State of Decay 2 wants to take a vote on who should lead us


The first State of Decay game sold 4.5 million units. Did you know that? For sure I would have guessed wrong by three million units. But that’s not to say it didn’t deserve that attention. Building a functioning society post zombie-apocalypse and getting an incredibly layered series of management tools and interpersonal squad dynamics to work in such an entertaining way is no small accomplishment. The original game’s DLC dabbled in what could be, but a true sequel has been what I’ve been waiting for.

(Also I maybe ruined my settlement way too late in the game by accidentally betraying and murdering most of my fellow survivors and I was too prideful to start again. Get off my back. I just love betrayal sooooo much.)

State of Decay 2 comes to us sooner than you might expect, with a late May infection of your… nervous system? I dunno. This is the kinda of stretching I need to do for zombie sims. Decay 2: The Decayening has a focus on promoting the right people within your settlement to appropriate positions of power but also doing some serious gardening. The survivor system also allow your characters and their backstory to really dictate each person’s motivations and skill sets. Choices have long lasting implications on the story, and this time the player gets to decide where to build their bases and make their stands. The multiplayer aspect allows others to pop into your game and help out, or you to pop into their game and see how different their world has gone based on the choices they made. Admittedly, this is the second most exciting thing to me: playing Bioshock Infinite with jumping across a multiverse to see who ruined what and how.

My main draw here is the hyper-specific squad management stuff, including promoting some folks to leadership positions, which motivates or upsets other survivors, makes me want to see where the game can go from here. The new trailer shows us a bit of what Undead Labs has in store for us.


State of Decay 2 releases on May 22nd. It’s a part of the Xbox Play Anywhere system, and also the Xbox Game Pass, like Sea of Thieves before it. The barrier for entry is $30 and they devs have promised no microtransactions. Earlier this weekend, I covered X-Com’s follow up and the devs actively point to Games Pass as the kind of game delivery system that makes it hard for other indies to have stability. With that in mind it is hard to not see a slight nefarious edge here but also I desire to play the video games so real rock versus hard place situation here.


  1. MiniMatt says:

    The original was flawed but occasionally brilliant. Its re-release left a bad taste, but still a good-un.

    If I had Windows 10 and a desire to add another store front (let alone a Microsoft store front) to my life this would definitely be on my radar.

  2. poliovaccine says:

    I still play the first one sometimes, and I like it a lot more than some other folks seem to do… To me, it’s absurdly close to being my ideal zombie/survivalist group game – and basically, anytime I open it up for any reason, I wind up playing it for hours and hours before I realize it. Also, I tend to start it while simultaneously listening to a podcast or a book on tape… but after about 30 mins or so I’m playing it with my headphones on and the room in total darkness haha.

    That said, I keep clicking on postings every time I see mention of SoD2, but I still can’t tell what it’s supposed to do so differently. I’m actually not very interested in the sequel, in spite of loving the first. So uh… that’s a bad start, I’d think.

  3. Evan_ says:

    State of Decay was the title that made me realize the innate fault of zombie-apocalypse games. If one is good enough to be immersive and believable, it will make you feel lost and hopeless. In a few evenings SoD convinced me that there is no future and it’s pointless to carry on. One of my favorite games I didn’t play for too long.

    Lucky for me, I’m vaccinated against Win10 and WinStore, so I’m gonna be among the unaffected this time. Thank you MS!

    • Crafter says:

      I am not sure I understand what is the fault you are talking about.

      Is it bad if you feel lost and hopeless ?

      I mean, not every game needs to be a power trip. Making you feel a bit vulnerable against a horde sounds actually refreshing.

      It is probably harder to sell though

  4. RIDEBIRD says:

    Looking forward to this, but unfortunately it seems they have gone the same almost coop route as Far Cry 5 did. I wish developers realized the importance of shared progress in games where progression is a central driving force in the gameplay. The coop experience in Far Cry 5 is very strange and halfway there. Was hoping this would be properly done and different, with perhaps a shared base.

  5. SaintAn says:

    I will NEVER use another Microsoft digital store after what they did with GFWL. NEVER. I bought stuff from GFWL that I now have no access to because they closed that horrible system. They burnt their bridges on PC so you’d have to be dumb as a rock and weak willed as a worm to support any digital stores from them again.

    • Sandepande says:

      Store is pretty unintrusive, so far.

      But thanks for that super-polite blanket statement anyway!

    • UncleLou says:

      That was annoying, but I don‘t really care all that much if I lose access to my games a few years down the line. I play games, I don’t collect them.

      If this is a major concern for you, though, which is fair enough, you‘d have to be “dumb as a rock” to buy *any* digital games on any storefront, unless you can make a backup copy, to be honest.

      • Ronorra says:

        “That was annoying, but I don‘t really care all that much if I lose access to my games a few years down the line. I play games, I don’t collect them.”

        That sounds like someone who actually does not buy his/her own games but gets them for free. Any other normal person forking out money for something is not gonna be that Laisser-faire about throwing money away. But then again you are UncleLou of Eurogamer fame if I am correct and we all do know how it works over there. And what position they take when they have to choose between gamer and publisher…just ask people like Robert Florence.

        • UncleLou says:

          Huh? How what works over there? I am just a user with a mod tag who occasionally deletes a spam thread, you do seem to know more than me. Please elaborate. Honestly.

          As for your pretty weird insinuations, I pay for all my games, why wouldn’t I? But I buy games to play them *now*. I don’t collect them. I swap/give away my console games, I can’t do that Obviously I‘d be annoyed if Steam went tits up tomorrow, but it‘s not the same as, say, losing my photos.

          • UncleLou says:

            *can’t do that with my PC games, was how that sentence was supposed to end. I also binned 3 or 3 big boxes full of old PC games (all paid for by myself) when I moved house, FWIW.

          • Ronorra says:

            “you do seem to know more than me. Please elaborate. Honestly. ”

            With pleasure, just read this article @ link to

  6. Crafter says:

    Seems like this is a shared sentiment around here : the first one was the closest to realize a good zombie survival game.

    Granted, most of the competition is awful so there is that.

    Still, once you hack out the stupid off-game timer, it is an apt game, so I am curious about this one.

    Although i will wait to see it on GOG or Steam to play it.

  7. Doug Exeter says:

    Huh. Insta-purchase but I’d have to finally upgrade to windows 10. Not a huge deal but Im quite happy with 8.1 still and finally have everything set to my liking. I think I’ll wait a bit after release and see how buggy it is.

  8. Splyce says:

    So that link back to your previous story about Phoenix Point never mentions XBox Games Pass or any other specific thing. Were you referencing the line from your story:

    “The prevalence of cheap games and promotional bundles has the studio spooked because, while this is a time of incredibly bounties for consumers, not every game can have the financial safety net of, say, Sea of Thieves.”? You don’t mention Games Pass in your story in your words or theirs. It’s terribly misleaeding to claim you did and link back to it.

    What you were actually referencing, the Phoenix Point dev’s direct quote, were in a story written by someone else for You should at least link to that instead of your story, because you don’t quote them there, and offer no attribution of the Games Pass quote to another journalist that actually did the interview. In fact, all you offered that even referenced that you took every thing from that post from another article with an actual interview is:

    “If you want to deep-dive the business side of this, check it out here. Anyway, thanks Facebook.”

    You didn’t even mention that the entire story came another website, here or in the previous post. I understand you guys probably don’t really care about plagiarism in the blogosphere, but c’mon.

    I know this is weekend video game blogging and not real journalism, but it’s sloppy, shoddy, and really a poor look for RPS. It’s not that hard to do better, or at least a little bit more professionally. Citing sources in a story shouldn’t just be in a hyperlink for “check it out” and sardonically thanking Facebook. I have generally thought of RPS as better than a lot of blogs when it comes to writing and sourcing their material, but I think it has slipped in a big way recently.

    • buttermancan says:

      That certainly is lazy and unprofessional and I doubt you’ll hear back on this matter. I wonder what would happen if one started a gaming blog and copy pasted articles and interviews from various sites and just moved a few words around? Oh wait that already happens

  9. Avus says:

    Will gladly buy this game when it is on Steam sales…

  10. Montavious says:

    Meh, first one was OK. But theres not much to do once your established. And why have all those survivors when basically all they could do is defend the base, minus the one you took with you some times. Really didnt do much with the survivor aspect for me. Had a whole base full of them and yet felt alone.

  11. ShakesMcQueen says:

    What is “nefarious” about essentially having a Netflix-but-for-games service? The article you link to doesn’t address this. New release third-party games aren’t on the service, so they are entirely unaffected anyway.

    I kinda wish RPS would just stop covering PC games that aren’t on GOG or Steam, because half the comments invariably consist of two things:

    1) People making sure to let us know they don’t care because it’s only in the Windows Store, and re-litigating the whole “only on Windows 10” thing for the hundredth time, and;

    2) People whinging about GFWL, and how it means they will never ever ever trust Microsoft with a digital storefront ever again or whatever.

    Sometimes the comments at this place remind me of early 2000s Slashdot.