Video: State of Decay 2 goes for the jugular and jugglers

state of decay2

Come the zombie apocalypse the jugglers are the first against the wall. What to do with an unemployed children’s entertainer is one of the tamer dilemmas thrown up in the three hours I spent with State of Decay 2. But it’s indicative of Undead Lab’s slightly goofy take on zombie survival, one that has you desperately scavenging for supplies one second and weighing up the combat potential of a barista the next. I condensed all this, and the game’s other new features, into one convenient 20 minute walkthrough.

I probably shouldn’t pick on the juggler too much, as it’s not his fault he found his way into my community. But your chances of survival in State of Decay 2 hinge on the past lives of those you bring into your team. Enlist a doctor and they’ll patch you up; welcome a sheriff and their firearms training will keep everyone safe. But a juggler? No, a juggler is just another mouth to feed, a mouth attached to two pinwheeling hands and (probably) an obnoxious waistcoat. Perhaps that hand-eye coordination will translate into axe-throwing mastery, but who can gamble on ‘perhaps’ when the undead are pounding on the door?

An influx of weird and wonderful character backgrounds is one of the more notable changes in Undead Lab’s return to zombie country. And while this isn’t a radical overhaul for the series, it does fatten it out in some suitably stress-making ways. You have to keep an eye on the blood plague, an infection that spreads through bases eating medical supplies and causing an outbreak of side-eye in the communal kitchen. Keep that from bubbling over and you can deal with the source of the infection itself, leaving your home to hunt the pulsating growths that transform shambling softies into something nastier.

All this and more awaits you in this 20 minute walkthrough of State of Decay 2. I’ve taken my three hours with the game and hacked at it like a prize-winning chili chef taking a machete to a deadhead (marginally less awful than a juggler, it turns out). You’ll see our heroes laugh in the face of roads as they tear across the game’s new rural region and laugh slightly less when they crash into an exploding zombie. I also whip through improvements to base building and character generation, to give you a taster of everything you can expect to see when the game shambles onto the Windows 10 Store on May 22.

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18 Comments

  1. rushakoff says:

    Still have 0 interest in this until it isn’t a windows 10 store exclusive.

    • satan says:

      I have a hope to cling to:

      link to stateofdecay.com

      ‘What platforms are you launching on?

      State of Decay 2 is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 PC as a retail and digital title.

      What about Steam?

      Stay tuned – we’ll have more to share in the future.’

      • Behrditz says:

        and there was that dev stream that popped up an error message referring to steam servers.

        Unless that was a doctored image the internet made.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      This. I have a steam account that opens every day. I have a Gog account I log into a few times a month, an Origin account I use a few times a year and an Uplay account I’ve not opened since season 2 of R6 Siege. I’m not signing up to another games libray for 1 single game. Sorry, Micro$haft.

  2. caff says:

    I have my doubts that a storyline can save this from being a generic explore-o-survival-zombie-em-up.

    I played the first one for about 20 hours. The early few hours were fun, but then it became the most brazen systemically open world strategy-lite game, that I just couldn’t continue.

    • Evan_ says:

      Had about 40 hours in the first, and I must say it’s the most immersive zombie game I played.

      I also had to realize that that’s one of the few genres where I’m not looking for immersion. It gave me constant threat of things turning worse, while assuring me that it’ll never get considerably better. Like the Windows Store.

      Though survivors of a zombie apocalypse never had the option I had: playing something more cheerful. :)

      But I’m sure the new one will be a good pick if one likes dread, and already succumbed to Win10.

  3. Solidstate89 says:

    Filthy jugglers

  4. Troubletcat says:

    I really dug State of Decay the first – I honestly think that it nailed the theme better than any other game I’ve played.

    I probably won’t buy this if it doesn’t come detached from the Microsoft Store. Maybe a retail copy? But then again, if it’s going to come to Steam (or better yet GOG) in the not-too-distant future I’d rather wait for that.

    I have nothing against the Microsoft Store in particular, but my PC games are split between enough different platforms with their own software and such already. I’m in absolutely no rush to add more if I can at all avoid it.

  5. BillyBumbler says:

    How does the coop system work in terms of progress, resources and loot? Is the host player the only one that gets to benefit from the session?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I think the tier one coop holds 2 chickens, then you can upgrade using Coop Fragments you find in the open world to increase it to 4, 6 and 8 chickens. After that you can pick one of two specialisations: summoning or diplomacy, each of which grants a named hero chicken who you can deploy at any time.

  6. DuncUK says:

    I am slightly disappointed that this game looks alot like an incremental improvement on the original rather than a revamp. The number one thing I had hoped they’d fix – the searching being a case of holding down a button – looks to have remained entirely intact. Early game the timer for searching was painfully slow until you got various skill upgrades to speed it up and since scavenging is a big part of the game, you’ll spend alot of time watching a meter slowly fill up.

    That said, the first game was way more atmospheric than its parts would suggest it should be and watching that video, I got the same feel. So I can see myself getting this when it’s out on Steam, but probably not from the M$ store. I really want this game to be mod friendly since it will undoubtedly be a deeply flawed gem and I’d love to see what the community can patch in.

  7. Landiss says:

    I have a technical question/feedback about the video.

    1) I assume the video was taken on PC, not on console, is that correct? Anyway, point is, the icons show that you were using a controller. In the future, can you talk about it during the video, specifically is the game playable on keyboard or controller is recommended? Thanks.

    2) The video quality is not the best. I’m not sure if it’s simply the game, the software you are using or Youtube compression. TotalBiscuit uploads videos in 4k even if they are lower resolution, as it apparently means less compression artifacts, you might consider this as well.

  8. necurbanapauperem says:

    At this point it seems daft to take the time to log in and mention that this all looks very nice… from the thumbnail of the video at least since i’ll be looking elsewhere for opinions that are text-based… but it’s a windows store exclusive.
    I wouldn’t buy a new car from a man in the pub. I wouldn’t get my medical diagnoses from mumsnet. I’ll not get my games from the windows store.

  9. nyarlathotep says:

    Is it also going to have that permanent world thing that keeps chugging away while you’re away from your computer? That was, in my opinion, HORRIBLE.

    • Premium User Badge

      jimmya28 says:

      I thought that was GREAT (I mean, only lower case really, but I had to respond in kind).

      The idea that the game actually took place when I wasn’t there made me anticipate logging on far more.

  10. Gillador says:

    Am i right to assume it uses the exact same engine as before? It looks about the same quality, but also comparable bugginess. It does not look like they changed much except for a new map (or three) to play on. Could have been an expansion, they took their sweet time for this.

    (Yes, i noticed the new menu interface but thats a minor change in my opinion.)

  11. Moonracer says:

    A nice video preview. I share a lot of restraint others have, both in regards to MS store and what it is. I played a little bit of the original and wanted to like it but just didn’t give it the time needed to form a real opinion. The map looks less confined, but otherwise I feel I’d be better off just giving the original another chance.

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