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:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (30 reviews) - 70% of the 30 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,418 reviews) - 72% of the 1,418 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 4, 2014

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Downloadable Content For This Game

 

Dead State: Reanimated

We’ve spent a couple of months of solid development time making Dead State stronger, smarter, and faster, and we’re happy to say that the results are fantastic. We’ve brought new life - or is it unlife? - to every aspect of the game. This isn’t just Dead State anymore - this is Dead State: Reanimated! DS:R isn’t just an update - it’s our definitive enhanced edition with brand-new content, full of improvements and fixes requested by you, our community!

The Highlights

  • Major overhaul of combat balance! Core combat systems have been thoroughly reworked to take advantage of all the data and feedback we’ve gathered over the months since Dead State’s original release. Ranged weapons, melee weapons, armor, special attacks, ally / PC healing, and more have been reworked and carefully tested to create an engaging and challenging combat experience. Even the core combat system has been tweaked so that AC is calculated before damage reduction; this change makes combat more consistent and more fair, and corrects the “invincible” armor problem.
  • Smarter AI! Medic, Guard, Grenadier, Sniper, and more - New AI behaviors and schemas exist for human enemies, making them more interesting and more challenging to fight! Enemies will notice your presence more quickly, follow you around corners and through doors, and fully utilize all of their tactical options, thrown weapons, and special attacks.
  • New PC Infection option on New Game menu! Create a new game with PC Infection checked and your character will be as susceptible to infection as your allies are. Carefully manage your antibiotics and change your combat strategies to ensure your own survival!
  • Hardcore Mode! Just in case living in the apocalypse wasn’t hard enough for you. In Hardcore mode combat becomes more dangerous, allies consume more resources and heal more slowly, and Morale is harder to keep up. Turn on Hardcore, Iron Man, and PC Infection for the ultimate challenge!
  • Alarms! That’s right - we’ve added alarms to buildings in several areas. Red, blinking lights warn you that there’s an active alarm on a building. Use your Science skill to deactivate an alarm and prevent a looting distraction from becoming a noisy attraction!
  • New areas and random encounters! Several new levels and random encounters have been added. Make sure to keep an eye out for the Chemical Plant, an area with a unique twist…
  • New combat sounds and animations! We’ve added new special attack, reloading, and healing animations and sounds. Special attacks feel smoother and more impactful now!
  • Stability improvements! We’ve rooted out every crash and progress blocking bug to make sure you have the smoothest possible experience. Several popularly requested usability improvements have been added, such as friendly fire conformation, looting piled up bodies, and an option to toggle Live Shelter movement on and off.
  • Pathfinding improvements! Both allies and the undead have received major pathfinding adjustments that will reduce lag some people have experienced as well as make movement more consistent and natural.

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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mostly Positive (30 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,418 reviews)
Recently Posted
Whiteswart
( 166.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
Dead State is a survive-the-end-of-world themed game, on the base of party RPG with turn-based combat, in-depth team management, and the Shelter to build, supply and protect... It's a long-going indie project, which started quite low in the pre-release at 2014, but was significantly updated since then. While even now it is far from ideal, lacking something in every major game aspect, surprisingly, it is one of the most solid games in the zombie-apocalypse line. And in the ever-low-in-numbers squad/turn-based sub-genre especially.

Why I like it? Because, generally, it makes sense. It is logical, ways above some well-known projects like all belonging to the "Walking Dead" franchise, in the first place. You have a shelter, a bunch of people to look for, and to help you, and all you do is basically the most real-case survival scenario - you roll down all the way to tribal age, and all you can (and need to) care about is your tribe. You hunt and kill, gather materials, build things and redistribute found resources and jobs for your crew, you tune the mood of each of your people, helping them so they can be of use for you in return... Not the worst job I had in my life, I guess.

However, speaking of usual game's features, like the plot, the visuals and sound, interesting game mechanics, overall joy-out-of-the-game, sadly, the project is quite mediocre. There are some originality, sure, and it is fairly acceptable, generally, but the major hook of Dead State is the group survival topic. If you're down with it, and ready to numerous unimposing turn-based battles against reanimated corpses and marauders from different tribes - check the game. If you're generally looking for some catchy titles like the modern XCom or prefer quick-paced action - I doubt you'll be happy there. My mark is 7/10, and that's about all major words I have for "Recommendation".

Some words more, about game aspects I found troubling, even while they sound good at first.

1) the RPG elements and crew management. RPG is quite rigid there, basically, you have some skills and you'll be constantly facing various skill checks... being a leader is a tough job, especially when you can't send someone else as a head of marauding party. Really, one thing that buzz me, is that a good marauder must have high strength and battle skills (to carry loot and deal damage) and good leader have to have so many other crafts to prosper and guide - why it is so obligatory that only the main character should lead the field group?
Crew management is another major problem. While generally people you gather around are not that bad and broken, as, for example, we have in the Valkyria Chronicles... but the morale system is really bugging me off, as well as the so-called "sub-leaders". Everyone is sad, every day every person brings overall morality down - but how do you supposed to deal with it? You can talk to them, giving them what they want, solve all their problems - and the results will be... average. But - you can scavenge a lot of books, CDs, tooth brushes and toilet paper - and the morale will be rocking! Am I the only one who thinks that's not how it supposed to be? Guess not.

2) Turn-based combat is lacking, it is flat and not comparable even with the old titles like Fallout 1/2, not to mention modern projects like Xenonauts or Wasteland 2. I like the idea with sound which every weapon makes, but even that mechanic is far from perfect. Especially when I'm reaching 200db+, using only melee weapons, in the house where all doors shut - and it still attracts corpses, out of nowhere.

3) The inventory and inventory management is another headache. For the game which is based on constant looting, this process is quite poorly optimised - still. Yeah, they made buttons like "select all" in the shelter inventory menu - but why only there? I had very hard time clearing the hotel recently - not because of mean mercs settled there, but for the amounts of stuff I was collecting with the very primitive interface system. Also, for a game, based in Texas, there are so little firearms, and the usage of those is so lame, I can never suggest Dead State to any Jagged Alliance fan - even if he prefers the first game over the second. Also, there is a weight of items "feature" - why some objects have those numbers, I really wonder. Like big

4) Finally, while it is good at start, I don't really like how the game is proceeding forward. Unobvious game goals I can tolerate, but the routine checking crops and malls around, to stuff even more junk food and another hundred of screwdrivers... Meh. In my second run through the game, after the first month, I've made all upgrades for the shelter, collected almost all aviable people, and stuff to feed them for years - yet, I still have to walk more and more, just to get along with stupid "morale" mechanic - and without any other main goal but "to survive". So what? I survived. But I can't really get over the basic level, I can't start some long-lasting relationships with other communities, I can't develop trade routes, or more shelters. After some time invested, the game's stacking, like the USSR in the 70-80's. And that's not the good thing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mr.twilight
( 62.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
great game, easy to play, but needs and update for random crashes. The game is like fallout 1 with the birdeye veiw that can scroll the whole area with the scavenging and building a base scenario of state of decay. it can be chanlenging as you can quickly get out gunned by the human enemys.
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[ocd] Liam
( 39.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 19
Survival/rpg with the gamepley to spark your interest and keep you entertained. Sure the game is not perfect, but I for one will keep a close eye on the developers ~DoubleBear~ you guys Rock!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Peter
( 93.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 19
Although even the Reanimated version of the game is still plagued by scripting errors (story events repeating more than 10 times... Karen!), spelling mistakes, glitchy engine behaviour (enemies being able to spot players and hit them through locked doors) and the lack of the cure ending (even though it's heavily hinted at), I still very much enjoyed DS:R.

The writing and dialogue are simply great, the story lines for other survivors are fleshed out well for the most part and the various location for scavenging have a lot of atmosphere, are believable and often tell their own little stories. Moreover, the turn-based style of play in conjunction with the usage of active perks can make combat very satisfying if planned right.

The shelter gameplay does leave quite a bit to be desired, however. There's no way to view survivor perks through the task board, for instance, which makes the job of optimising morale gain somewhat tedious. The data cracking mini-game could have been a lot less annoying, too. Although I tended to crack the codes the same day I found the items, which generates a steady flow of skill points - especially if combined with daily gift giving -, I can imagine this process being extremely boring when you've neglected them for a while. On the other hand the shelter map does reflect the progression you make, since it's updated when new facilities have been built.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this game, if you don't mind the turn-based isometric style, aren't bothered by micromanaging morale and tasks and can overlook some technical and design flaws. The story and dialogue more than make up for it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MuffMart
( 20.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 18
I wouldnt get it, yes it has so much potentional, but the ♥♥♥♥ing devs dont do ♥♥♥♥ for this game. If they were constantly on it, and updating it. I'd say get it. The games pretty buggy still. Don't waste your money on it.
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RobHamburgerAnarchistOP!!!!!
( 158.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 16
Enjoyed this game. If you like Squad-focused turn-based combat in your games (like Xcom or more similarly Silent Storm) this will fit the bill. It also does a pretty fine job of delivering on what so many zombie games fail to -- a convincing simulation of what running a post-zombie apocalypse might be like. Crisis events, managing jobs/morale/resources and really getting to know your survivors, their skills, and how best to use the people you come across. The cons? I wish inventory management was more streamlined -- opaque at first it is easy enough to pick up, but there is still an issue of needing to move hundreds of pounds of stuff around -- (I appreciate how much a person can carry is an important element of a game where deciding what to loot and what to leave behind is key, but after you get a CAR the idea of repeat trips for piles of items just seemed silly.) -- There were a couple of bugs, but nothing I couldn't navigate by using the forums. Solid title that is a bid of a tarnished gem -- while it's a GREAT game, it falls in a couple of ways just short of being an AWESOME game. Still, for an Indie game it cannot be denied the game deserves MASSIVE praise. I especially liked how truly diversity and differences were made a part of this game regarding how survivors interacted -- Not just the obvious questions of sanity or racism in an apocalypse scenario -- but ideas of Sexuality, Mental and physical disabilities, religion, criminal tendencies, classism, language barriers -- by the end of the game I felt like practically any quirk I could think of was somehow represented, which was also a nice touch. Glad I played,
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Dragon Dai (Uey)
( 146.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 13
This game has a LOT to love, but almost as much (maybe more, depending on you and your preferences) to hate. I find that the pros strongly outwiegh the cons, but this is NOT going to be the case for everyone. So, in short order, I present a warning label:

WARNING! This game contains bugs, crashes, missing/incorrect tool tips, repetitive gameplay, extreme micromanagement, a somewhat significant RNG element to combat, the desire to see you suffer if you don't you abuse quick save or if you play on Ironman, a decisive and unavoidable "end" (which is somewhat to extremely unsatisfying), little actual replay value, boring loot, extremely repetitive enemies, negative outcomes for events you didn't even know existed/had a time limit on, and other, smaller problems/annoyances.

Okay, so, you just read that warning and you're like, "But you're still recommending the game? Did you hit the wrong button?" And the answer is, no, I didn't hit the wrong button. Yes, I am still recommending the game. Why? It's actually really simple: this is the most complete zombie survival game I've ever played. By a good margin to. The only thing that even comes close to this is State of Decay (another fun game), but that had a LOT of things missing from the overall experience that this does NOT leave out.

The game is SO much more than "Board up the windows, get food and meds, smash zombies with sticks." You got TONS of complex and interesting survivors to rescue, each with a moderate to extremely detailed backstory, and an well written (if mostly cliche) story with a begining, middle, and end (and the story is REALLY long...expect a full playthru of this game to take 50+ hours if you're rushing, 100+ for a good playthru, and 150+ for a "full clear). There are group dynamics to think of, food issues, morallity issues, morale issues, medical issues, supply issues, factions, gangs, hordes, psychos, pets, carnies, crises, leadership struggles, a search for a cure, a MASSIVE (and somewhat optional) in-world lore database, and so much more. If you've been looking for the ultimate zombie survival simulator, and other games have left you wanting more, left you feeling like something is missing, this is the game for you.

There are issues (listed above). Many of said issues can be fixed by reading the (mediocre but not awful) official wiki or Steam guides (there are like 3 of them worth a damn, the other 5 or so are garbage), and occasionally searching in the Steam or official forums. But the big one (IMO), which is the repetitive gameplay with weak instant gratification. If that doesn't bother you (like it doesn't bother me), and you're not quite sick of zombies (which I'll never be), this just might be the game for you. If you've been looking for the ultimate zombie survival sim, this IS the game for you.

So yeah, give it a whirl. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cbspike1
( 39.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 11
Backer here. This game gets boring really fast. Combat with zombies lacks any challenge and is painfully slow. Looting of quite small locations takes forever. Promised rich cast of NPCs is dull and full of tropes.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ballistic Otter
( 108.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 9
This game is what happens when you wait for like 5 years for a game to get released and then somehow they manage to release it twice, and it's good both times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The_Ba$tard-Ihle
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 9
In theory this is a great idea. In execution, not so much.

There are some good things to it. The concept reminds me of The Walking Dead the show on the tele. Maintaing your shelter and going out looking for supplies. Party exploration, and multiple ways to travel whether it be walking, car, or horseback.

The gameplay falls flat, the movement point combat does not work here. Maybe I am being cynical becasue there are so many games that ues the MP gameplay I am burnt out of it. When not in combat and exploring it plays like a RTS. Which ok, that part isn't bad.

There is no voice acting from what I saw, but there are grunts, cries of pain, and zed screeches. I think the creators just used their voices because it doesn't even sound good. The music as well is ok, I don't know why they feel it is necessary to add the sound track for sale but that is a whatever.

That, and I feel the RNG is rigged against you more than XCOM is if you believe that.

All in all I can't ask for a refund, so my two cents are as follow:

I didn't like it, but that doesn't mean you won't. I say try on a sale, I bought it for low so I don't feel cheated out. I hope there is another one, but this time with more polish and a different gameplay style.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
166.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
Dead State is a survive-the-end-of-world themed game, on the base of party RPG with turn-based combat, in-depth team management, and the Shelter to build, supply and protect... It's a long-going indie project, which started quite low in the pre-release at 2014, but was significantly updated since then. While even now it is far from ideal, lacking something in every major game aspect, surprisingly, it is one of the most solid games in the zombie-apocalypse line. And in the ever-low-in-numbers squad/turn-based sub-genre especially.

Why I like it? Because, generally, it makes sense. It is logical, ways above some well-known projects like all belonging to the "Walking Dead" franchise, in the first place. You have a shelter, a bunch of people to look for, and to help you, and all you do is basically the most real-case survival scenario - you roll down all the way to tribal age, and all you can (and need to) care about is your tribe. You hunt and kill, gather materials, build things and redistribute found resources and jobs for your crew, you tune the mood of each of your people, helping them so they can be of use for you in return... Not the worst job I had in my life, I guess.

However, speaking of usual game's features, like the plot, the visuals and sound, interesting game mechanics, overall joy-out-of-the-game, sadly, the project is quite mediocre. There are some originality, sure, and it is fairly acceptable, generally, but the major hook of Dead State is the group survival topic. If you're down with it, and ready to numerous unimposing turn-based battles against reanimated corpses and marauders from different tribes - check the game. If you're generally looking for some catchy titles like the modern XCom or prefer quick-paced action - I doubt you'll be happy there. My mark is 7/10, and that's about all major words I have for "Recommendation".

Some words more, about game aspects I found troubling, even while they sound good at first.

1) the RPG elements and crew management. RPG is quite rigid there, basically, you have some skills and you'll be constantly facing various skill checks... being a leader is a tough job, especially when you can't send someone else as a head of marauding party. Really, one thing that buzz me, is that a good marauder must have high strength and battle skills (to carry loot and deal damage) and good leader have to have so many other crafts to prosper and guide - why it is so obligatory that only the main character should lead the field group?
Crew management is another major problem. While generally people you gather around are not that bad and broken, as, for example, we have in the Valkyria Chronicles... but the morale system is really bugging me off, as well as the so-called "sub-leaders". Everyone is sad, every day every person brings overall morality down - but how do you supposed to deal with it? You can talk to them, giving them what they want, solve all their problems - and the results will be... average. But - you can scavenge a lot of books, CDs, tooth brushes and toilet paper - and the morale will be rocking! Am I the only one who thinks that's not how it supposed to be? Guess not.

2) Turn-based combat is lacking, it is flat and not comparable even with the old titles like Fallout 1/2, not to mention modern projects like Xenonauts or Wasteland 2. I like the idea with sound which every weapon makes, but even that mechanic is far from perfect. Especially when I'm reaching 200db+, using only melee weapons, in the house where all doors shut - and it still attracts corpses, out of nowhere.

3) The inventory and inventory management is another headache. For the game which is based on constant looting, this process is quite poorly optimised - still. Yeah, they made buttons like "select all" in the shelter inventory menu - but why only there? I had very hard time clearing the hotel recently - not because of mean mercs settled there, but for the amounts of stuff I was collecting with the very primitive interface system. Also, for a game, based in Texas, there are so little firearms, and the usage of those is so lame, I can never suggest Dead State to any Jagged Alliance fan - even if he prefers the first game over the second. Also, there is a weight of items "feature" - why some objects have those numbers, I really wonder. Like big

4) Finally, while it is good at start, I don't really like how the game is proceeding forward. Unobvious game goals I can tolerate, but the routine checking crops and malls around, to stuff even more junk food and another hundred of screwdrivers... Meh. In my second run through the game, after the first month, I've made all upgrades for the shelter, collected almost all aviable people, and stuff to feed them for years - yet, I still have to walk more and more, just to get along with stupid "morale" mechanic - and without any other main goal but "to survive". So what? I survived. But I can't really get over the basic level, I can't start some long-lasting relationships with other communities, I can't develop trade routes, or more shelters. After some time invested, the game's stacking, like the USSR in the 70-80's. And that's not the good thing.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
372.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
This is the zombie apocalypse game that I always wished existed. I LOVE "anyone can die" type games. And for the first two weeks or so, anyone could and DID die. The country bumpkin deputy fell first...the trucker mom and I had to abandon him as we ran for our lives from a hardware store.

Then the IT nerd and the trucker mom's daughter were killed at the national park when we tried to split up to survive a horde.

Then the trucker mom and the tough cop got caught in the middle of a shootout between rival gangs. Between the gunfire and the zombies that were attracted to it, it became a blood bath. In addition to the trucker mom and the tough cop dying, the flight attendant with PTSD got bit. She killed herself that night.

Then the televangelist got jumped...there was no way for us to get to him in time.

Finally, there was nobody left except myself and a young naive farmer girl. We were doomed.

Until we stumbled onto the scene of a car wreck, where a gay former Army Ranger agreed to join our group. That was the turning point. Once he was on my team, things got much easier. We still lost the occasional member from time to time, including one of my survivors murdering another one, but all in all we grew to about 30-40 survivors - each with a unique skill set, backstory, All along the way, I was making hard decisions that affected the rest of the group. I did eventually lead the team to safety, and it definitely felt earned.

I will make one complaint, and it's one you don't hear a lot: This game takes FOREVER to beat. A ridiculously long time. I'd say the first 50% was a real nail-biter where I was loving every second of it. Then the next 20% I was starting to feel a little OP, but still liking the game. Then the last 30% becomes "JESUS CHRIST WHEN DOES THIS GAME END???"

It gets very repetitive in the last 20-30 hours or so, and every single battle...regardless of whether it's zombie hordes or major human "bosses", becomes a cakewalk.

But even with that pacing complaint, this is still a phenomenal game and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes the feeling of the lives and deaths of dozens and dozens of characters depending on you for survival.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
117.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Suberb zombie survival game, where you advance as an airplane crash victim, in the state of Texas. You'll have to manage your homefront (school building) via completing constructions projects, keeping up morale, making difficult decisions etc. Also you'll have to scavenge everything from dozens of locations around the map, as well as clearing random encounters and finding more survivors.

Its a shame we have yet another great survival/scavenging/crafting/managing game, but it is pretty bugged and unstable.
Still lots of thing to do, over 100hours in one playthrough O_O great humor and atmosphere.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
66.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
Very easy to play, fun in the first decades of hours, however get boring later.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
39.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
Backer here. This game gets boring really fast. Combat with zombies lacks any challenge and is painfully slow. Looting of quite small locations takes forever. Promised rich cast of NPCs is dull and full of tropes.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
305 of 346 people (88%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
111.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 16, 2015
Edit with the "Reimagined" update: It's a sketchy decision to overhaul the difficulty and functions after the 'full-release'. Neither does this update solve the central issues with the flow of the game, but at least it is half-a-step in the right direction. Oh wait - the UI and dialogue, even in the tutorial days, has obvious spelling mistakes and dialogue screw-ups. These have been reported since before release, and you still haven't bothered to fix them? (This is not as large of an overhaul as it claims to be, on top of that.)

~~~

It's one thing to have a great idea, concept, and writer,

It's another thing to cut your development roadmap short with what you once called "placeholders" now becoming the "final product".

My review for this game was once positive, however with their extremely underwhelming March update (which was extremely late to the party) it is clear that the developers are pretty much done with the game. And what they left everyone with was not a fully fleshed-out concept that everybody thought was amazing. Sure, they might do another patch or two, but they likely won't meet up with the picture they painted for the game a long time ago.

Why I regret my investment into it's early access:

I thought it was a mistake when I looked at the store page and saw that it was out of early access, but apparently, it wasn't.

You see, the game was nowhere near a final release when they started saying it was going to leave 'early access', and neither the appropriate polish nor needed changes/fixes had happened at that point.

I let it slide because a "big update" was planned, except said update was really just some "UI" features and bug fixes. Pathfinding, which has been rough and improperly done since long before the "official release" is still completely mucked up even after the "huge" march update.

The game still looks unpolished. It still plays and feels like an unfinished game. The animations lack content. Enemies with over-used models. The vast majority of NPCs you interact with don't even have names, and are stuck with "Looter" and "Survivor" as if the devs planned on going in there later and changing them.

They removed the 'cure' ending entirely on the grounds of "It would have been too much work to get it going" despite having the characters involved extremely hype this idea to you as an achievable goal already in the game. They also took 'balance' as a reason to write it off, which doesn't make sense since it was originally an ending. Also, you and I both know that an ending was your original intention. That objective was widely regarded as an ending well before it was scrapped. So using "it was never intended to be an ending" as an excuse was extremely sleazy.

And what did the game do to off it? Replaced some text. Threw in an apology from one of the NPCs for getting hopes up. I have several science buffs (including the immunologist) and medical professionals who showed interest in the subject of a cure, and you're telling me that a paragraph of text somehow makes up for one of the most anti-climatic story checkpoints in gaming history, all because the developers didn't want to do the work to get it working properly (or add in a scene where the cure fails and all hope is lost) for that matter.

Let me put it this way, you said you were selling an exotic sports car, so I bought into it.

However when you ripped off the cover and revealed the 90's Mazda Miata beneath it, you covered my mouth before I could yell. You told me "this is just what it is now, we will replace it with a new Ferrari Hypercar down the line".

However when you said "It's ready" down the line, I was worried because I had seen them rolling that same car into the shop every day for the past six months. But I trusted you, I genuinely thought the full release was as big as you made it.

And then the cover got lifted again, and under that cover was a 90's Mazda Miata with a spoiler, pair of stripes down the middle, some performance parts and rims. No hypercar, just an upgraded 90's Miata.

...

And because it's been made clear that the cure is never going to come back, and no major game-changing developments will be happening anytime soon, it shows how little the developers actually care since they slapped a "good to go" sticker on it and sent it out of their door.

When you see early screens of the game, you see people sitting in stools in the lab, tinkering with machines, while a character flings her arms up in the air while raging about somebody being a problem. You see characters moving their arms as they talk, showing emotion. You see life. You see a game where you can show what's happening to a friend and they will understand what is going on in the scene without you explaining it.

That's not the game now at all. Everything is lifeless. Sloppy idle animations never made it past it's adjective I just applied. Everything relating to emotion and conditions was reduced to text and labels. Even in the very minor "live-action" parts of the turn based game, it still feels like it's turn-based because everything is still attatched to their depth-lacking animations and use of the tile system.

The actual game

I'm going to summarize this to boot.

Obvious pros and cons:
+Good writing.
+Good story.
+Awesome, in-depth characters.
-turn-based gameplay is clunky
-Lack of polish
-Broken story events that don't recognize a previous descision when it should
-Lack of attention to various characters (Jodie Hopkins as an example)
-Extremely empty list of events in the bit of time before the endgame

Borderline points:
=Long storyline (but didn't have the intensity to match the hours it takes)
=Mediocre amount of weapons and content to use outside of characters
=questlines can have a lot of detail and options, but on the flipside, some don't

What I factor in when I write my reviews is the question of if I genuinely recommend this to somebody, would they enjoy it?

To answer that question, the said person would have to enjoy turn-based games, and they would also have to appreciate good characters and writing.

However they would also have to deal with the fact that some mid-game characters don't get in-depth development, the game lacks a lot of polish despite a long time in early access, the pricetag that is debatably not worth it, some obvious bugs and story holes and some glitchy questlines.

A lot of other turn-based titles have more polished and simplified gameplay. Even though Dead State had a champion writer, it still can be said that the flaws override the good.

And that is why I don't think I would recommend it.

Writing and concept was great, hower it was the clunky execution, lack of proper dev attention to well-noted problems, unbalanced features and lack of streamline-polish that ruined it for me.

This game is the poster child for products that spread themselves too thin. I understand that exit-stage early access titles are almost never as good as they made them hyped at the start of development, but this is well beyond "just scrapped ideas". While I found the characters and choices entertaining, literally everything else felt extremely under-developed and nowhere near completion.


That's my blunt review for now.
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175 of 192 people (91%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
Recommended
347.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2015
A pleasant way to spend a few hours.

Pros:

+The Base-building Aspect is a lot of fun. The delicate mix and interplay of facilities, resource management, and character skills including your own definitely play a big impact on your crew's morale and survival prospects. Those who get bit (infected) during the game as a result of combat with zombies have to be managed with daily antibiotics. Each infected cause a potent little morale hit on a daily basis (fear those infected will turn keeps your survivors up at night).

Wounded characters heal in user built infirmaries. Recovery in HP can be slow, fatigue is implemented if you have your characters scavange the wasteland of Texas for too long without granting them rest, and the additional game modes with the most recent "Reanimated" update even make it possible for your own character to get infected.

+The Reanimated patch adds a few of the more interesting game settings to the original base game that ramp up the zombie threat to 11 without making it impossible and human enemies are much more aggressive and damaging if you elect to ramp up to Hardcore game mode. The Ironman mode I wouldn't recommend given the occasional save game related bugs in the game but if you save often there's no problem with anything else.

+The large map and variety of buildings is almost varied enough in their experiences to wipe away some of the larger pacing problems.

+Some characters that can join your fledgeling community of survivors are extremely interesting characters in their own right so there's enough variety in the mix of personalities on display in this game to intrigue the imagination. Its a pity that the NPC banter and dialogue for each of these characters (~30 altogether) couldn't be fleshed out a bit more than it is but its good enough assuming you are patient enough for their scripted events to come to you.

+The Crises events in the game add a lot of tension to the game and the amount of democratic support you have leading up to these events as well as the consequences of your decisions to resolve the crises are well thought out. Its a pity there weren't more Criseses to help with the pacing problems that occur in the mid-game.

+Pick your favorite picture of any flesh-toned animated flavor and your enjoyment and immersion into the atmosphere of the game will automatically increase by leaps and bounds. The portraits that come with the game I found - disturbingly - androgenuous especially for the men. The game lets you import custom portraits...use that. The rest of the NPC characters portraits are perfectly fine though so don't let that deter you. Its only the PC that looks...questionable, shall we say?

+The game allows you a broad choice of presets background and skillsets and lets you choose your own by assigning points how you will.

+The other factions in the game will definitely reach out and make their presence felt. Some will be hostile, some neutral, and some will be friendly. A few will change their status depending on your words and actions.

Cons

-Graphics and animations are good enough for an indie game of this type but there's nothing you would call clean or flashy. I don't mind this one very much just thought I would toss it in to cover my bases.

-Ambient Music track is super repetitive and the one combat song gets real irritating real fast. Play some of your own music in the background and crank the music volume in the game down very low unless you really love the unimaginative midi drum-beat ambient deathrattle. My zombie kill-count went up immesurably and I had a lot more fun when I turned to my own combat mix. Yours will too, trust me.

-No voice acting

-A pity the infected mechanic doesn't have a stronger thematic element than merely a morale and daily biotic hit beyond the fixed three day incubation period of Zombie turning.

-The dialogue after the introduction that you initiate in your community shelter is weak and repetitive outside of scripted events. This is one area that may be the most disappointing from a narrative standpoint. Each character gives you something to worry about and do and they will get into conflicts with each other in somewhat realistic fashion. They will even group themselves into factions under sub-leaders you come across which is also nice but the lack of depth in the dialogue still makes me find this game to be a flawed gem cut too early in the development cycle to reach its prime potential. The indie budget shows most severly in this area but the early game has the most content and in all honesty I found the early part of the game in the first month to be the best most fleshed out part of the game by far...

-The factions also suffer from a lack of fleshed out developement. They are interesting and do interact some but there is a gap between what is realized and the potential that might have been realized with more time and money. More diplomacy and more varied interactions and scripted events would definitely have helped the pacing problems in the mid-game.

-Pacing problems. The greatest content is at the start when you are busy trying to set everything up and get recruits and resources to deal with opening crises and character conflicts but this dries up in the mid-game pretty fast leaving you scavaging and fighting the remaining areas on the map until the scripted end-game sequence leading to the finale and one of the game's true endings. That's all there is to say, I'm afraid.

Summary
If my hour count is any indication (I bought this game when it first came to steam early access), then I have certainly gotten my money's worth a few times over from this game. It took a very long time for my interest in the game to wane and it certainly improved technically and qualitatively from a gameplay standpoint from its most recent reanimated patch. Nearly all of the game related bugs are long gone by now and the game itself is a lot more tense and exciting with the hardcore and PC infected options enabled from said patch.

My only real disappointments with the game largely result from the fact that they simply did not have more than a matchbox budget to start with from their modest kickstarter and that has certainly plagued this game's development for a very long time. That said, I remain quite fond of this indie game company and its devs for the hours of tense enjoyment they have given me since this game's release to Steam for early access and what they accomplished with such a small low-budget. The indie team are, IMHO, very passionate about their work and considerately attentive in regards to their community.

For all its flaws and rough edges, this game is amazing in its concept, focus, and scope. Nearly every other game on zombies boils down to a button mashing action kill fest but this game takes a more cerebral approach to its gameplay mechanics where the focus is on survival not just of your one avatar or a few NPCs but an entire community of folks whose problems go far beyond the basic humdrum of scavanging and NPC questing. The game doesn't deprive you of either or from simply going toe to toe again the zombie hordes and the diverse medley of surviving human factions.

Bottom Line: This is an amazing little game for such a small indie team. Excellent Concept, decent implementation, a good mix of features that are especially rare for a genre plagued by first person shooter fare. You'll also find far more meaningful choices than can be found in any Telltale Game.

Its rare for a game of this type to hold my interest for as many hours as I've logged into it over the years; so yes, I would definitely recommend this game in its most recent incarnation without reservation to any fan looking for a more cerebral Zombie Survival RPG game that casts you as the Headman of a small community of quarralsome survivors struggling to survive the Horrors of the Apocalypse together.
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320 of 395 people (81%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
733.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 21, 2015
I've never written a review before, but I always read them before I buy a game. I'm writing this review in hopes that people won't overlook this great game because the some negative reviews have scared them off. If you love the idea of the zombie apocalypse, resource managment & turn based tactical games (like JA 2, X-Com, Xenonauts, etc) you will love this game if you can get by the bugs (which are the source of most of the negative reviews).

What I like about the game:

After the zombie apocalypse surviving would be a day to day grind. Dead State perfectly replicates this. You struggle to keep up food supplies, fuel for the generator, and morale for a group of people with realistic differences who have been thrown together in this shelter to survive. The members of the shelter all have their own goals and agendas, they fight amongst themselves, and some challenge your leadership at every turn. To keep them happy you can bribe, threaten, negotiate with them. When crisises occur you have to walk a fine line to keep most of the people happy, never being able to make everyone happy. Outside of the shelter you have to deal with zombies, looters, psychos, outlaw bikers, racist militias and everyone else who would go insane if law & order was gone. Combat is not only a struggle to win, but to do so using the minimum force needed to win. Ammo is always short for the good guns, and gunfire attracts hordes of zombies. Hordes of zombies are bad, M'kay.

What's wrong with the game:

The game has bugs. I'm not talking about crashes, but about storyline/dialog bugs. These are a little annoying, but certainly didn't ruin the game for me. There are a few technical glitch type bugs, but with some help from the forums on the company's webpage, I was able to work past all of them. The developers are actively working them out. Honestly, I think the full release should have been delayed another month or so. If they had, the reviews would have been far more positive. But, the X-mas season drives release dates. The developers are running a business, so I can't blame them for it.

All things considered I LOVE this game! I haven't been this addicted to a game in years. If you can look past the bugs, you will love this game.
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593 of 791 people (75%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
48.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
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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A developer has responded on Mar 16, 2015 @ 7:20pm
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680 of 931 people (73%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
83.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
It's with a heavy heart that I find this game a bit lacking, only four hours in and not much into the plot. I love the concept, I really do--but it's taking a long time to get into the meat of it, and the interface, while not bad, is sorely missing that last coat of wax. Having to rotate the camera to reach containers, not being able to see into buildings that I haven't entered even when I should have LOS, fumbling around to click the right tiles...and NPCs that seem to promise tremendous interactivity at the beginning, but don't follow it up outside of cutscenes.

I'll come back to it later, I'm sure, but I don't feel terribly excited. More than anything else, Dead State feels *dated* even though it's brand new. It nailed Fallout 1 a little more than it should have...I'm okay with the mechanics, but that's not the interface that modern games should emulate. Long, slow-paced games NEED some amazing polish on their interface so that they're a joy to play even when nothing is going on, and Dead State just doesn't have that polish. I'm sure there's a great game lurking further underneath, but it seems like a pain to get there.

Shame. This was the game I looked forward to more than anything else on my wish list.
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