of my free time.

Simply put, Dead State is an amazing game. Granted, it's not bug-free (though no real game-breaking bugs so far) and the interface can be a chore (as well as an enigma at times), but once you're used to its quirks, Dead State becomes an incredibly addictive and involving experience.

Yes, we're all tired of zombie games, but I will gladly make an exception for Dead State, and I promise, so will you. If I describe it as an interesting cross between Fallout, State of Decay and X-Com: Enemy Unknown, then it should probably be enough to make the hairs of any serious gamer stand on end. And rightly so, because the game pulls off all its aspects perfectly. And it even has a well implemented 'timer' mechanism: you're pressed for time since morale decays and food supplies dwindle daily, but on the other hand, you don't feel like you're being rushed all the time. There's no clock counting down, no constant reminders. You set your own pace, and as long as you don't waste your days doing nothing, you should usually be fine. I scavenged every day, trying to take on at least two locations per run, which is as far as you can stretch your daytime (and your characters' backpacks!), but I am currently sitting on a comfortable stockpile, so there's no need to micromanage and fuss over every single hour of every single day. But you know damn well that you can't sit still either.

During your travels, you'll meet other survivors. Some you'll just stumble across, others will even knock on your door of their own accord. While you can turn them away, it's ill-advised to do so. Sure, every survivor you take in means another mouth to feed, but they pay off their food consumption by working for you. You can give them jobs yourself, like putting them in the scavenger party, making them construct shelter upgrades, guard the fence, and all other kinds of work. And as the days go on, the needs of your shelter grow as well, making it critical to recruit every survivor you can find. Every survivor has his or her own backstory, dialogue, demands and specializations, making for a diverse and lifelike feel of the shelter, where you have to assign jobs based on their capabilities.

The shelter itself can be upgraded, X-COM: EU style, to provide benefits and make new things possible. You can construct facilities like a workshop, a garage, a rooftop garden and even a chicken coop and a recreation room. All of these upgrades, however, take time and parts, and you'll find yourself strapped for the latter very often, so don't think you'll be able to just build everything from the get-go, it requires careful decision making, especially since unexpected events will also require manpower and parts, so you need to keep some in reserve. This makes for a paced game experience, where you'll constantly have things to strive for, instead of falling into the "build-everything-then-be-stuck-with-idle-workers-and-no-real-goal"-trap many similar games have perished in.

The scavenging party, which is always led by your characters, consists of up to four people, and their exploits will be the bulk of the game experience. You lead your team out there, in the lands around the shelter, and collect everything you can, ranging from food over luxury items, to weapons and shelter upgrade parts. Every scavenging run is a shot in the dark, since you'll never know what, or who, you'll come across, and while the zombies are dangerous enough in their own right, human enemies are so much more so. Sometimes you'll have no choice but to pass by a location because you know you're simply not strong enough (yet) to take its residents on. Which of course makes it all the more satisfying when you then come back to give them a good walloping.

If you do decide to do battle, you'll do it in classic isometric turn-based style. This gives you more tactical possibilities than you'd expect, since every weapon has its own range, requirements, and statistics. The battle system is most reminiscent of the 'real' Fallout Games (the Interplay ones), except, sadly, no groin shots. In battle, the first and most important decision to make is whether or not to break out the guns. They're powerful, but come with one massive drawback, and I don't mean ammo consumption (although that certainly counts too). Because guns, as you probably know, are loud. And loud things, as you probably know, bring all sorts of nasty things. But whether or not you'll resort to the powder burners, combat means tactical decision making, and some faith in the random number god. Which is exactly how a turn-based RPG battle should go.

There are a few minor flaws. It's not an entirely bug-free experience, but most bugs range from aesthetical (sometimes characters moonwalk), to only mildly frustrating (enemies clipping into each other, characters not following the leader correctly). Some are even kinda beneficial (being able to access the car trunk if you haven't brought the car, for instance). I have not encountered any game-breaking or truly frustrating bug yet. The interface can be a bit irritating at first, but once you get the hang of its quirks and unwieldy design, this becomes nothing but a minor inconvenience.

All in all, Dead State offers an interesting, involving, and even downright addictive role-playing experience with base-building elements. Like the Civ games make you go "just... one... more... turn!", Dead State will make you go "just... one... more... day!". This game, like Divinity: Original Sin and Shadowrun Returns, is proof that Kickstarter can, and does, produce absolute jewels, and in turn, proof that game makers make the best games when they make what they want to make.

Final verdict: if you like Role-Playing Games, Turn-Based Strategy and/or base building, you owe it to yourself to get this game. It's easily one of the best games of the year. Buy it, even if it's not on sale.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
48.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 21
I'll try to write this review as objective as I can, but this is my dream game. I have been waiting for a turnbased zombie rpg with base building most of my life. Overall the game fulfills this dream. All it needs to be perfect is a sandbox mode for after you've played through the story several times and seen all the endings. The devs have stated they may add that some day.

The writing and characters are the best I have seen in a long time. This is due to the writing talent and experience the devs bring. The head dev is Brian Mitsoda, the head writer for Vampire: Bloodlines. His wife, Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda of Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, also contributed her writing talent.

Some may find the combat simplistic, but this game is an rpg, not a strategy game and the combat is no simpler than a classic rpg like Baldur's Gate. There is enough variety in weapons, armor, and special gear to keep combat interesting and allow for a variety of tactics. Especially with the inclusion of the noise mechanic that attracts zombies.

Other reviews may mention bugs, and when it was first released it had a few major ones. However they have been resolved and the remaining ones can sometimes be annoying but there is nothing game stopping. The devs work hard to fix them and have released several patches since release.

Considering they raised just over 300,000 on kickstarter, I think it is amazing what they pulled off. I can only imagine what they could have done with the millions other rpgs had raised on kickstarter.

So in summary, if you like classic turn based rpgs with some base building added in, you should like Dead State.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
64.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 21
The game is honestly fun. I should love it. It has a lot of what I enjoy in video games, recruiting a bunch of party members, building a base, turn based combat, rpg elements, zombies, and much slaughter. . . But the game is not finished. Not even close. It is so chock full of bugs to be completely absurd. Last night I recruited Ulysses Ford and his three compatriots but lolguesswut! Ulysses and Darlene don't actually show up anywhere! But they go to talk to me in their little morning chat events and their models aren't even on screen! I have access to a helicopter but no options to do anything with it (can anyone confirm that any of the endings are actually working?)! The hotel was an effing nightmare getting through as you have to move your guys around ten times to get to where your party is "gathered before venturing forth" up the damn stairs when they are all grouped right the eff up any way! Couple that with the times when you can go through a door after going up the stairs, one of your dudes will be standing inside the door and you have to move him out into the hall (full of mercenaries with some of the best armor in the game and righteous weaponry) before you can get one of your other guys to either break the door down or pick the lock.... I want to love this game but it still needs a ♥♥♥♥-ton of work before it can be called "complete." Dammit DoubleBear, this is why we have trouble trusting Early Access games these days! Complete this ♥♥♥♥ing game if you're gonna tell us it's a complete product.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
51.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 21
Despite a few present bugs, and as much as people seem to be ♥♥♥♥♥ing about bugs, I've honestly enjoyed my time spent playing it. It really scratched the 'long term' zombie survival itch, something which is missing from most every zombie game presently.
There seem to be a few weird attempts to shoehorn in issues that are politically charged, like This gay Texas ranger shows up, the guy is really useful, really high stats, but he shrugs off his 'partner' dying in a car crash and just carries on without any problems, I know the guy was in the Army, but jeez. Knowing this 'controversial character' thing, the issue of him being gay will probably come up and you'll have to choose a side. and at one point a lady helicopter pilot wants an abortion and the preacher who was a missionary and worked in foriegn countries wants her to keep it, and you gotta choose a side, and theres more NPC conflict interactions like that, most of which aren't issues if you've got good negotiation and leadership skills.
Maybe its just me understanding that issues like these are inserted into games, not to make a meaningful message, or take a stance, but, added to try and generate 'buzz' or 'controversy' That sort of thing feels a little hamfisted, but npc dialogue isn't that important anyways, and whats present is pretty good, nothing absurd, but, I think the writing is a bit lacking in the overall amount of it, it would be nice to see more circumstantial responses and general dialogue.

Now, lets get to the meat of it, the game: Turn based like fallout 2 and a "S.P.E.C.I.A.L"-lite stat system, with actions that use AP in combat with free movement when out of it. It works, its good, I like it very much. There are the occasional out of combat pathfinding bug, but thats not a problem really. Its really enjoyable.

What should be added: The ability to reload a single shot for less AP or something like that on certain weapons, maybe accessories you can find and attach or use with weapons to change their stats, like speed loaders for revolvers, better recoil pads, scopes, stuff like that, maybe even give the same treatment to melee weapons, maybe wrapping some barbed wire around a bat, etc.

I really do hope the developers keep adding content or open the game to being modifiable by the community and stick it on the steam workshop.

Its a good game, made by a small developer, and I recommend it.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
31.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 20
Finally a game that after long time took my attention and enthused me. There is everything you want to have, from base / shelter building through rpg elements, then a lot of conversations, some events and huge firefights. I really like this game and I wanna know how it will end... Definetally worthy game.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 21
Let's get to the meat of why I said no. and this game rates at 50 / 100 points

With regard to the development team they put a decent amount of work into this and YES it still requires work. There are bugs. There is no audio where there should be, there is "music" but it's the same depressing music, while at the school and the same music for combat.. ho humm boring. I still know how to read and I guess that's a great thing considering you will read until your eyes drop out. Even cool quirky comments between characters can be missed when characters are on mission because unless you are looking at them you will miss it. SO NO AUDIO! +40.

The rest Graphics, unique or different ideas, new story lines, semi realistic world, sand box play however adds up to maybe a +10.

If you want a End of Day sim this is not it.
If you know AYTHING about FIREARMS this game will ♥♥♥♥ you off.
If you know about scavenging this is not for you, you again will be ♥♥♥♥ed off.
If you get excited about just poking around to find random bean and toilet paper you might like this game.
If you hate trying to find random junk in random places this game is going to aggravate you.

What would make this game better!

Take all the great things from XCOM / Jagged Alliance and make it a Zombie game. I have no idea why Double Bear did not do this!
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656 of 882 people (74%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 5
I've been trying to rationalize how anyone could give Dead State a positive review, and the only thing I can think of is they're shills for the developer. Either that or they regret wasting their money on Dead State and want others to suffer as well.

I bought Dead State due to all the glowing reviews, including Lex's lengthy one. I haven't felt this burned by a game purchase in a long, long time. Dead State, as of its full release, is a buggy, cheap mess. The characters are shallow, repeating the same conversation options day after day. The combat -- such a central part of a game like this -- is crude and simplistic. There is no cover or no crouching. Sometimes if you hover your mouse over the ground, it will show the movement cost. Sometimes not. There is no option to aim with pistols, and pistols have a maximum range of literally 15 feet. Past 15 feet, you have a 0% chance to hit.

And here's the thing: I love tactical games like XCOM. I love base-building aspects. I love RPGs. I love zombies. And yet Dead State fails on all accounts.

This War of Mine, a survival game just recently released, blows Dead State out of the water, and TWoM costs $20, less than Dead State. The sheer fact that Dead State is asking for $30 is disgraceful. There are free flash games that are better and more fulfilling, games like Rebuild or Last Stand.

Graphics don't make or break a game for me -- I play rogue-like games like Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup because I care more about gameplay than how a game looks. However, Dead State is buggy and shallow AND looks atrociously bad. I mean just absolutely horrible.

+ The basic theme had promise

- Shallow characters
- Massive amount of bugs
- Simplistic gameplay
- Horrible 1990s UI
- Weak narrative
- Grating music
- Poor camera angles
- Ugly graphics

And then they slap you in the face with the $30 price.

I could go on and on about more specifics, like how putting unique weapons like pepper spray or nailguns in the base inventory removes and destroys all ammo from them. Or how morale hits rock bottom despite carting back a department store's worth of goods every day. Or how one NPC gets angry and discusses deserting because he's not in my party enough.... and I've used him 100% of the time. Or how you have to wait for a heavily armed camp labeled "hostile looters" to open fire on you before you fire back, otherwise your party members accuse you of killing innocent people.

There's more. So much more. I cannot in good conscience recommend Dead State.

Don't waste your money on this lemon.

EDIT UPDATE: I'm trying it out after the latest patch. I'll give credit where credit is due: Most of the bugs, if not all of them, that I mentioned have been fixed by the developer. I don't think I've ever seen game bugs be fixed that fast before in my entire life. So at least the developers are on the ball as far as that goes.

I've found yet more bugs since trying it out again, and it's still a crazy mess not even close to worth the asking price. I won't say that the developers are inattentive, however.
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214 of 269 people (80%) found this review helpful
71.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
I am obsessed with this game and I'm not entirely sure why.

When looking for a game to play, I personally search for three very specific things. Firstly, I want to be presented with a set of options that potentially change the entire way the game is played. Secondly, I want to be able to control multiple characters, while still retaining a main character role, and lastly I want said characters to be in a survival-esque situation or dilemma. For me, this game ticks all the boxes.

In a nutshell, Dead State feels like a more strategic form of The Walking Dead by Telltale Games, and also the TV series episodes, in that its your job to keep safe a bunch of survivors stuck in a zombie apocalypse. Unlike The Walking Dead, however, wherein you are almost certain that someone is going to die and you're going to be left with one, maybe two survivors, that same theory is never in concrete in Dead State. Someone could die at any minute, and it could be any of your survivors, including you. If you're sensible and strict, you can manage to avoid deaths entirely, but the potential is there, and that's what makes it all the more fun.

Dead State also has a great variety of salvageable items, dropped from both zombies or other hostile survivors, or found from things that you yourself can imagine searching for if there was a real zombie apocalypse. Suggestions that your fellow survivors make are also logical ones too. For instance, in games such as Left 4 Dead and Contagion, the idea of going to places like a hospital or train station or coastline is all too familiar and accepted - Dead State eschews that principle. Being stuck in central Texas instantly eliminates the idea of sensibly heading to the coast to get away from big cities, like many other games would (I refer to both Left 4 Dead and its sequel as an example), but the survivors directly tell you why going to places like hospitals, clinics, supermarkets and the like is quite simply a waste of time.

Each and every survivor to you is as dynamic and unique as they are important. What I mean by this is that the plethora of people you will come across truly are different in every way. From flight attendants to former cops, from veterinary students, the mentally and physically handicapped, and every other minority in between. As diverse as they all are, they all have a certain role to play at your shelter (which is a now heavily barricaded school by the time you've arrived). From nursing the sick to fixing the fridges, you get to choose who does what for how long and when. As of the time of writing, Dead State keeps things standard by allowing a venturing party of yourself and three other members of your shelter to head out into the great outdoors in search of supplies, but all the other survivors will be busy doing things that you've allocated them to do. To me, this feels like a real sense of teamwork and feels quite rewarding when something gets done right and progress is made.

Team fights are a very basic turn-based system using action points that vary from character to character depending on their stats and other attributes (think Divinity: Original Sin as a prime example). Though at this stage in development, hacking down a zombie with a sledgehammer isn't too hard to do, the real threat thus far is other humans. Some have responded to this in the community hub with great negativity, but I find it makes only too much sense. After all, if there really were a zombie apocalypse, I'd fear humans more than the zombies. We know from games like The Walking Dead and Dead Island that the more dangerous threat is other humans. Let's face it: they panic, they have no idea who to trust and why, they move faster, and they still have the capacity to use a gun. Dead State makes all of these clear to you, for truly when you see another hostile survivor on the map and turn-based combat starts, you do need to think very carefully about what to do because even one angry gunman can turn your entire survival situation upside down.

I won't say the game is without its faults, it certainly isn't. The game is still in beta though, so you certainly have to give leeway for that. The game is peppered with lots of tiny errors (which I'm sure can be rectified quite simply) and a great deal of content has yet to be added, but the development team are quick to respond to issues and are very good with their communication to their community, which is always an added bonus. In-game content doesn't avoid controversy either, they don't shy away from real-world issues that would occur during a cataclysm like the plot, such as racism, murder, betrayal, religion, same-sex relations, disability and others, which, while risky is also quite a breath of fresh air.

Ultimately, if you're looking for a game that gives you the flexibility to be in charge, while retaining a challenging experience to keep not just yourself, but others with you alive, with great versatility and variation, Dead State should definitely be added to your library. Dead State is a unique game among its genre, but one that works in a really good way. If you have reservations about Dead State and questions regarding its current gameplay that you don't feel have been adequately answered by anything you've seen or read, I'd be happy to answer them for a game I feel so positive about.

For those that teal deered: 9/10.

- - - - - UPDATE: v. 1.0.0 (4th Dec 2014) - - - - -

This will be a lot more brief than the content above mentioned at the end of October, but as Dead State is now fully released and out of beta, it seems only fair that you know what's changed in the last month and a bit. Truly? Quite a bit. I'll list the greatest first.

For starters, all of the unfinished crap that you could find when travelling around on the map (i.e., accidentally finding a completely empty location with just the shell of a building) are completely finished. This might sound like a quite obvious one, but there were a lot of these locations, so it's pleasantly surprising to see that they are all complete and weren't just scrapped and removed. Often, you could be travelling in a party of four and all of a sudden, three more of your survivors who you left at base would pop up out of nowhere and also be there. Though it wasn't necessarily a bad thing to have 7 of your people running around with you (especially in combat, it was quite nice to exploit), it wasn't how the game was meant to be played, and honestly, having more survivors with you will only cause problems.

One of the three main commodities in Dead State, fuel (the other two being parts and food), can be very hard to come by. That being said, there was no way for you to turn off your shelter's generator if you didn't particularly need it burning your fuel. In the Dead State community, this caused a bit of an uproar as it simply drained people's fuel that they wanted to use for other projects. That being said, Double Bear clearly noticed that this was an issue, listened to its players, and now the ability to turn it off is functional.

The artwork of all characters have been updated too, and their portraits are now much larger. Not a huge issue, but it does make it look much better, and aesthetics do count to a lot of gamers. That being said, it ties in with the fact that a lot of characters received updates to their personal perks (a lot like talents in World of Warcraft or Divinity: Original Sin, for ease of explanation).

Back in October I mentioned that there was nothing stopping you from equipping yourself with the best shotgun and the strongest hammer in the game and just smashing your way through - so they've added skill requirements to all weapons to prevent this! Though it may not seem like a lot, it does prevent you from giving your wispy little doctor a giant railroad hammer.

Unfortunately, I ran out of space but thank you for reading!
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203 of 287 people (71%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 6
Let me start by saying ive followed and played this game for awhile and saw lots of potential and promise from the developers. However i started playing the final release and i am disgusted at what is being passed off as a complete game.

There are numerous crashes that should have been fixed ages ago. This game promised to delve so deep into a zombie apocalypse that it would include much more than just bashing zombies.. it also promised tactical combat and in depth group management.. all we get is a game with limited at best combat and group management. I waited untill the full release to see if these things would be fixed, and they havent. The game is basic, and playing it you will see that nearly all that was promised is missing. Average graphics, limited dialogue, Biggest let down of the year.

To try and make the communication challenging all they have done is program npcs to be fairly moronic. Nothing feels natural and you will not be drawn into the politics of your group.

Comparing this game to fallout which has real tactical combat is an insult to people that actually took time to make their game legendary. Everything in dead state feels awkward and clumsy right down to firing weapons. There are no tactics in combat except for taking in turns. If i could get my money back i honestly would. Disgusted.
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127 of 184 people (69%) found this review helpful
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Early Access Review
Ok let me just say if you like arcanum, baldurs gate and many other RPG's from the mid early 90's like most of us on steam grew up with these games. YOU WILL LOVE THIS! This is a early BETA at the moment but it has quickly shown to be one of the best titles in my opinion to come this year. The base building, crafting, survival and conversations through the game feel authentic. You will crap yourself in parts with too many looters or zombies this is a unforgiving realistic survival RPG. This is the game we have been asking for as zombie and role playing fans. The team making this made some of you favriote old games i belive they did Vampire, arcanum, baldurs gate and many more. they genuinly care for the gamers and will talk to you like a best friend at conventions a very humble group that just wants to bring you a game that us now older generation of gamers miss dearly. check it out 25$ is a great price for a game that should be 60$ in my opinion give this team our love.
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68 of 90 people (76%) found this review helpful
112.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Early Access Review
Game delivers exactly what it promised: Team-based, 3/4 tactical zombie survival / base management in open world environment. There's a lot to sink your teeth into with this one. Basically you lead this bunch of survivors and every morning you get a quick briefing of things / place to explore before setting them to work and you and your scavenging party set out to find some resources to survive another day.

Throughout your travels you'll come across other survivors, some good, some not so much. But its you against the zeds so every live body helps. There's lots to explore and different modes of travel, and the shelter will requires lots of upgrades to turn it into a haven amongst all the chaos around you. There are items you need to collect to improve survivor's morale throughout your travels, in turn they will give you advice and mark locations on your map for you to explore. The overland map presents lots of random encounters during your travels, some good, some bad.

The shelter is what it's all about. You are constantly struggling with the other survivors to turn this little elementary school into a bonafide ZA haven. And it has all the ability to do it, with 2 floors and multiple rooms you will have everything you and your survivors will need to survive the nights of Splendid if you plan accordingly.

Combat starts off appearing simple but as you get more followers and more weapons you can then start to have very tactical battles, with different status effects and AOE biological weapons to help keep the battle in your favor, making impossible-looking battles into 3-round wipe ups if you're careful. Both ranged and melee are viable (I stick to melee, this is a ZA)

The maps run from classic overrun parks and hospitals, to dark scenes of lost hope, to some really...unique scenarios that I wouldnt have expected. Games like these are what makes all the risk of joining an EA worthwhile. Would highly recommend.
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100 of 142 people (70%) found this review helpful
47.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
Early Access Review
So. I've been following this game for a very, very long time and finally got a few tastes with the 7 day demo, and now the Early Access! And I must say my wait was justified.

For some this game will be very boring and tedious, it's not a "Kill dem zombies" game , it's a survival RPG in a world that just happens to have zombies being a huge hazzard. Which is exactly what I've been waiting for. The setting and premise of this game alone fills a whole in the market which currently is in desperate need of filling. Dayz, 7 Days to Die and the like are not really filling it properly either.

So first off we must establish what kind of zombies are in this game. For that we have the greatest of zombies, the slow undead type which have infectious bites that rely on swarming and being pretty much endless. So if you were hoping for special zombies, go ♥♥♥♥ yourself. Because honestly I hate you anyway.

Now onto the more detailed portion of the review!

When the game begins you will be generating a character for yourself, you might want to figure out what stats do what by a wiki, but at this point they are pretty straight forward. You select a few skills and then volia. You are now the protagonist of the game.

While we're on the subject of your character i'll explain what your role is. You are the leader of the shelter, everything hinges on you. You are the lead scavenger and no one else can lead parties into the field. You slowly become stronger by successfully completing objectives, not by the numbers of skulls you crack (unless those heads happen to be objectives.). From rough estimates from how the game functions right now, at end game you'll be generally stronger than your average man by quite a decent sum.

Now onto the second part. The shelter. You will always be in a school, and for the most part it makes sense. The school can be upgraded in various ways to support certain perks and gameplay styles, with only 1 core feature among all plays having to be accomplished : Have resources to survive (food, that's about it.) and keep the fence from breaking down (To prevent being swarmed in your sleep.)

Allies in the game at current are pretty static in their locations and not a lot of interaction is added. That said survivors all have strengths and weaknesses. Some excel in the field while others are great to keep just in the shelter. Some are phycopaths/sociopaths who just want to use you, whilst others are timid and supportive and maybe misguided. Some will be infected, and you'll have to deal with that constant threat in the shelter at all times, but they might be worth keeping since their skill sets are great.

The game is really based mostly around you and your interactions with survivors more than anything else, as I said originally the zombie outbreak is more of a hazzard than it is the main antagonist. Other survivors are your most vicious enemy, while dangers from within are the greatest over all. Having a sociopath rally a bunch of your survivors against you for example causing your labour options to go to ♥♥♥♥ is not very good and could threaten your game.

And now for combat. Combat is pretty basic, and even with superior AI and path finding down the road it's pretty simple to learn how things will go down. Turn based is definitely a plus in my book for RPGs. Perks and general skills will determine how good someone is at handling their weapon and getting the bullet/pointy end of something into a target. While you yourself won't panic or have any qualms killing poeple/zombies some of your NPCs may have hidden modifiers that will reveal and make combat hell when you thought it could be simple.

For a more simplisitc view of combat. It's mostly bashing zombies skulls in with melee weapons to prevent a swarm coming out of no where and overwhelming you, whilst fighting humans it's trying to gun them down and taking out bigger threats before they can signficantly damage you. As a neat option you CAN use zombies against your human enemies! Which is pretty god damn satisfying.

At this point in time . 9/7/2014 the game is worth buying ONLY as an investment. Things are prone to change so the game will not be at all like it is now save for the turn based combat being refined and premise being kept.

If you feel you've been lacking a good ZOMBIES SURVIVAL experience, i'd recommend this, else wise wait to see some Twitch streams of people doing some lets play's to get a good feel for it.
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119 of 173 people (69%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
If you like turn-based RPGs then this game is for you. If you like zombies this game is for you. If you like resource management this game is for you. If you like supporting a developer that is loyal, honest and talented this game is for you.

DoubleBear Productions is the perfect example of what happens when developers do early access right. You will not regret buying this game.

Also it's not ubisoft! *reader adds to cart*
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84 of 118 people (71%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
A great indie title by veteran AAA game developer talent (formerly of Troika and Obsidian). The Zombie Apocalypse meets the narrative-driven styling (and structure) of the classic Infinity Engine games. If you like strategy RPGs, choice-driven narrative, and/or the setting, then this game is well-worth your time.
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52 of 68 people (76%) found this review helpful
200.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Early Access Review
I have to say I love this game and the only disappointment I get is waiting for installments of the "beta" patch to release. The storyline is fantastic, the visuals for such a development is phenomenal. I will still be granting the highest review however this game comes off to me as an "alpha" stage game. The fine line between alpha and beta versions seem to be thinning with early release games and for the most part this game is incomplete and missing fundamental necessities to make it an enjoyable playthrough on beta. I understand glitches and bugs should be present, but content should not be slowly incorporated into a beta test but given and tweaked per recommendations by the audience. Needless to say this game is AMAZING and I've dumped numerous hours into it. But for those expecting a satisfying play, wait for the full version.
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