Wot I Think: State of Decay 2

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I’m driving home from a busy night of killing and the roads are empty, save for some legless grumblers. I sigh and look at my map, try to count the exclamation marks, when a voice comes on my radio. It’s probably the fifth voice I’ve heard tonight, and I half expect another plea for bullets from some faceless chump three doors down. But this time it’s one of my own, a member of my enclave. She’s just calling to tell me: Workshop level 3 complete.

“That’s one more item off the To Do list!” she says enthusiastically.

She’s right. State of Decay 2 feels like a massive To Do list.

This is the follow-up to the open world zombie basher of 2013. You control a group of survivors, nestled in a compound with a great hunger for resources. You’ll need food, medicine, building materials, ammo and fuel, along with usable items like weapons, backpacks, medkits and so on. You can swap between characters, embodying whichever soldier, medic or construction worker isn’t tired or hurt at that moment. Then off you trot to scavenge for supplies and re-kill the undead to keep their numbers in check.

This (Windows 10 only) sequel is alarmingly similar to its predecessor, the biggest addition being that you can now play in co-op (check out the video below if you want to see how Matthew and I made our own fun in this hellish land). There are some small differences. Infectious red zombies are mixed in with the ordinary kind, and to reduce their numbers you have to kill “plague hearts”. These are big throbbing blobs of flesh hidden in houses and shops, and they squeal for back-up when you start to shoot or smash them. Night is also a darker shade of black, which adds some discomfort to nocturnal ramblings. But the game as a whole has changed very little. You still go out, kill zombies, loot stuff, and come back to do so some (very) light town management.

But the problems come crawling out of the controller from the moment you swing a wrench. The catch-all term we journos like to use in cases like this is “janky”. Car handling feels smooth and responsive, with cars feeling weighty or nippy dependent on their make. But the same can’t be said for the combat. Firearms are straightforward over-the-shoulder bullet dispensers, but the sound attracts zombies and you want to save bullets for the bigger Left 4 Dead style “ferals” or “bloaters”, or even a dangerous moment with a horde of red boyz. This means most of your fighting involves a lot of axe swinging and machete hacking.

Sadly, swinging these axes, swords and bats is clunky anti-fun. The first swing inevitably misses your target because the momentum and animation feels mistimed. Zombies lurch unpredictably and their own attack animations aren’t easily discernible from one another. Bashing baddies makes up so much of the game, you’d think it’d feel fluid or cohesive. But its a clumsy mishmash of stumbling animations and slippery targeting. It feels bad from the first strikes and remains off-putting for as long as you play.

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As crumby as the moment-to-moment skull bashing can be, it isn’t the irredeemable plague heart of the game. That’s the decision to pit the player against seemingly endless timers, limits and dwindling resources while thrusting a long list of housekeeping tasks into their hands.

You get missions throughout the game, as other survivors call for help from their farms or homesteads. However, their pleas are time-limited. Don’t answer a call and a group may leave the map. That’s fine – you can’t answer everyone’s call and are forced to prioritise. But the volume of calls is such that none of them end up feeling important or useful. The “Remaining Soldiers” are as notable as the “Last Days Warriors”. And any group you do want to help in the long term will have their ongoing requests for ammo or medicine washed away in a deluge of generic “please help me” radio chatter. Especially when you have so much basic looting to do just to keep your own settlement on track.

This onslaught of chores doesn’t stop with your fellow survivors. Zombie infestations pop up too often. You discover plague hearts everywhere. Materials are “lost” or “broken” by NPCs while you are away, meaning you’ve got to constantly collect more. You can clear out the undead from a house by killing the zombies and checking every room, creating a bubble in which no more may spawn, but crucially this also lasts a limited amount of time. Seeing the red come back to a portion of the map reminds me of Far Cry 2’s unconquerable outposts. The most disliked feature of that particular open world game was abandoned by Ubisoft, but Undead Labs seem to think it deserves another chance. I’m not so sure.

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The inability to “clean” the map could be viewed as a comment on the unstoppable march of the undead, and on paper it has a definite appeal. You’re fighting a losing battle against increasing odds, in an increasingly harsh world. But in practice it feels more like a degenerative “keep waxing your car or else” style of game design, designed to exploit the human need to tidy up and round edges, while never delivering the satisfaction you crave, the satisfaction of a fully completed colouring book. Some games still adhere to these old ways, but very few are as insistent as this.

Here, there are time limits on everything, ticking counters, decaying resources, fragile weapons, and your pause button is disabled by default (you need to set yourself to offline mode to pause – just one of the many useful things the game neglects to tell you). Any one or two of these tricks might be reasonable. The Breath of the Wild’s degrading weapons mean you’re always swapping and switching, discovering new ways to kill a bogbumbler (or whatever it is you call Zelda’s pig men). Dark Souls’ disregard for a pause encourages you to make sure you’re in a safe area and enhances the feeling of safety around a bonfire, where no enemies dare tread. These are good tricks, employed to keep us on our toes or in line with the tension or limitations of an imaginary world. But for the love of god, State of Decay 2, don’t use all of them at once.

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As for the town planning side of things, it’s shallow and only interesting for as long as it confuses you. When my partner asked me what I was playing, I thought about describing it as “zombie apocalypse Stardew Valley”. But this is too generous. It’s more accurate to say I’m playing a third-person zombie Farmville, with all the attendant and transparent “Keep playing!” gimmickry involved.

Poor management menus don’t help. Helpful details are hidden in tucked-away places, and even basic tasks have to be done in roundabout ways. Repairing a broken machete means building a workshop which, according to its own description, allows for repairs. But everyone knows you really repair broken knives by putting them into the generic storage box in the hallway and then pressing a button, the prompt for which appears in the small list below all the items. So you need the workshop and you’ve built the workshop because it tells you “this repairs your melee weapons” but then you actually sharpen your swords inside the giant multipurpose ice cooler you’ve had all along.

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And if the character you’re controlling has blood plague (an infectious disease that is laughably simple to cure), your instinct may be to hobble over to the infirmary and check yourself in. But no. You’ve got to swap control with another character, then wander this new, healthy person over to the infirmary and have them check your previous self into the hospital bed. There are a lot of small things like this that run counter to common sense. Functionally speaking, the finer details of your base are badly communicated. And once you do figure it out, and have everything up and running, with high morale and a good income, nothing significant about your daily outings changes. Except now you’ve got thirty more bullets, six more Molotov cocktails, and three new exclamation points on the map.

Even as a story generator, it’s limited. Each character has a background, skills and special characteristics if you go looking for them in the community menu. And you can upgrade skills to become specialised in certain things. Maybe you become able to stuff more items in your pockets, or run without running out of breath for a longer period of time. But the effect this has on the day-to-day scavenging is negligible. If I was to scour my brain for anecdotes about my time with these people, 9 out of 10 stories would start: “This one time, we attacked some zombies.”

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In terms of dwindling resources, I can see why the game tries so much to hobble you. Feeling like you never have enough to work with is a feeling I normally admire in a game. Trying to spread limited resources in XCOM, for example, rationing alien goo and prioritising the attention of your engineers, engenders a sense of slow-burning danger. And the earliest hours of State of Decay 2 suggest that it will be this type of close-to-the-wire adventure. But later it becomes clear that the reason you never have enough is because the game itself keeps taking your resources away from you. So much of what is lost isn’t being spent on research or thrown away thanks to a folly of my own. It’s slowly draining away to invisible daily costs, or worse, supplies vanishing at random thanks to off-screen mistakes. Moments of radio chatter in which your housemates will admit to pouring your hard-earned loot down the drain. “Whoops,” says Victoria as you drive home from another night of killing. “I knocked over another fuel tank. Silly me!”

This wouldn’t be so bad if it was more generous in nature. Fellow survivors can be recruited to come with you during scavenger hunts. But they won’t carry anything (unless you resort to tedious amounts of character swapping). You can load up your car boot with multiple backpacks of useful supplies, but it was several hours before I found out that car parking spaces let you unload everything by pressing the right trigger, rather than unloading the bags one by one (another useful bit of knowledge once again hidden at the bottom of a menu screen). Creating an anti-zombie stronghold ought to feel like the effort of a tough group of hardened frontiersfolk, but here you’re effectively a mum whose surly teens won’t help with the shopping, and always drop the butter when they take it out of the fridge.

Too much is taken away, and too little offered. You’re supposed to regularly arm yourself with guns and explosives and go hunting for plague hearts. But I never wanted to kill these things because it was both a drain on resources and boring after the third time I did it. Dealing with the lesser infestations is likewise a game of whack-a-mole. Knock one down and another one has already appeared. At the start it feels refreshing to clear out these infestations, like having a good scrub. But it soon feels thankless. You’re not fighting toward something, you’re fighting to avoid a deadline catching up with you. And all the while you’ve got to contend with janky wrench swings and begging survivors on the radio.

And after all this, there are the bugs. Bugs bugs bugs. Characters vanishing, cameras swiveling, cars becoming lodged in barriers, shotguns becoming lodged in spines, doors that look wide open but are really closed, ambulances flickering in and out of existence like a dying filament. The majority of the bugs are visual hiccups, but a couple are complete blinders, such as the time my onscreen health, stamina, ammo and minimap all vanished in the middle of a fight with a tank-like juggernaut zombie. Or the time I threw a pipe bomb and it simply froze in the air centimetres in front of me, then exploded.

With these tips, you too could be using a giant zombie as a climbing frame.

One recurring glitch that got in the way of a good time, was when my follower – the person tagging along as backup – would disappear, even though the game still believed them to be there. A little person-pip would be visible on the minimap, following me everywhere, and I’d be unable to dismiss them or enlist a new follower. My transparent pal would even speak now and then. “Look, survivors!” she once offered wordlessly, her advice and observations arriving only in a ghostly text box. This particular bug would come and go, meaning that for random parts of the game I was saddled with fighting infested areas solo, because my invisible friend didn’t like to shoot or manifest herself in any physical way whatsoever. If only I could be so boldly incorporeal.

If you play in co-op, you’ll probably be able to ignore the flaws long enough to have a jolly evening or two with some friends (Windows 10 friends only, of course) and if you’re dead set on rolling around in the blood and gore, I suggest this is how you play it. There’s satisfaction in driving back to home base after a journey to the other side of the map, your pal in the front seat, boot full of bullets and bread. But even then, the flaws don’t disappear, they’re only masked. With two or three pals, your chores may be more manageable. But they remain chores, and it won’t be long before you’ve all had your fill of things to do.

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I’m driving down the road again, a follower riding shotgun. This time we’ve only got one thing on our To Do list – get out. You see, if you upgrade the command centre in your compound, it turns out you get an ability that highlights escape routes from the map. Drive over to these big gates and you can leave this whole province behind. I can’t wait. So I’m driving to one of these exit points now, with fellow survivor and famous oil spiller Victoria. We roll up to the gate, and hold the button to leave.

Then it appears. A new map, different from the last. Unexplored, unlooted, undone. Around me the whole group has followed us, and they have set up a tiny command post in the open. Perhaps here it will be different. Perhaps here we won’t face endless tasks and ch–

“We should get some water,” says one of the survivors.

I look up at the sky and fire my handgun nine times into the air. Let the zombies come.

State of Decay 2 on PC is Windows 10 only and costs $29.99 from the Microsoft store

37 Comments

  1. gorte says:

    Does it still do the thing where your resources are removed as time passes in real world even when you are not playing the game? That system kinda killed the first State of Decay for me.

    • KillahMate says:

      Good lord, is that actually a thing the game did? And people paid money to play this, willingly?

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        Drib says:

        It’s immersive!

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        In principle I can see it being a viable thing (rather than a fairly transparent import of the very worst of the browser-or-mobile-pay2win-timer-hell tactics(is ‘evony’ still the poster child for that or have a thousand more vile variants popped up since I gave up and averted my eyes?)); but making that translate to in practice would be nontrivial.

        Having a coherent world that actually ticks away in real time, with plausible NPCs doing sensible things even when ‘off camera’, could be pretty cool(and potentially an antidote to the more focused nothing-in-the-world-moves-except-when-you-touch-it-oh-chosen-one style of gameworld); but actually getting “plausible” to work without being massively opaque and/or deeply anti-fun would be a tall order.

        A trivial “you’ve been gone for X hours so we destroyed .32*X of your Obtanium; grind more or buy Crystals now?” implementation is obviously horrible.

        A “NPC Farmer Bob used 100 fertilizer and 20 seeds while you were out because he finished planting that field just like you discussed before you left for the day” situation, by contrast, could be mishandled but isn’t obviously doomed(and might actually turn out cool; there have been some good results from games that deliberately put you in indirect control rather than having everyone in play be a pawn controllable with RTS clicking from the god cam).

        The nasty bit would be getting a satisfactory balance: if the world just plays itself then making your experience when present fit coherently could be tricky.

        If the ‘away’ rules are too harsh they will end up being a more complex implementation of the “just a punishment for being away” grind-stimulator(Guard NPC has totally botched holding Base 2 despite facing only a token enemy force; do everything yourself and wake up every 45 minutes because the human resistance is apparently a bunch of Tamagotchi hybrids?)

        If they are too lenient(to avoid the problem above); then they run the risk of being a punishment for being present(To avoid disappointment all NPCs will competently do as ordered and no shifts in status quo will occur as you accumulate resources and research points; log on and ruin everything?).

        If you could find a happy medium, though, it could work.Indirect control/delegation strong enough that the results your minions achieve(or don’t, if you suck at leadership) feel fair without being a “just safely accumulate” button; with you when in-world as the particularly effective statesman/general/bionic space marine/etc. who doesn’t fundamentally change the rules but has the expertise needed to give the status quo a hard shove.

        To a substantial degree games already try to create this feel for the parts of the world you aren’t currently observing(eg. basically any RPG quest operates on the fiction that NPCs did something and it’s up to you to finish/undo it; Xcom’s mission options are theoretically provided either because ‘the resistance’ does something/requests aid or Advent strikes at the resistance; FPSes tend to at least scatter some corpses around to look like the aftermath of another battle in whatever way you are fighting, sometimes they include actual other combatatants as well; Stalker gets general praise for having NPCs that don’t just spawn/despawn at the edge of your vision but show up later with the gear you saw them obtain earlier, etc.)

        I don’t know of any, if there are any, that actually do do this by running a world Sim in the background, even when you aren’t watching; but the results of pretending to can be quite satisfactory; so an implementation that doesn’t have to fake it would be really cool.

        Odds are that Dwarf Fortress will(if it doesn’t already); both because it’s an obsessive work of crazed genius and because its gleeful acceptance of failure and death allows it to experiment with potentially risky gameplay options like “just let the AI rum your base for a real-time day and then endure the results” if the idea seems worth playing with.

        (Note, none of the above is to say that the State of Decay approach was good or even acceptable; it sounds like that was far from the case. Just a note that, in principle, a ‘the world carried on even if you aren’t watching’ mechanic isn’t necessarily evil, joy-killing; and could actually come out cool.)

    • Ephant says:

      It’s gone afaik.

    • Brendan Caldwell says:

      That’s mostly gone. If you use your rain collector, for example, it’ll last an hour. Quit out of the game and return, and you’ll see the timer has picked up where you left off. However, I did notice that “cleared” buildings went back to being red zones after an absence from the game, rather than staying in a cleared state while I was away. Although, I never tested this properly and it might just be my own memory playing tricks on me.

    • lordcooper says:

      That was hands down the most ridiculous addition to a game that I’ve ever seen. Did they really never patch it out? I kinda gave up on SoD after booting it up to find out my two favourite characters died while I was on a camping trip IRL.

      • benkc says:

        By the time I got around to playing SoD (might have been the GOTY?), I think someone had made a wrapper that allowed you to disable or attenuate this… but IIRC it did it by actually messing with your system clock when you launched/closed the game. (Which, if that vague memory is correct, is really not something I consider an acceptable workaround.)

    • macallen says:

      No, it doesn’t so that anymore, but also things don’t build offline either. Essentially time doesn’t pass offline.

  2. Pogs says:

    I enjoyed SoD but this sounds like a real zombie apocalypse of a mess. Having said that at least its been quarantined to Windows 10. Hopefully the outbreak will spread no further – at least until some kind of cure is developed.

  3. Longshot says:

    I owned the original game and all of the dlc. They released a “goty” edition a while later that also included some graphical improvements and bug fixes. Rather than offer these in a patch to existing owners or even giving us the opportunity to buy an upgrade, the developers expected people who wanted the bugfixes to buy the whole game again. Despite the fact that this type of game is very much my jam, I won’t be buying from them again

  4. lordcooper says:

    Hey Brendan, how did you find the original? Knowing if you’d apply the same criticisms to that would be helpful to those who enjoyed it :)

  5. MushyWaffle says:

    Some of the things said here are just wrong and show how the author didn’t really (want to) understand the game. Just ONE of the things, is the ability to self administer healing and curing. You absolutely can do it on yourself. I’ve done it multiple times. Maybe you need to upgrade your med center, I dunno. Many of these gripes are just non-factors. There are multiple other things said in this article that tell me the author played this game wanting to hate it from the beginning.

    If you liked the first, you will like this one.

    • LewdPenguin says:

      Or maybe (in that particular case) the game does such a bad job of communicating even the possibilty of self-healing that he simply never discovered it.

      Sadly I don’t think you can really claim that Brendan is simply slagging the game off because he had no interest in it or wants to bash MS when I just finished reading another review of it that came to pretty much the exact same conclusion: good concept that’s badly let down by terrible execution and as a result is a unrewarding grind through far-too buggy gameplay.

  6. jestervae says:

    SoD2 has made some huge blunders in gameplay. It’s engineered for co-op such that single player feels like an uphill battle until the sheer volume of plague hearts, dwindling resources, infestations, enclave fetch-quests, and rando survivors who need help overwhelm your community. That’ll happen long before the zombies get you.

    The gameplay needs balance and reward, and it has neither. Plague hearts are tedious, just like the plague itself. Zombie spawns are absurd; in the time it takes you to sneak around a building, zombies have already spawned again on the sides you’ve cleared. That works in Dead Rising where the sheer joy of slaughter is the purpose of the game. SoD made its name by being a zombie survival community simulator.

    They messed up, badly. I loved the first one even with its flaws. I hope the community cries foul and Undead Labs pays attention.

  7. moe mo says:

    I just wanted to play as one character. Build up a defense and base, clear out a town. As one character. Making me build up a character only to be forced to abandon it for some prick I’m going to hate simply because I’m forced to change? That’s stupid. And they still have checkpointed saves.

    No thanks.

    • DuncUK says:

      To be fair, that was how the first game worked. I like it and think it works well, in SoD you’d typically train up 3 or 4 people and cycle round them leaving the others to do the menial base work. It made screw-ups that much more frustrating, not only did you potentially lose a character you’d spent hours training up and become attached to but you also had to deal with the resulting wave of mourning that swept across your community, especially if they were a relative/partner of one of your other survivors. It fits the setting and genre well, even if it’s not to your tastes.

  8. DuncUK says:

    I loved the first game despite all its flaws… the immersion I got from the looting, travelling and exploring far exceeded the sum of the parts the game was made from. It was a game of such potential too, I’ve been hyped for a sequel ever since – despite all that crap with the GOTY edition, which I did not buy. If they just made looting more fun than watching a progress bar, fleshed out the combat, improved the base management, made the map larger and more varied and fixed all the annoying offscreen stuff that happened (e.g. survivors running off for no reason and getting stuck in the open world)… if they did all that, which doesn’t sound too unreasonable for a sequel, then the game could be amazing.

    Unfortunately, it looks like they just made the same game again with barely any improvements besides co-op. More strangely, they’ve doubled down on all the things that made State of Decay annoying to play AND released it in a buggy, broken state, on a store I want nothing to do with. This is what took you 5 years?

    I sure do hope it’s more mod friendly than the last game, because I’m not buying this game as it stands.

  9. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Although SoD sounded like a lovely game on paper I found it a hassle to play. Busywork and grind essentially instead of suspense and neat slaying.
    This seems like it’s even worse so I’ll pass.

  10. Palindrome says:

    What really killed the first game for me was instantly respawning enemies. I would clear out a building, load up my car and then go back to pick up the rest of the supplies and all the zombies that I had just killed had respawned. This coupled with the barrage of tasks that are forced on you killed my interest in the game.

    • GameOverMan says:

      You could say that you went back to the location where you had just killed all those enemies and they were undead. (I’ll get my coat).

  11. Marblehead says:

    Loved the first game with a few chosen mods. Sounds like they have borked this one. I will have a look if and when I get windows 10 or somebody gets it working on 7 without need for store

  12. macallen says:

    Good review, I agree, janky. Buggy as hell, especially PC Co-op. I didn’t play the original, nor have I played single player on v2, so I can’t speak to those. I bought 2 copies for me and my son and have been playing co-op since last Thursday…in 10 min increments, because that’s about how long we get before we crash, hang, lag out, bug, or whatever. So many bugs, invisible zombies beneath the ground that can still kill you but you can’t hit them, quests that bug, NPC’s that go suddenly crazy and hate you for no reason, etc. Really regret pre-ordering this thing.

  13. TheAngriestHobo says:

    This sounds like exactly the same problem that the original had: the only competent survivor is the one you’re controlling right now. Everyone else is a bumbling idiot in constant need of rescue or babysitting.

  14. racccoon says:

    I found the review odd considering the sites rave on the game over the weeks, State Of Decay 2 is a good player-able game compared to the my sad wasteful buy of Conan exiles the other day, which is now sitting uninstalled in my folder of wasteful games called “omgwtfisthishit” folder in steam!. At least this game won’t end up there as Its player-able and a good fun game. :)

  15. vahnn says:

    As I read this, I thought surely it could be written by none other than John Walker. But it’s Brendan! Now I’ll actually have to reconsider my decision to buy this one. I’ll at least let it simmer for a patch or three and see how that affects things.

  16. FunnyB says:

    Sounds like this sequel doubled down on one (in my opinion) of the worst parts of the last game:
    There’s always too many tasks at the same time.

    3-5 zombie hordes approaching home, 2 lost survivors, 1 survivor needs the useless “talking to”, 2 new neighboring outposts that need help, 3 infested houses…

    Everytime you cleared up one task, it felt like you got 2 more. This combined with the fact that the game supposedly punished you for turning it off when there was too many missions not completed (thanks to the “time passes offline” feature) meant that you pretty much never felt that you turned off the game in a good state, ready for the next session.

  17. SomeDuderr says:

    The one thing I remember from the first game is how terribly optimized it was, terrible console port.

    But I did enjoy that it did something unique. Heck, the DLC scenarios were pretty great, especially the one where you build and command a military base.

    Shame that this sequel doesn’t seem to carry the torch.

  18. cpt_freakout says:

    I quite enjoyed the first game, mostly because I found it novel and hadn’t played something like it before, but I don’t think I can overlook all those annoying aspects this time around. The chores in the first game were manageable, but if this is the kind of open world that’s scared you’ll a) become bored because you don’t have a specific objective every 10 minutes or b) you’ll see how barebones it actually is if you don’t have something distracting you every 10 minutes, then I think I’ll pass.

  19. PuttyGod says:

    This sounds pretty rough, but what would you say the experience would be like for somebody who pretty much loved the first game? If I could deal with the issues in that one, will it be that much harder to deal with here, or about the same?

  20. poliovaccine says:

    I loved the first State of Decay, more than most people it seems, and I have absolutely no interest in this sequel. I’m not even disappointed, cus I had no real expectations. I liked State of Decay, in fact I still play its sandbox sometimes, I find it fun and addictive after all this time, but it doesn’t sound as if this sequel offers any iterative improvements I would want, and further, it sounds like they’ve doubled right down on the flaws, which is… an interesting design decision.

    Not super heartbroken, and I still love State of Decay in the same way I love, say, Far Cry 2. As in, it’s weirdly janky sometimes, weirdly unforgiving at others, but for all its faults it pulls something off that I love – and yet, not enough that I’ve got enough love to tolerate a direct to video sequel. If it sounded even remotely different, I might be intrigued. But if it doesn’t iterate meaningfully on the first one, I don’t see why bother.

  21. Hyena Grin says:

    I’ve been enjoying it for a good chunk of hours now.

    I’m untroubled by its similarity to the first game. I admit I was expecting them to move things forward a bit, but it’s also a game sold at half the usual triple-A price, so I can forgive that. It’s a lot of new territory to explore, some new mechanics, and moderately prettier graphics, plus co-op. I’d almost pay that price for a co-op expansion for the first game, so I’m good.

    My only real quibble, which is something that was brought up in the WIT, was that the game has a really poor sense of pacing. It keeps lumping missions on me when I’m often struggling just to provide enough food. When you can frequently go looking for food and come back empty handed, it sucks to get three more quests in that same period, where failing enough of them will mean a faction leaves the map. Add to that infestations popping up, and you just flat-out have too much to do for the time it takes to do it all.

    It just feels like you’re spinning your wheels a lot. And not in a dramatic tension kinda way.

    I can see this pacing being fine in co-op, where you can (presumably) split up and tackle multiple small objectives in the same period, and also just accomplish goals faster.

    My suspicion is that the pacing was balanced for co-op play, but it’s hard to say. My hope is that they’ll find some sort of compromise, such as reducing the frequency of missions and infestations in solo play.

    If they can figure out the pacing, I am perfectly happy with the content and the moment-to-moment gameplay, at the game’s current price.

  22. shanemac says:

    State of Decay 2 is an AWESOME GAME! Im 40 days in and things have started to get FUN. At first when you are learning everything it was extremely boring. I almost quit. However once you learn which things have to be done and which are optional it makes the game feel less like work. I enjoy having hostile neighbors. Drive around their house honking horn setting off fireworks,boomboxes let the hordes bring them outside then just run them over. :)
    A few tips:
    keep an eye out for the “wandering traders”. They have great gear for sale .50 cal cannon to one shot juggernaut, vehicle armour.
    If you can get a mechanic early on, set up an autoshop on base to caft the armour plating cheap.
    Store extra dufflebags in vehicle trunks untill you need them.
    The basic storage holds 25 max items and anything over will be lost.
    Play offline untill you have enough supplies stockpiled. I strip good gear from people i think may be leaving camp.
    Buy a water plant and power plant as soon as you can.
    Dont ever buy duffle bags from traders. Use the radio to locate
    for 35 rep or 175 from traders.
    I chose brewery in valley with water tower and solar power early.

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