State of Decay 2 Launch Trailer and Previews

Undead Labs’ survival RPG State of Decay 2 will be releasing on May 22, 2018 as a Microsoft exclusive title, and because of that you can now watch the game’s launch trailer on the official Xbox YouTube channel. The trailer shows off plenty of gameplay and features, and provides a decent idea of what to expect from the full game. Check it out:

And if you’d like to know more about this particular zombie survival RPG, you can check out some hands-on previews below:

PC Gamer praises the game’s complexity:

Disappointment with co-op’s limitations aside, State of Decay 2 is a rich survival sim that also has surprising chops as a third-person action game. There are tons of guns and melee weapons that feel different to fire and swing. The animations you get for sneaking up behind a zombie and performing an instant kill, with a screwdriver to the brain or a head smash against the pavement, are brutal and satisfying. That zombie killing would hold up even without the base management and everything else that makes the survival stuff tick. Zombie games are almost never this deep, and State of Decay 2 clearly relishes in finding complexity in the same place as any great zombie film: the struggles and relationships of desperate human survivors. The blood and brains are just there to lighten the mood.

Eurogamer thinks that the upcoming sequel does little to surpass its predecessor:

In fact I noticed a great deal of graphical bugs during my time with the game. The Xbox One X build I played had constant frame rate issues. The PC version ran smoother, but it too was plagued by minor glitches like zombies disappearing through floors or becoming lodged inside objects. Chances are veteran State of Decay players won’t mind a bit of jank, given that the original and its accompanying DLC chapters were also very scruffy.

At its core this is very much the same game, with only a small sprinkling of original additions to distinguish it from those that came before. Don’t get me wrong, the classic survival gameplay that made the first game such a cult hit is still present and if you’re longing for a return to that, then you’ll get it in spades. However, if you’re looking for a vastly enhanced experience that pushes the State of Decay series to new heights, you may well come away disappointed.

GameSpot feels like some of the game’s ideas have not been executed that well:

Again, I like the idea of State of Decay 2’s co-op, but in practice it is not realized well. Only the host can select quests, for example, and it’s not totally clear who the host is. Worse than this, you can only travel a short distance away from the host before the game pulls you back to your friend’s approximate vicinity. Why can’t our team of four split into two pairs to approach a target from opposite directions, or go off to accomplish separate objectives? You’re forced to stick together, which makes it even more frustrating when you receive a notification to say your base is under attack–why can’t one of our squad remain at home to defend us from opportunistic zombie hordes?

This is a problem still seen in single-player, since you can’t swap allies on the fly without abandoning your current mission. Because of this, I always felt progress in expanding my base and charting new areas was hindered–I was forced to cancel mission after mission because my base was under assault, or because my current playable character needed supplies I didn’t have, or because I required another survivor’s expertise. I never felt like I was getting anywhere or achieving anything. Who knew the zombie apocalypse would be so punishing?

VentureBeat offers a detailed overview of the playable preview build:

Next, I played some co-op action. Four of us got together and piled into a car. We drove over zombies and moved from place to place. We stopped at a target home and collected a bunch of loot. We piled in the car and moved to the next one. We fought off groups of zombies but never encountered so many that we couldn’t take them out.

All was well until I stayed in a house too long and emerged to find that he car had taken off without me. I had to run to catch up to the car, dodging groups of zombies along the way. Fortunately, they stopped at the next loot spot and I got into the car so I could drive. It was quite enjoyable to drive, as, sadly, as passengers we couldn’t poke our heads out of the car and shoot zombies.

The car was merely a means to deliver our team to the next loot drop and zombie gathering place. When you’re really playing the game, you’ll have to engage in a lot more cooperation, like just how many risks to take as you head out into the wilderness, before you return to the safety of your camp.

And Press Start Australia seems generally impressed by what the game has to offer:

I’m unsure as to how the progression system works with co-op, either, though I did notice that areas you can loot are highlighted in different colours corresponding to each player. This meant one player couldn’t horde all of the good stuff from an outpost, as it’s balanced out for each survivor.

My three hours with State of Decay 2 were relatively positive, and I’m excited to tackle the full game later this month. There are still some issues that need ironing out — and the movement system seems to be as janky as ever — but what’s on offer here should appeal to those craving a fairly hardcore survival experience. The micromanagement systems and possibilities for base building are shaping up to be excellent, and multiplayer adds so much fun to the gameplay experience. I didn’t do too much in the way of narrative content, either, so I’m intrigued to see what that holds as well.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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