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.