Hello, there readers it’s Matthew and this week sees the launch of Undead Labs highly anticipated the release of their 2013 cult hit State of Decay. For those of you wondering what State of Decay 2 is. I am guessing there will be a few thanks to the game coming to Xbox Game Pass on the 22nd. It is at its core a zombie survival simulator with emphases on looting supplies to keep your community stable and punishing gameplay for errors as when a character you’re controlling dies at the hands of the undead you lose them permanently.
The sequel has made some welcome changes with the addition of three new maps The Foothills, Plateau Town and Valley Town each of these are the size of the single map in the first game, due to the addition of the new maps Undead Labs managed to address an issue that came with the first game, what to do when you feel you have done everything on the map you’re currently playing, in the first game this was fixed with the use of the dlc pack Break Down, This time around though they put the use of a sand box mode into the base game, and it’s pretty simple just level up your coms tower to the correct level, send out a beacon searching for the exit and then leave with your survivors to start up on one of the other two maps avaliable.
This game also adds to the Black Fever mentioned in Life Line dlc which has been renamed the Blood Plague, the Blood Plague is a disease that your survivors can contract when bitten by a particular type of zombie, but don’t panic there is a cure you can either go round and find more of these specific zombies and hope they drop blood samples upon bash their brains in or if you’re up for the challenge you could take on a Plague Heart a pulsating grotesque heart that pulls in zombies from all around and drives them erratic, when you kill it it will explode killing all zombie near by and dropping a fair amount of samples. On top of all this beating on the undead you will also need to build up your home base with the necessities that your community needs, these can be anything from beds for them to sleep in, generators to power your station, farms to feed the people or even a forge to build your own supply of weaponry.
Multiplayer Multiplayer was a much-requested feature for the old game that for whatever reason Undead Labs choose to leave out but with it being added to the sequel it has received both high praise and scrutiny from the public due to what some are calling the limited nature of it with the use of individual loot and a tether system.
Now I have put an unreasonable amount of time in to this game since launch and played a good dozen hours worth of multiplayer and can honestly say that teather system is an incredibly generous 450m which in a game where you don’t want to be charging off in to the distance alone is more than enough room to loot a town together without being on top of each other.
Graphics The game as whole on the Xbox One X holds a steady framerate when playing single player, but the lack of foliage and debris can make the world feel a little dead, also there is a small issue of the motion blur for those of you like me who hate this in games there is no way of disabling it.
The nights are pitch black which adds to the feel of the game quite well, you can barely see more than 20/30m ahead of you at night and when you do see a zombie it’s usually just the glowing red eyes of a plague zombie running at you from the darkness, however currently there is a small glitch when driving around at night where you will see the frequent popping of a horizontal white line across your screen
Music & voice acting. The music from the game is made by the same composer as the first game Jesper Kyd who has also worked on many other titles that I enjoy such as the Borderlands series and Assassins Creed. The voice acting is a bit poor most of your interaction will come via a radio system. Where survivors will call out to you and tell you they need a particular thing or for you to clear out a house/building for them, it gets to the point where it fades into the background pretty quickly, and you just check your mission log instead. This is mainly because a lot of the quests are just fetch supplies for said person but is the same thing repeated in a slightly different way.
The actual story-based quest for each character that helps paint them as individuals is exciting though and worth paying some attention too.
I feel State of Decay 2 is a zombie game worth grabbing. I love the survival aspect along with the managing of the survivors and base, how each character has different personality traits that can affect the mood of your camp is a nice touch, multiplayer is fun and a great experience, besides the few bugs I have come across its a good game, if your hesitant to get it you try it on Game Pass on the 22nd of May