28_Weeks_Later

One of my favorite things about 28 Weeks Later (pictured) is how it turns on its head the conventional zombie movie wisdom that the military are the bad guys, ineffectual at best, and most likely downright sinister. In 28 Weeks Later, the military is part of a humanitarian mission and they’re good at what they do. When children go missing, they’re rescued in force. When things fall apart due to unforeseen events, the contingency plans are effective. The military tries everything they can before making the tough call, at which point they successfully contain the outbreak. What dooms the world in 28 Weeks Later — and this is the point of the movie — is personal compassion. The fact that people are good.

That’s what came to mind when I read State of Decay developer Undead Labs’ introduction to Lifeline, their next DLC.

On the State of Decay team, we have a different perspective (some of us firsthand) — the military is made up of many good men and women who stand on the line that divides safety and civilization from chaos and war.

At the height of the initial crisis, you still have support, but things are rapidly breaking down. You control Greyhound One — a small surviving unit that has been sent to the fallen city of Danforth to rescue scientists whose research is critical to fighting the outbreak. This is at the height of the initial crisis. You still have a chain of command and access to off-map support, but the voices over the radio are making it clear that things are rapidly breaking down.

So what you end up with is the inverse of the usual progression. Instead of starting with nothing, and slowly building yourself up into a post-apocalyptic powerhouse, you start the game as a well-equipped, well-supported military unit, and then must learn to improvise as one resource after another is depleted…and isn’t coming back.

I love where they’re going. And the perspective and intended gameplay flow reminds me of another rare great zombie game.

Undead Labs provides a few more details here, with the promise to reveal more in the coming weeks.