State of Decay 2 is a zombie survival/management game which makes you feel like you’re in an episode of The Walking Dead. It’s not without it flaws but it’s a great starting point for someone who hasn’t played the first game.
In State of Decay 2 you control a small community of people, each of whom have their own background and special skills. You are able to take control of these characters and take them on different missions throughout the game. Each of the characters have their own health and stamina bars, and once they get tired or sustain too much injury you’ll have to take them back to base and tag them out with another character. Your community members also have their own wants and their own special quest for them to complete. You’ll need to try and stay on top of these the best you can as your community morale will suffer, fights among friends might happen, and eventually people will leave.
As you can imagine, in any post apocalyptic zombie world, survival is top priority and to survive, you’re going to need some supplies. Tthat is basically what you’ll be doing for 90% of State of Decay 2; fetching supplies. Supplies are broken down into 5 categories, food, ammo, medicine, materials and fuel. All of these materials will be used by you and your community and will slowly deplete each day. However, once you’ve found a vehicle you suddenly become the town’s very own delivery service and you’ll be tasked with ferrying supplies from point A to point B.
The other 10% of the time you’ll be hunting Plague Hearts. At the start of each game, the town you spawn in has 12 Plague Hearts, destroy them all and you “win” the game. Plague Hearts are generally protected by plenty of the game’s toughest zombies. You’ll need to ensure you and whoever you’re bringing with you are geared up and ready for a tough fight.
Luckily for you, team Undead Labs listened to the fan feedback from the last game and have added the welcome addition of multiplayer! With this awesome addition you can open your town to (up to) 3 friends who can help you slay zombies and Plague Hearts.
And that’s all there really is to State of Decay 2, it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of meat to the bones, unlike it’s distant cousin Dead Rising who’s known throughout gaming culture as an over the top zombie survival game where you’ll always be wondering “what are they going to add in next? An equip-able Mega Man blaster? Chainsaws on bikes?!” (They did.) But that’s to be expected from a real-life version of the zombie apocalypse, you trudge through everyday barely scraping by and working with what little you have.
Last month, in September, Undead Labs released State of Decay’s first expansion, “Daybreak” that attempts to spice up the game. Daybreak is a new replayable co-op game mode where you and your friends play as elite Red Talon soldiers and must defend a fortified position against seven waves of zombies. You’ll unlock a bunch of new “experimental” weapons that you can use during this mission and then unlock them for your base game community.
If you’ve ever played Call of Duty: Black Ops zombie mode then you’ll know what to expect. While the new weapons are a nice touch, this doesn’t change up the game enough for me to want to invest a lot of time into it so I can unlock the new weapons. I would rather explore the game’s open world in the base game and kill zombies in my own time.
State of Decay 2 is a game I can turn to when I don’t really want to play something that engaging. It’s a nice game to jam with your friends when you want to avoid some of the more competitive multiplayer games out there. The basic game play loop is nice and simple, however after a couple of hours it does feel like you’ve done most of the things you can do within State of Decay 2, short of collecting and using every item in the game. For anyone on the fence about picking this game up, I would recommend to picking up Xbox Game Pass, as this game, along with a whole heap of other titles are available for you to download on to your PC or Xbox system (via Play Anywhere). If you’re looking for a zombie survival game with a little bit more meat on it’s bones, I would suggest looking to the Dead Rising series.