State of Decay 2 shambles onto Windows 10 in May

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Base-building zombie survival sandbox State of Decay 2 will launch on May 22nd, publishers Microsoft have announced. The sequel to 2013’s pretty fun zomb ’em up brings one of the features I’d most wanted: cooperative multiplayer. It is only on Windows 10 and only on Microsoft’s own Store, as far as we know, cos Microsoft have some funny ideas about how to launch a PC game in 2018.

But enough words, come watch this new video showing 25 minutes of cooperative zompocalypse action:

Don’t mind the French subtitles at the start there, the game text is in English and the commentary stops after a few minutes. That’s PC footage from the Ian Games Network, who are doing a month-long cover-a-rama.

State of Decay, right, aims for that Walking Dead-ish dream of post-apocalyptic survival. Find a good location to sit tight, fortify it, recruit survivors to build a community, scavenge for supplies, and try to survive the teeming hordes of zombies. Though it doesn’t really do that whole “And then you meet other humans and they’re awful people, just awful ARE WE THE REAL MONSTERS?” thing. Though given that co-op is coming in the sequel, maybe you can at least be a cheeky japester and try to kite a train of zombies onto your pal. You are the real monster, you.

State of Decay 2 is due on May 22nd through Microsoft’s Store, priced at £25/$35.

Will it be on Steam or other stores too? “Stay tuned,” the game’s FAQ has said for aaages, “we’ll have more to share in the future.” They still have not shared more. I would not be surprised to see it on Steam at some point, given that a number of Microsoft’s Winton “exclusives” have later spread to Steam – and sometimes to Windows 7 too. What sillies they are. For those who do go MS, it’s one of those Xbox Play Anywhere games, which means that buying it digitally on either Windows 10 or Xbox One gets you it on both, and it’ll support cross-platform multiplayer too.

The first game was handled a bit poorly, receiving a revamped re-release less than two years after launch – only as a separate game, not an upgrade. Undead Labs were clear that this Year One Survival Edition was intended for new players, not returning ones, and that it was only possible because Microsoft wanted a new version to release on Xbone. But it still stung to see a prettier, fixed-up version of the game sold separately after only 18 months. Hopefully the sequel can drain some of that bad blood.

42 Comments

  1. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    -Sequel to zombie survival game
    -Only this time with co-op
    -Windows 10 exclusive

    Yeah, it’s gonna flop. The first game was merely okay, but the premise has been beaten into the dirt/perfected by multiple other games before, and even from the footage I see nothing about it to make it compelling.

    • Sicrowell says:

      Can you tell me where this was done better? No sarcasm. I loved the first State of Decay so if there’s a better version of this I’d love to get my hands on it.

      • Splyce says:

        I second this. I enjoyed the base/colony management and third person open world combination with RPG elements. I am unsure which other games have done this approach to the zombie survival genre.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          The closest I can think of is 7 days to die and Project Zomboid. Both are rather obviously indie-ish, compared to the much more polished State of Decay.

          • Crafter says:

            7 days to die is such a disappointment.

            The creators seem completely lost when it comes to either build a competent random terrain generator, good gameplay (not a mish mash of ideas, but a cohesive whole) or to be honest, solve any of the dozen of game breaking bugs plaging it.

            At this point I am just hoping for somebody else to try their hand at this idea.

            State of Decay 2 might actually be one of the games making this idea work.

            It won’t have completely destructible voxel terrain of course or block based creation tools, but I am confident it can pull everything else way better.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        I mean, it’s isometric and squad-based rather than 3rd-person and character-based, but (the confusingly similarly named) Dead State combines zombie survival, resource management, and base development.

    • joe80x86 says:

      I am rather confused as to what games do the same things but better. 7 Days to die, Project Zomboid, and Dead State each do some of the same (not all) and none are better.

    • MattM says:

      Reviewers who try to cover most zombie games get burned out way quicker on them than the general audience and that often translates to a negative tone in the comments. I’m still interested because I’ve skipped the vast majority of zombie games while waiting for this sequel. The first one, for all its flaws, was exactly what I was looking for.
      It is a bit annoying that every time a single-player game comes out and finds an audience, there is a league of people acting like the devs are crazy for not including co-op. Co-op has been included to the detriment of many a sequel (Dead Space 3, FEAR 3, Orcs Must Die 2), but in the case of SoD I can see how it can be slotted in without compromising the game. Just balance the game for SP and let Co-op be an easy mode. It seems like co-op players generally want steady progress with less setbacks anyway.
      Win 10 store is annoying and UWP is bad, but when describing the exclusivity they are using the kind of hedging language that often crops up around timed exclusives, so hopefully we will see a general release of a exe version.
      So I hope it will be great and sell great, but I must admit I am not a games oracle. I never would have believed that MP games that give a numerical power advantage to players who have more game experience would have caught on.

  2. dead1te says:

    windows store only? microsoft can take a long walk off a short plank, suspended over a valley of sharpened glass dildos

  3. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    State of Decay was great. I really had fun with it, despite the varying problems the game had.

    Seeing the title of this article made me glad, hey, a sequel! But Win 10 store only? Give me a break.

    • Nolenthar says:

      Being an Xbox Anywhere title, it makes sense it’s on the windows store, and what is exactly the problem with that ?
      I mean, if one can get around the usual Microsoft hate bias that seems to affect most users even though few companies have defined PC Gaming more than them (I understand that somewhere in an alternate universe everyone is playing video games on Mac and Linux, Xbox was never created and Xbox Anywhere doesn’t exist)
      If we ignore all the bias, what makes the windows store condition an automatic “don’t buy” ?

      • Martel says:

        Maybe they’re not running Windows 10? I’d also imagine some people are invested in Steam and don’t like other storefronts. At least those are the two reasons I can think of off the top of my head that aren’t specifically anti-Microsoft.

      • Premium User Badge

        Drib says:

        Exclusive to windows store bothers me for a couple reasons.

        Primarily, most all of every game I own is on steam, and I don’t want to have to hassle with remembering which service I own it on.

        Microsoft has shut down their content license stores in the past, see Zune marketplace for instance.

        They don’t offer as deep discounts as Steam does, or at least not as regularly.

        Also I’m just generally bothered by forced exclusivity. They’d sell more if they made it open on Steam as well, or GoG, Humble, etc. But no, Winshop only, and that’s just shooting themselves in the foot. That’s the main thing really.

      • aepervius says:

        Not having windows 10 is a major point, a minor point is that people are sick to death to have to jungle multiple store, steam, ubisoft, origin, and I pass over gog and assorted. And having the windows store target specifically windows 10 was a dirty trick from Microsoft. There is no real reason to have it to windows 10 to begin with only, after all , all major PC games are for windows 8+.

        • Evan_ says:

          I think you meant Windows 7+. I have the impression that Win 8 and Win 9 has about the same amount of users. There is yet a Win10 exclusive title announced that got me consider switching to it. Maybe if Sea of Thieves doesn’t get a Steam release in a year or two after release.

        • Nolenthar says:

          Microsoft offered free upgrade to Windows 10 to all their legal customers. I didn’t buy Windows 10, my friends didn’t. We all got it from using a valid Windows 7/8.1 license. Buying a new PC, my niece got Windows 10… I fail to see any dirty tricks in moving your user to the latest iteration of your software (while changing the model to make it the only version. In 5 years I’ll still have Windows 10 on my machine, and I wouldn’t have to buy a new license…

          So this argument is rather moot.

          Multiple stores ? If you want a single store you may want to consider console. They won’t bother you with choice. That argument is also very moot. Not mentioning Steam is very good at allowing you to add games from other stores. All my Windows 10 games can be accessed from my steam client, same for my GoG titles. So I would call that invalid.

          UWP ? I can’t disagree, even though I can’t deny the software world has changed since the creation of Windows. People using smartphones, consoles, tablets, all have a seamless experience where all your softwares are acquired via a store. Having the same on Windows make sense. The fact the files are unreadable is a problem, but also provides added value when it comes to, say, game cheats, piracy and else.

          In other terms, I’m not even denying I understand why one would choose Steam/GoG,(….) Over the windows store. I myself would choose GoG over Steam over the store unless the game is Xbox Anywhere (as it means I acquire the game on several devices) but I would clearly not refuse to buy a game I want because it’s exclusive to a platform, even one as imperfect as the windows store.

      • Mezelf says:

        You know WHY Windows was the platform of choice for PC gaming?
        1. It was relatively open (unlike Macintosh)
        2. It was relatively easy to work with (unlike Linux)

        Windows 10 and especially UWP closes off Windows, idiotically removing half the reason devs chose Windows in the first place.

  4. gb056 says:

    Video link is dead already :(

    • joe80x86 says:

      Watch the video on ign.com. I think they pulled it from Youtube.

  5. percydaman says:

    I hope the developer got barrels of cash from Microsoft, because they just all but guaranteed it’s gonna bomb.

  6. KidWithKnife says:

    I really want this to be great and to fall in love with it the way I wish I had with the first game, but I’m really unhappy with the developers’ inability or unwillingness to support 1440p resolution in the Year One edition. I don’t know whether that’s on them or on Microsoft, but either way I’m going to be very cautious about this title until I see how it rolls out.

  7. FordTruck says:

    Came here to see people complain about WINDOWS 10, did not disappoint. Tried it myself and now I understand not to take anyone online seriously there was absolutely zero issues with it, I thought it would be a horrendous experience but it’s just the loudest minority that seem to scream about the windows 10 store. ANYWAYS see all the silent lurkers that will get this game online!

    • caff says:

      Zero issues with it. But no-one uses it. It’s like Uplay and (spit) Origin. It just doesn’t have anything that makes you *want* to use it. Steam has almost everything on it, because almost everything is on it, and everyone wants to use it.

    • aepervius says:

      Many (most?) people gaming use windows 8 and did not bother upgrade unless forced to. So even if you discount people finding windows 10 store crappy (and it is not good, read up on update problem and game being broken) then at least admit that having it tied to windows *10* when all major plateform do not link their digital game store to a specific windows version was a crap move.

      • HothMonster says:

        Most still use Windows 7 by a large margin. Only ~3 percent use some version of Win8 in the latest Steam survey, Win7 is around 70%.

    • Someoldguy says:

      The major problem with the Windows 10 store is how many storefronts Microsoft have dumped when it suited them and to hell with their customers.

      For people who don’t want a proprietary storefront there is GoG. For those that don’t mind, like it or not, Steam has almost everything. Nobody else even attempts to be that inclusive. Having scrappy proprietary storefronts with a dribble of games on each one is just a massive pain in the arse. If the publishers that don’t like that want to do something about it, they need to unify behind a single competing storefront and not just stock exclusively their own material.

    • Mezelf says:

      “I have no issues in my limited experience with this, therefore all criticism is void”

      fucking what

    • The_Great_Skratsby says:

      I used it for Forza Horizon 3 and Minecraft. The store itself is poor to navigate and does a bad job surfacing and tracking your library information. Games don’t play nicely with overlays such as Steam like Origin, a shame if you have a Steamlink. If you like tinkering with game files it’s much more difficult – less centralized and more locked down than most games on Steam.

      There is also a very strange separation between Windows store games and the Xbox account stuff, a bit weird when you’re managing friends lists and purchases. Actual integration into Windows 10 is fine, but I can understand why people prefer to have ecosystems that are either combined or play nicely with one and other.

      Question is how long until Discord becomes the new X-Fire – a social network and front end for all these launchers?

  8. Jeremy says:

    Man… that’s too bad. This looks like fun, but I am just not interested in a Windows Store exclusive.

    • UncleLou says:

      I have Battle.net exclusive games, origin exclusive games, Steam exclusive games, and probably even Uplay and GoG exclusives.

      One more doesn’t matter to me.

      • UncleLou says:

        That was more of a general point though. Not buying this until it’s in the bargain bin due to their “we release a patch as a full price upgrade” policy.

        • wengart says:

          I’ve got games on *most* other platforms and I’m relatively fine with that. But the Windows 10 store, or really any Microsoft owned store, I stay away from. I remember Games for Windows Live and the headache that shit was, and I do not want to go near it again.

      • eatsomeshit says:

        Well no one gives a fuck what matters and doesn’t matter to you, you fuck. If you choose to support Win10 exclusive then you’re a fucking dumb ass. Think with your head.

  9. satan says:

    I hope it’ll come to Steam within a few months.

    • Avus says:

      It will be SUICIDE for a small game developer to only sell their game on the SMALLEST digital distributor platform

      • satan says:

        Ah I figured they were offered some money up front from Microsoft to sign an exclusive deal, otherwise yeah they are limiting PC version sales quite a bit.

      • Seyda Neen says:

        They’re not “only” selling it on the smallest digital platform, because it’s also on Xbox. So probably not a suicidal move, but still an unfortunate choice.

  10. Premium User Badge

    BlakeMan says:

    I am willing to suffer the windows store for the Xbox play anywhere functions as I also have an Xbox. The functionality is actually rather neat, works well and my Xbox friends are way more likely to pick this up then my pc pals. I feel the feature is unfortunately doomed however if they keep enforcing the windows store games only nonsense. I just can’t see a single incentive for a dev to go the MS store route unless given a big ol’ money hat from MS.

  11. eatsomeshit says:

    Win 10 is garbage.

  12. rednettle says:

    What worries me is the price is lower than what AAA games usually are. I’m wondering if the quality will be low and the amount of play time will be low as well.

  13. Evan_ says:

    I have a great problem with zombie games. If they fail to get me immersed, I’m wasting my time on a mediocre game. If they get me immersed, I’m feeling I’m fighting the most pointless fight of ever. Civilization is gone, and I work on to lengthen the pitiful struggle day by day. If I do very well, I may ensure my survival for -weeks-. Sure, if one has no other option, he keeps going on. But me? I can just quit and play something more elevating.

    State of Decay is the best zombie game from the latter category I can name. I don’t dislike it because it wasn’t good enough. I dislike it for it was too immersive: it got me to raise the keyboard to my forehead and pull alt-f4. I feel this is a great achievement, and I keep SoD in high regard ever since.

    (Not that I’d buy a Winstore exclusive game, but I don’t mind waiting.)

  14. The_Hunter says:

    How to Lose Customers and Alienate Fans, by Micro$oft – 2018