Dead State – a dream come true?

May 6, 2011

Some time ago, at a RPG session me and my friends discussed our dream computer games – in other words, if we could have someone design us a computer game, what would it be like? Unsurprisingly my dream game featured zombies. I framed it as a Jagged Alliance/X-COM style game set in a zombie apocalypse, featuring base and team management, turn-based combat and some RPG elements. Unfortunately, while this is a wet dream for me, no-one would ever do a game like that.

Then I ran into Dead State.

Instead of rewriting everything on their site, let me just quote:

Dead State is a compelling, high-tension RPG set at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse – a deadly illness is rampaging through the world, turning those infected into the walking dead. As society is beginning to fall apart, the player must organize a scant handful of allies, working on fortifying a shelter, scouting for food and supplies, making uncertain alliances with others, and attempting to hold together a group as humanity teeters on the brink of extinction. And although the zombies lurk as an ever present threat, the biggest obstacle to the player may just be other humans with the same goal: survival at any cost.

-Strategic turn-based gameplay: combines single-player character control with streamlined ally AI management, allowing for innovative party control

-Lush graphics: expansive maps and detailed character models brought to life through the power of Torque 3D

-Unique perspective: Combination of classic isometric perspective and field of view based on character line-of-sight allows for a tense and exciting game experience

-Open-ended gameplay: Large explorable world and non-linear storyline allow players to explore the landscape of Dead State freely, and encounter new challenges each time they play

-Engaging story and characters: Story and characters written by veteran game developer Brian Mitsoda (Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines) – features realistic and compelling dialogue and expertly-woven story elements

-Compelling player choice: Players not judged by a linear morality scale, but asked to make difficult and challenging decisions to keep themselves and their fellow survivors alive

-Complex and reactive character AI: Allies react realistically in combat situations, human enemies employ variable tactics against other character, zombies follow frightening mobbing behavior

-Innovative mechanics: Noise mechanic affects how zombies track prey by sound, resource management within player shelter allows for streamlined upgrades and organization of ally tasks

Sure, design promises are design promises, and it remains to be seen how they actually work. If they manage to pull it off, we’re looking at THE PC game for zombie enthusiasts. The game should sport a decent plot, judging from Mitsoda’s Vampire: the Masquerade game which was pretty ace. The pictures below should give some idea of what the game will look like. Click to enlarge to huge versions.

Here’s a PC Gamer article to further whet your appetite.


  1. […] blood to add to the development of Dead State. Remember this one? It’s the upcoming game that had me drooling over the keyboard and weeping tears of joy. Let’s hope they can get the game finished.  Click here for the full […]


  2. […] still remember Dead State, the “X-COM meets zombie apocalypse” game that I talked about a long, long time ago? The game is actually coming along, and they have cleared their Kickstarter goal by a wide […]


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