While some play videogames to be entertained, I vày so for the morals they can bestow. I lượt thích to come out the other side a better person, armed with new lessons and ideas for the future. Undead Labs’ State of Decay 2, it turns out, is just such a game. The lesson? Never put Harry Shepherd in charge of a community of survivors in the sự kiện of a zombie apocalypse. Ever.

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It’s not as if I’m a threat khổng lồ anybody, per se. I am merely prone to lớn wilting under the pressure of making decisions while the lives of other less-putrid-smelling humans hang in the balance, và incompetence – which, I accept, is actually a bit of a threat now that I think about it.

Perhaps I’d be better off trying these otherzombie games, although I am unconvinced.

Case in point: Tim. Poor Tim. No doubt already traumatised by losing the rest of his Enclave – other human factions with which you can trade, ally with, & attack as you see fit – lớn the horde, another of my not-so-merry band và I rescued him from an infestation of zeds. A screamer, perhaps cruelly mimicking the final moments of Tim’s mates, was calling his fellow rotting shufflers for dinner.

Choosing between certain death & slightly-less-certain death, Tim opted for the latter by signing up to the Shepz Survival Squad – as I điện thoại tư vấn it, it didn’t really catch on with the others – but things weren’t looking up for him for long. An unfortunate combination of his insistence that we take revenge by dispatching another infestation much further away, and my lack of backbone, led us khổng lồ drive far into the perfect darkness of Drucker County. & I mean perfect: all we can see are pairs of murderous red eyes floating towards our headlights lượt thích demonic moths.

In my rush to lớn comfort my new friend, I failed lớn prepare adequately. In hindsight, I should have recognised that neither Tim’s shooting or fighting abilities were up to snuff, & that I had neglected lớn put a backup jerrycan in the boot.

Fast forward ten extremely upsetting minutes & I am left stranded next to my now battered, bloodied, and fuelless Legendre muscle car, alone. The mood of my fragile community had veered erratically from ‘Stable’ to lớn ‘Depressed’, but Tim’s demise risked being the final straw – their spirits would be stuck on ‘Miserable’ for some time khổng lồ come. Lượt thích the original game, death in State of Decay 2 is less about zombies & more about the hundreds of seemingly mundane decisions you must make lớn resist oblivion for one more day.

Undead Labs have nailed this feeling of fragility: as soon as you feel confident in your stockpile of supplies, your community’s mood, & the state of your base, one erring of judgement can trigger a downward spiral against which you are always playing catch up. Everything is a trade-off: upgrading your base improves your production capabilities và survivor morale, but creates noise và increases the chance of an attack; adventuring further by car can reap rare rewards from distant traders, but you will deplete your precious fuel.

State of Decay 2 is full of these mini narratives you create for yourself. Undead Labs plant story seeds across the world – another Enclave might steal your supplies for you lớn hunt down, an exiled community thành viên might ask for your help to lớn clear their name – but you can take full ownership of your community và decide to bởi vì whatever work you please.

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You start by picking a pair of characters that each have their own background and set of skills such as Shooting, Cardio, and Agriculture. More can be discovered và taught to your group, too, their number increased by repeatedly performing relevant tasks as you would in Skyrim – running increases your Cardio stat và getting stealth kills boosts your Wits. When maxed out, your citizen can specialise, adding another layer of roleplaying depth.

On offer are a pair of women locked together in a perpetually on và off relationship, and some long-term school pals, but I chose an unlikely couple brought together by the extreme circumstances in which they found themselves. But, to stay consistent with State of Decay 2’s permadeath, both characters are expendable and become just two more members of my group. That meant, sadly, their story was left undeveloped and felt lượt thích a missed opportunity.

Pushing on, lớn get started, you will first need a base. From there you must gather the resources khổng lồ keep your motley crew in bed & board, và expand. Clearing out nearby infestations improves morale and each inhabitant has their own qualms & fears that need managing. These objectives keep you in a loop of collecting materials, helping other groups, and upgrading your base but, after a while, your objectives become repetitive.


Since State of Decay 2 is at its best when you are writing your own freeform stories, the promise of adding multiplayer into the phối is exciting. Co-op sessions of up khổng lồ four real life players is one of the sequel’s flagship features, but is unfortunately rife with issues. There is, in a way that recalls Dark Souls’ summoning system, the option to lớn enlist or offer help online if necessary but, while we didn’t have problems finding someone to lớn help, there were regular connection issues & crashes khổng lồ desktop. We hope khổng lồ see patches lớn improve this but, as of launch, State of Decay 2’s multiplayer is a broken, frustrating mess.

State of Decay 2 is larger, too – three times larger, in fact. From the aggressively brown Drucker County to lớn the foothills of Cascade Hills & the leafy suburbs that 3d Meagher Valley, whichever location in which you choose lớn settle equals the size of the previous game’s entire map.

That said, a larger map doesn’t make for a better game. While each locations looks distinct, it doesn’t play that way. The beginning is identical – albeit with different characters – & you are still doing the same chores and activities. It is possible khổng lồ explore the other areas if you start over in another, but that means destroying your base and lugging everything along with you before you can even have a look around, which is a shame.


There are other frustrating kiến thiết decisions, too. Citizens offer engaging personal missions that will be cancelled if you take on another. Since fatigue và injury are common, & encourage you khổng lồ embody new characters, it’s annoying khổng lồ have the chance at a cool adventure be squandered because a character needs their 40 winks. Also, you must have a spare slot in your inventory khổng lồ change an equipped ranged or melee weapon; if you don’t you have to lớn drop something else to unequip the weapon before you can swap it.

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Unfortunately State of Decay 2’s bugs và glitches hold the trò chơi back. Clipping is common & immersion-breaking glitches abound – the existence of invisible gates và shallow steps that need climbing over, for instance. In case you encounter something game-breaking, you can use the ‘Stuck’ tool on your radio menu to transport yourself back two minutes in playtime. While it isn’t the most elegant of solutions, it does at least offer peace of mind if you have trouble with the game’s collision detection.