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Thoughts: State of Decay 2

When I first previewed State of Decay 2, I predicted that the game would significantly improve upon the foundations set by its predecessor. I also thought that it wouldn’t be as prone to technical problems. After spending some time with the game, it looks like I’m only right about one of those things.

Much like State of Decay, the premise of State of Decay 2 is relatively simple. A zombie outbreak has occurred, many people have died and those that are left are doing whatever they can to survive. The character that you pick is one of these people, who we first control as they’re scouring a refugee camp in the hopes of finding a safe place to stay.

From there, you’re pretty much in control of what you choose to do. The game has three separate maps that the player can explore, but you’ll choose one to take residence in at the start of the game. There will also be quests given to you, but you’re free to do them or decline them entirely if you choose.

Exploring in the game isn’t much different from before, however Undead Labs have taken exploration to a whole new level with their adjustment to the lighting. Night time in State of Decay 2 is much darker and truly frightening at times. Players can only see a short distance in front of them, and it’s not difficult for a group of zombies to get the jump on you because of this. Couple this with monitoring fuel levels for vehicles and you’ll find that State of Decay 2 can be trouble for players that aren’t alert at all times.

Prior to its release, one big addition to the game that was heavily featured was the implementation of a multiplayer component for the game. After spending some time with it, it’s nothing to really write home about. Having the ability to explore the world with multiple players is definitely fun, but it isn’t as great as I would have hoped. Being rewarded for helping players feels great, but it’s unfortunate to find that players are unable to roam freely within the world when they’re playing with others.

Like it’s predecessor, State of Decay 2 is plagued with technical problems that hamper the experience. During my time with the game I’ve come across problems both big and small, such as enemies stuck in walls, significant screen tearing issues, and more. It’s something that I had really hoped Undead Labs would work on to reduce as much as possible, and it’s disappointing to see that they’re so common when playing the game.

Once again, Undead Labs have produced a great game that’s fun to play for hours on end. Unfortunately, the game also suffers from a multitude of technical problems that do detract from the fun, yet despite this I’ve always found myself eager to come back and play the game some more. Whether you’re a fan of the series or a newcomer State of Decay 2 is worth checking out, just keep in mind that you won’t be getting an experience with perfect performance.

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