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State of Decay 2 two years later. I waited.

Content of the article: "State of Decay 2 two years later. I waited."

State of Decay 2 came out in 2018 and was panned at the time for not only being a buggy broken mess, but probably mainly because the original indie title had garnered itself a lot of love and plaudits in 2013 for being the zombie apocalypse sim which finally nailed the fantasy (albeit quite crudely and clunkily, in a charming kind of way) of what it would be like to control and manage a ragtag band of survivors and look after their daily hardships on a Dawn of the Dead/Walking Dead inspired backdrop. The first game had a strong cult following, and I dabbled a little at the time but decided to wait for a more fleshed out and bigger budget follow-up. Yet the potential then was obvious. Microsoft was now putting money into the sequel and excited fans had been expecting the zombie sim to end them all, but alas it didn't deliver on the mouth-watering promise and the newer game was at that time deemed a failure.

Fast-forward two years later, and as is the case with seemingly 3 in every 5 big new releases these days, the game was to continue to be worked on and supported long after the initial release window. The developer (handily named Undead Labs) stuck with it and would release numerous patches and major updates, addressing nigh on every bug and tightening and adjusting the many complex systems which govern the irresistible end of the world sandbox they have created. Positive word of mouth began to show up on the sites and communities I frequent/lurk in, YouTubers I follow began to reappraise the game, "it's good now", they said (a common phrase in gaming social media these days). So since I'd upgraded my PC and was looking for something to flex it, I decided to take a punt.

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This game is f***ing badass. It's a time sink I've not experienced since my old Destiny playtimes, and I can't stop wanting role play within its world. I really need to get to that van. It just needs to have gas… Discovered a new town and abandoned the noisy vehicle before it ran dry, hope there's some people I can get with here. I should reach that two-story building before nightfall. These guys turned out to be okay. Assuming control of one of the others next morning, I run into trouble while out scavenging for resources. But he had my back from up high, thank god. DEATH IS PERMANENT IN STATE OF DECAY. You lose a survivor in the wild, and they're gone for good. Taking time to recover in the sanctuary of home base There are various elements that need keeping an eye on. RPG tropes govern the effectiveness of your survivors and finding the perfect grouping is endgame absorbing in of itself. But lose a survivor, and you lose all the work you put into them! Which devastating. Cameron is feeling upbeat, probably because of that sweet fast-loading crossbow he just found. *Daryl Dixon fantasy activated The loot is random and some rarer than others.* So another night and another increasingly desperate search for dwindling ammunition reserves in a really inviting abandoned police station. That's State of Decay. Played solo offline, or in co-op.

I highly recommend this game. It's full of player-made stories, which are sometimes the best ones, right? Not to mention the fabulously satisfying melee combat (the sheer number of bespoke killing animations in this game is unreal) and the meaty firearms feedback is goddamn cool (popping heads is panicky and delicious). Unfortunately it is too risky taking screenshots when you're close to being overwhelmed by the zombie hordes.

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Why take my word for it though? Look it up online, this game has turned it around and now has the following it should have done two years ago. It's basically the preeminent Walking Dead tie-in without the license as made by the only developer to ever really nail the zombie apocalypse survival sim.


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