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State of Decay's Lifeline DLC explores the zombie outbreak through military eyes

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The upcoming second expansion for Undead Labs' zombie survival sandbox title State of Decay will explore the zombie apocalypse from a military perspective, according to a recent post on the studio's blog.

Lifeline will set players in the shoes of Greyhound One, a unit of military personnel scrounging for resources and struggle to live without incident in the zombie apocalypse. Greyhound One has been sent to Danforth, a city in ruins, to rescue a group of scientists whose research could help combat the zombie outbreak.

The DLC takes place "at the height of the initial crisis" — players will still have access to off-map support and communication via radio, but Undead Labs promises this won't last. Rather than building characters and supplies up, players will start with everything — military-grade support and weapons — and end up with nothing as finite resources dwindle away.

As supplies are depleted, players will also have to worry about securing a Landing Zone to receive additional supply drops and rescue civilians from the area. As they build the Landing Zone, players must also defend it from zombies using minefields and other military weaponry, as well as off-map artillery support.

According to the post by designer Geoffrey Card, Undead Labs feels the military is too often the "go-to badguy" of zombie fiction, which drove their decision to focus on soldiers for the DLC.

"They're the hammer to which every problem is a nail, blindly mowing everything down to serve some unknown goal," Card wrote. "But this view is fairly one-sided and naïve. On the State of Decay team, we have a different perspective (some of us firsthand) — the military is made up of many good men and women who stand on the line that divides safety and civilization from chaos and war.

"Few people have a greater opportunity to make life-altering choices than soldiers," he added.

Card writes that more details on Lifeline, including its brand new cast of characters and the tools available to players, will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Shortly after its launch on Xbox 360 in June 2013, State of Decay broke records as the fastest-selling Xbox Live Arcade title in history, surpassing half a million paid downloads within two weeks after launch. The game released on Steam in early November, with its first DLC, Breakdown, hitting later that month.

Last month, Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain announced the studio had signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement with Microsoft Studios. The studio has a second game currently in its conceptual phase, Class4, which will be a "shared virtual world" and build on the experience created in State of Decay.