Pros: Zombie survival..
Cons: Can get repetitive.
Starting the story, you're thrown right into the deep end. The opening screen sees yourself, Marcus Campbell and your buddy fighting off a small group of 'Zeds', or the zombies, with basic melee tree branches after returning from a fishing trip in the woods. You have a small conversation after this, basically consisting of "What the hell was that!?" This is how you'll feel for most of the game, discovering new weapons, tactics and horrifying 'special' zombie types.
The core of the game is simply to survive. You will have to survive huge zombie hordes, sickness, supply runs and of course each other. You will have a home base where you keep all of your supplies and where your group of survivors live. There are different home bases you can occupy through the map which is a decent size. Each home base has it's own advantages and draw backs, they support a different amount of areas you can setup, as health clinics, sleeping quarters, kitchens, radio stations and many other stations. Each base supports a different amount of survivors with bigger bases supporting more people, but requiring more people to run it. Moving around to other bases also uses quite alot of 'influence'.
Influence is a sort of currency in State of Decay. You can use it to obtain all sorts of items, like weapons, medicine and usable items like molotov cocktails. You gain influence completing supply runs, helping people our and completing story missions. In doing those things you also gain experience and level up different skills on whichever character you're using at the time, like shooting skill and stamina. This would largely see you using just a single powerful survivor to play the game, but using a character for a prolonged period sees them tire, and lose more and more stamina. This doesn't necessarily force you to change characters all the time as you can drink coffee and eat energy bars you replace the stamina, but it's alot more intuitive to do so.
You must go on supply runs to scavenge for items like food, medicine and building supplies, keeping your home base well stocked to survive. You can order different survivors to go on supply runs but they often get into trouble with zombies and as they walk on foot over using a car, take a very long time. I found supply runs took up most of my time in State of decay, adding to that realistic survival immersion, leaving little time to complete missions and help people.
There are, quite literally a ton of weapons to use in this game, from silent melee weapons to powerful automatic assault rifles. Firearms are loud and attract attention to it's normally best to save them for tight predicaments where you have no alternative. Otherwise of you're only facing three or four zeds it's better to just take them down one by own with a melee weapon, such as a police baton or machete. There are lots of different blunt force and sharp objects to use. I thoroughly enjoyed hacking arms and heads off zombies with swords, and shooting brains out with long range snipers rifles. I found the best way to deal with the huge zombie hordes of twenty plus zeds was to just run them all over in a vehicle. Don't think you can just drive around invisible like Mad max however, as cars get damaged smashing zombies into bloody pulps. You can setup work shops at your home base that will repair cars parked in designated zones over time. This is likely the best route to take as vehicles are limited.
Overall I very much enjoy this zombie survival style game, has a decent number of hours worth of play and offers a more realistic approach over the likes of Left for Dead or simiar. Even with all this variety and different tactics you can use, it does eventually become repetitive as most games do. If this sounds like your kind of game, I'd definitely give it a look (once it's on Steam special!)