State of Decay was a cheapo little indie title developed for Xbox Live. You know, one of those play-and-forget games you pick up because your impulse control is broken and those Microsoft Points aren't really dollars anymore, right?
Or so we all thought.
Then you fired the sucker up and realized, Good God, they've done it. They made the zombie game we've all been demanding for the last 10 years (and by we, I mean me), and they actually did it right.
Crouching: More enjoyable than four seasons of The Walking Dead.
It's an open world third-person game with a focus on survival over fighting. You don't get "experience points" for endlessly mowing down zombies. Doing that only gets you tired, and then eaten. It features an ever-changing roster of characters, with just enough "traits" to make them surprisingly effective as characters ... all of whom can permanently die if you fuck up. Yes, that's including the "main" characters. Intrigued by that quest line with the two interracial best friends facing the apocalypse together? Well, too bad you wanted to see if you could jump off that water tower, because they're both dead now.
Hold up. I don't mean for this to sound like a review, or even an endorsement. That's getting off track. Besides, I don't know how much something like this will appeal to anybody but me, because seriously -- it's like somebody sneaked into my house and stole my own personal dream journal. Somewhere around the point where I found the replica battle ax and realized I could knock down zombies with a landing-be-damned, full-on, two-footed Shatner-esque dropkick, I had to go check all the lamps in my living room for listening devices. All I'm trying to say here is: I really, really thought this year would see the release of Fallout 4 and, for the apocalypse fan, that it would overshadow every other title. Yet the closest we got to revisiting the wasteland was the wasteland left inside our hearts after the world's most elaborate rickroll.
Stop smiling, you son of a bitch.
Then State of Decay came out of nowhere, stole the show, and desperately shuffled back to its bunker with it before the juggernauts could begin their charge.
Of course, if that didn't fill the interactive-apocalypse-shaped hole in your heart, there was Metro: Last Light, wherein we learned that the real apocalypse is uncontrolled alcoholism. Or The Last of Us, where we saw what would happen if Gerard Butler and Juno got trapped in the Mushroom Kingdom. Or if you're down for early access stuff, there was the DayZ standalone, and the excellent old-school isometric RPG Wasteland 2, and-
Shit, this was a good year for bunker-dwelling psychopaths. No wonder I'm broke.
Read more from Brockway at his own monument to narcissism/website, The Brock Way. Follow him on Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
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