A slightly flawed but great game.
As some of you regulars might know, I’ve been waiting patiently for State of Decay 2 for a while now, despite the fact I only started playing the original game a few months ago when I bought the Xbox Gamer Pass (best £7 subscription ever). Sadly I had to be patient until the long weekend before I could sink my teeth (pun intended) into it properly, but I’m loving it. There are some flaws, but I’ll get to those soon, the main point I want to make right now is: State of Decay 2 is totally worth the £23 price tag.
State of Decay 2 is set after the original game (I thought I’d read two years somewhere but now can’t find it to confirm) and starts off following the story of two characters (randomly created with each new beginning) trying to find sanctuary. They end up meeting a few more people and head out into the world to start a community and stop the Blood Plague (the major threat in SoD2).
The game is powered by the Unreal Engine 4 which is a powerful piece of hardware and makes State of Decay 2 look absolutely stunning for the most part, I had heard reports of the engine struggling when there are 4 players together in one game and a shit ton of zombies with them. But I’ve not come across that, it seemed to handle my whole community and several massive hordes all at once just fine.
SoD2’s major goals are to eradicate the Blood Plague and survive; and that second one can be fucking hard. My first few hours of play was touch and go with my budding community of survivors, constantly with low morale and short supplies, had most of my people contemplating leaving and starting fights with one another. How I made through those first couple of in game days is beyond me and pure luck.
Enemy wise, it’s almost the same is the original State of Decay: you have your stock standard cannon fodder zombies which unless you're completely surrounded by large numbers, won’t bother you too much.
Returning are the Freaks classes:
The sounds are amazing, I’ve felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up so many times. It’s not just the tracks either, but the effects; you’ll be wandering along at night looking for some supplies when you’ll hear some rustling that feels so real you’ll jump, and the howls and moaning are spot on terrifying.
The flaws that I’ve mentioned before, are first of all that it does feel like a remastered version of the first game, with only a new location and the Blood Plague elements added.
The other is it can glitch a bit, I found myself stuck in walls and on rocks more than a few times, fortunately there is a go back switch which will send you back 5 mins, allowing you to unfuck yourself. But I do expect this last gripe to have been fixed with the latest patch (I've not had a chance to check it out yet).
So far I’ve played 14 hours of this survivor simulation with zombies and have almost zero progression in the actual goal. But I’m ok with that, I’m here to enjoy State of Decay 2, not rush through it and say “Next!”, but to let it entertain me for hours, challenge myself to keep my community alive and thrive, to get my survivors maxed stats. Translation: I’m in for the long haul, as I can see myself playing this title for years, especially if they add extra content and DLC’s.