The Brilliant & Addictive Nature of State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 has been a long-awaited game amongst the niche group of fans of the original back in 2013. After the unsuspecting success of the original, all signs pointed to an inevitable sequel. Alas, State of Decay 2 is finally upon us. The third person, open world zombie survival simulator returns and this time with a few new twists. Undead Labs decided to not change the original State of Decay Formula that fans fell in love with, but Instead, they built upon it.

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State of Decay 2 is easily the most realistic zombie game out there because of its heavy focus on resource management, maintaining a livable home for the survivors, and the prominent permadeath system that makes the player consider every decision. There is so much depth in the mechanics of the game when it comes to having the proper ammunition for the weapons or having extra storage so food lasts longer. Even just having survivors that specialize in certain traits that are useful to the rest of the community is extremely prevalent. There’s a lot that goes into surviving in the world of State of Decay, and it can be intimidating to newcomers of the series. There are constantly other survivors asking for help or another infestation to take out. And with the addition of the plague virus, there is a whole new threat to worry about.

Although State of Decay may not be the most entertaining game to watch, there is a something special about the way the gameplay keeps gamers attention for hours. There is no story at all, but the game keeps you occupied with the enormous amounts of resource management you must maintain. There are a plethora of missions that occur throughout the game with specific survivors in the community. These act as mini-stories that help you become more attached to a survivor, and if your character dies, it makes the loss feel that much more impactful. If the morale of your community is low due to too many infestations or low food supply, it tends to start fights amongst the survivors. Which will, in turn, cause the morale of the whole community to decay. This makes it incredibly important to either fix the problems that they have or exile the person that is causing the problem. Each person in your community has their own personality, skills, and traits that make them unique to each other. Each person also has four or five skills when you find them, and after playing as that character for so long those skills go up until they are maxed out. After that, you are able to upgrade them into one of two perks that relate to that skill. If they only have four skills, you can teach them a skill by finding books while out scavenging; books allow characters to learn a new skill. However, keep in mind that once they learn that skill, there is no taking it back.

Building Your Community

At first, when there is a new member of the community, they only start as a recruit and like the rest, that survivor will start to increase their standings in the community. Beginning as a recruit, then a citizen, and lastly, a hero, which will unlock a new ability that benefits the community.  Once a survivor has had all their skills maxed out and have been in the community long enough to become a “hero”, they can then be upgraded to a leader with their personality influencing how they manage the community. Each leader has a unique leadership style, categorized under four leader types. “Warlords” show their strength to establish peace, while “sheriffs” allow ethics to play a heavier role in decisions. “Builders” are ideal for construction and expanding your settlements, while “traders” are best at establishing deals with enclaves. Each leader type also gains access to exclusive base facilities, only accessible to that leader type.

The community of survivors is only a single part of this huge, complicated system that goes into surviving in State of Decay. There is a multitude of different types of livable bases throughout the map to choose from that all have different built-in facilities depending on what it is. In the beginning, your survivors start in a basic house, but as you explore and start to bring in more survivors, there will come a time that you are needed to expand and look for a bigger place. This could be anything from a brewery or campgrounds, to a baseball field, or a farm. Each property including their own special perks like having more parking spots for your vehicles or having fertile soil to grow food. They can even have some built-in faculties like a watchtower, or beds, which can be super helpful. Not having certain facilities can also lower the morale of some survivors and cause some issues in the community, so paying attention to what certain survivors want is very important. Just like in real life, food will go bad, things break, and people have accidents — this all happens during the game which makes scavenging for materials that much more important. Luckily there are special modifications that can be found out in the world to help with these type of issues, albeit they are temporary. Things like totes that can be used to make food last longer, portable generators to power a single facility, and ammo crates that give more storage for ammunition. The list can go on, but it’s best to figure some of these little mechanics out as you go.  

More Than Meets the Eye

On the surface, it’s easy to jump into State of Decay and run around killing zombies, but to survive, there is so much detail put into every corner of the game. It may not always be obvious, but if you pay enough attention to your survivors and their needs it’s easy to figure out. The other neat thing about this game is that no two playthroughs will be the same. You may find a certain mod or gun super early on while a friend may not find the same thing until they are fourteen days in. Now that there are is multiplayer available, jumping into a friend’s game is simple and loads of fun. And can help players realize things they could be doing that they currently aren’t. Besides some of the bugs the game has, it is easily the most realistic zombie game out there that everyone who is interested in the genre should check out.

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