State of Decay 2
Xbox version tested
Review code provided
Let me just start this article by congratulating State of Decay 2 developers Undead Labs for their monumental success in reaching 2 million players worldwide. It’s always energising to see a development company reach such a milestone and I hope they are thrilled with their success.
I decided to stream my first time playing SoD2 on my Mixer channel and I’ll tell you now – it was useful! The people watching the stream were able to give me hints on what to do which would prove useful in the near future. I set up a party with two other friends who had played the game before and were more experienced as I prefer to have my ‘stress games’ played in groups.
You start off by having to choose a character. Or more a ‘couple’. While it’s more challenging to pick one at random based on what you *think* you might need, I could have done with a little more explanation to what their main skill sets meant. Some were self-explanatory like fighting and shooting while others were… less so. Picking a character with high comedy means they boost morale but as this isn’t explained without googling it, I went for a character with more practical skills than people skills. This decision didn’t turn out to be completely awful but an explanation would be beneficial to someone who’s wanting to play it casually. After choosing a character you’re then put in a ‘tutorial’ scenario to start you off, learning all the necessary buttons to press to fight and kill zombies and also search for important supplies. Again you’re given VERY little direction as to what certain things can mean. I decided to try and ‘quick search’ everything only for a friend on the stream to tell me off because it makes a racket and attracts zombies. Useful info from a friend stopping me from getting eaten but NOT in the tutorial.
After passing through the tutorial in which my character’s brother got chomped on and we met our first other playable characters, we were thrust into the open world while trying to find a cure for said brother’s spreading zombie infection. With the knowledge you gain from the tutorial you’re then given more prompts and an easy use map to help you plot out what to do. It’s at this point the game took on a more positive form for me and I seemed to enjoy it more. I dragged in my two friends to help me gather supplies and get my head around it. For me, zombie games are more fun with friends. I always loved playing Left 4 Dead as a co-op as it helped take away some of that game-related stress when something went wrong and the same goes for State of Decay 2.
Personally, I feel that State of Decay 2 is a great game to play with friends. Playing it alone feels more like a chore but it’s unlikely that everyone will think that! I’m inept enough on this game to realise that not everyone will allow the members of their group to die horribly and I completely understand why people enjoy the game so much. It’s not as optimised as I’d like but it has as much infectious ‘replayability’ as the virus that plagues the people in-game.
TBG Score: 7/10
Genre: Action, Adventure, Survival
Players: 1 – 4 online co-op
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Format: Xbox One, Windows