Zombies are still cool. Right? I thought they may have over stayed their welcome by now, hell, I have even fallen away from watching The Walking Dead. I guess anything zombie orientated was just becoming too predictable and familiar, but five years ago when State of Decay came out I loved it.
Well everything except the persistent game world which had your survivors paying for your inability to play the game everyday. So when the sequel was announced I had some vague interest, but with picking up a Xbox One X recently that interest rose a fair bit.
And I’m glad it did, the end of the world hasn’t been more engaging.
For those who haven’t played the original the premise is pretty simple, find your survivors somewhere to call home and then keep the supplies rolling in and the undead rolling out. This hasn’t changed with the release of State of Decay 2, but thankfully pausing the game for a minute or a week now puts everything on hold. So that family holiday doesn’t have to wait for you to save the world first.
Now, for me this is so important. I love getting a quick half an hour of gaming in when I can so not having fixed save points or a world that will eat you up when you leave is vital.
Starting off in a reasonably large open world can be daunting but you are directed to your first safe house immediately by the game, although it won’t take you long to realise you need to find a bigger place. Gameplay is all about finding a nice balance of scavenging for the necessities, aiding other survivors, and trying to rid the area of infestations and Plague Hearts, the source of the zombies.
All seems to go smoothly until you decide to venture too far or take on one more horde before heading home. Trust me, if you ever think, ”just one more”, don’t. Head home and rest and resupply first.
Now, I have encountered a few annoying bugs in State of Decay 2, a couple that can really ruin your day, so hopefully these will be quickly addressed in updates. The first is the state of gates and doors, they at times will appear open but when you try and go through you will be prompted to open it. Not good when running from a horde.
The second has happened less but has resulted in the death of a survivor each time, and it is the loss of control of your survivor while searching, unfortunately the zombies don’t freeze and you will be quickly overrun. In lesser games these bugs would have had me walk away in disgust, but State of Decay 2 has enough going for it that I found myself overlooking these faults and returning to the fray.
The only other thing I can pick at is the way the vehicles handle, lets just say I have several stuck in odd places due to some interesting handling.
On the Xbox One X State of Decay 2 looks fantastic, both 4K and HDR are used to great effect. HDR is especially nice as you are making a hurried journey back to the safety of your base as the sun is going down, you may even find yourself stopping to enjoy the sunset because lets face it, there isn’t much beauty left in this world. And for those willing to stay out after dark, well good luck to you. I hope at least you have a good surround sound system to hear those who want to eat your flesh sneaking up on you.
The pain of loosing a survivor that you have trained and nurtured is real. The first couple of times I lost someone I promptly started a new community. State of Decay 2 really does draw you in, it has a perfect ‘just one more’ knack about it. Be it searching ‘just one more’ building, clearing ‘just one more’ horde, or even upgrading ‘just one more’ area at home base, it will really sink its teeth into you.
Just make sure you have a medical facility in case those teeth have Blood Plague.
State of Decay 2 is out now and is free for those on Game Pass.