State of Decay is an open-world zombie apocalypse simulator. It’s faithful to the genre in that life is cheap, and survivors come and go. To give you a closer connection to survivors who may die, the game allows you to switch viewpoints between characters at will.
It follows through on this. The character first set up as the protagonist – the one you start with, the one with the protag lines – can easily, accidentally, trivially die once you’re past the prologue, and often will. It’s a trick that can only really be pulled once, but I’m glad Undead Labs pulled it.
[I’ve played State of Decay but I first came across this insight in a review by Tom Chick, one of the most distinctive, intelligent and shameless voices ever to grace games reviewing. Tom has a nasty late-stage cancer and is undergoing treatment which has stopped him working. A friend of his has set up a fundraiser to help him get through it: you can contribute to it here.]
‘Anything Nice’ is is a series of very short posts highlighting things I liked about the treatment of narrative in other people’s games. It’s a deliberately magpie, grab-bag approach. Some of these games I adore, some I don’t even like, but I learnt from all of them.