State of Decay: Breakdown DLC
Just to give you a bit of perspective, I’ve already clocked about forty plus hours into “State of Decay”. I gave the game a 9/10 and for good reason…it’s one of the best open world zombie survival games I’ve ever played. Picking up the DLC (which released 11/29/13) was really a no-brainer, considering the amount of playtime I’ve already invested into the core game. The “Breakdown” DLC, for those of you who haven’t heard of it up to this point, introduces a new “sandbox” mode that tasks you with staying alive as long as possible. Want to know more? Of course you do.
It probably goes without saying that you’ll need the core game in order to play the DLC, but I figured I’d put that out there anyway. At any rate, “Breakdown” introduces a new survival/sandbox mode that doesn’t confine you to just one large map. Rather, think of it as a series of levels. You’ll be going around, looting supplies and eventually exhausting everything the map has to offer. When you’re out of supplies and need more, you’ll be forced to proceed to the next area via an “RV” that you’ll need to first find and repair. The kicker is that you can’t take everything or everyone with you, forcing you to make some pretty tough decisions. The items sitting in your community locker carry over, but most of your resources (food, medicine, etc.) don’t.
As you progress from map to map (which oddly remains the same), the difficulty increases. Infected become faster, freaks become more frequent, dots disappear from the UI, and cars become more scarce. In the end, it all boils down to a battle of attrition…how many levels will you clear out before finally succumbing to the horde? On a semi-related note, the resource system has been re-worked slightly across all game modes. The developers claim that it will make scavenging “fairer and more consistent”. As you get farther along in “Breakdown”, resources will begin to automatically dwindle from your available stock at a faster rate…as if running into five freaks in one sitting wasn’t bad enough.
Heroes make their way into the game as well, though you’ll need to work a bit in order to unlock them by completing challenges. When you boot up the mode for the very first time, you’ll simply start with a random survivor. As you progress in the sandbox mode, you’ll unlock heroes. Heroes are both immediately added to your community in your current play session, as well as added to the starting character selection pool for future games. Heroes are a bit tougher and more skilled than those random survivors, so unlocking them is certainly something you’ll want to shoot for. I counted more than thirty heroes, each with their own special weapons and attributes. One guy, for example, has a hazmat suit that protects him from screamers and bloater gas.
I think it’s neat that you can start a new sandbox game up to the level you’ve unlocked…meaning if you make it to level three on the first playthrough, you have the option to start on level three in the second playthrough. Another completely new feature I find to be convenient is the ability to track down survivors who are “away” from home. One thing I will note however is that you’re limited to one save game file, meaning that you can’t start a new “Breakdown” mode game without erasing your current progress. Not to worry, your unlocked heroes and levels will still carry over to the new game. It’s also worth noting that “Breakdown” is completely separate from the core game’s campaign, so you’ll can’t mix and match characters and the like. Oh, and PC players will be pleased to know that a patch is planned for roughly the same day to allow for customizable keybinds…not too shabby!
To save on time, I think I’ll end the review there…that’s code for “I’m anxious to get back to playing”. I am personally having a blast with the DLC and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys playing the core game. It’s most certainly worth $6.99, seeing as how it adds almost unlimited replayability without having to suffer through the story for the umpteenth time.
Final Verdict: 9/10
You can learn more about and purchase “State of Decay” and its DLC by visiting the following websites:
You can check out my review of “State of Decay” here:
You can view video play sessions of the “Breakdown” DLC here:
You can view the entire video series of the “Breakdown DLC” here: