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Game Synopsis

State Of Decay 2 is a third-person, action-adventure, survival horror, RPG game. The player has the role of not one character, but an entire community. Every character that is recruited into a community can be individually controlled, contributing their part towards their fellowship and improving on personal skills and goals. The player is able to shoot, drive and melee, although weapons, vehicles and equipment will deteriorate after prolonged use and need to be fixed using materials found in the world. For the first time, players can invite or join their friends and play cooperative gameplay. All players can bring a character from their personal roster to aid the host in their personal community. Each player can only access their personal storage and items, as well as their characters, to avoid robbery. Friendly fire is also turned off. Players can make use of high-end facilities that may be available on their friend’s base and bring the resources back to their community, as well as scavenge resources from their friend’s world.

As the sequel to the original State Of Decay, the game follows and improves on the gameplay mechanics introduced in the aforementioned title. Instead of starting the game with three predefined characters with set skills and traits, the player now is given the role of a completely procedurally generated character. Gender, race, clothes, name, starting gear, Skills, Morale and Traits are all imparted via the procedure. At the moment a player starts a new game, the game will restrict some of the procedural features and aim towards a more well-rounded character in order for the beginning of the game to be more flexible, however, subsequent playthroughs will start the game with a completely randomized character, as well as all the future characters found by the player. There are no predefined characters. After finishing an in-game tutorial, the player is placed into the starting map, Providence Ridge. The player can transverse between the five different maps at any given time, provided they have the required resources. Maps Included Are : Meagher Valley, Cascade Hills, Drucker County, Trumbull Valley, and Providence Ridge

After settling in, the player must clear out and establish a base somewhere on the map. It is then that the possibilities for recruiting opens up, and new members can join in into the community and provide further assistance to its rising. Each recruit is procedurally generated, their traits, skills and looks will vary from member to member and it is up to the player to utilize them for the betterment of their community. It is imperative to alternate play between characters, and manage their advantages and what they can provide for the world. In contrast to the first game, hostile survivors can be found and fought against, proving to be fearsome opponents. NPC-controlled communities scattered across the map, known as enclaves, can be either friendly or aggressive, and the player can decide how to help, provoke, or interact with them.

The main enemy in State Of Decay 2, like its predecessor, is zombies. Zombies have become much more intelligent and dangerous since the first game, With the addition of Blood Plague and Plague Hearts. The territory around the player is much more dangerous at the start of the playthrough, as your characters traits are underdeveloped causing you to be quite frail in combat situations requiring hand to hand with melee weapons, accuracy in gunplay is also starkly reduced forcing you play each character uniquely. Plague Hearts and Plague Zones and Zombies are something to starkly avoid when you first start out, as they can send characters to an early grave rather quickly and you cannot recover them at all.

If the player completes what is called a Legacy, with their current group, it will end the game with a cinematic and unlock “cards” with extra bonuses that you may use in future groups. you may also choose 3 characters from your previously completed group to take in as your starting group, increasing both your survival chances and the replay-ability of the game as a whole.

 

System Requirements 

MINIMUM:

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel i5-2500 @2.7Ghz / AMD FX-6300
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7870
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 30 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
    • Additional Notes: Internet connection required for initial sign-in. Free Xbox Live account required to play.

RECOMMENDED:

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel i5 4570 @ 3.2Ghz / AMD FX-8350
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB / AMD Radeon R9 380
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 30 GB available space

 

Graphics

Graphically,  the visual updates given with the latest update are stunning upgrades to a game that held up decently from 2018. From adaptive shadows that are very detailed for everything and shift with the time of day as the sun moves, to the night sky with a full moon and full of stars lighting your way ambiently in the darkness with white light. The game is beautifully detailed, and screenshot worthy at many lookout points around each map if you feel like searching for those perfect screenshots. Almost none of these settings affect FPS by more than 1-2 at most, and visual fidelity that it gives for that small trade is pretty great. It will definitely affect your immersion into the game.

Gameplay

The Positives

I have some minor gripes, but first we’ll focus on the positives, adding Trumbull valley back into the game as a playable map in the main game, furthers your immersion if you played the first game in the series as this continues the story from where it left off properly along with storyline and character inclusions from that game. The gameplay is 3rd person but satisfying, the squish of heads as you blow them apart is fun. Whether with a hammer, an axe, a sword or a gun of any sort. Any difficulty above normal provides a challenge for a regular player, sometimes taking a month or so of constant gameplay to finish. Replay-ability is high, as you can cycle through the 5 available maps and take different strategies and characters each time. Weapons affect gameplay in a big way. Do not expect to grand theft auto or call of duty your way through this game. It will have you for lunch and start you over again, characters are fragile enough to keep you on your toes about decisions, and to make effective use of range and silencers. The mix of vehicles in the game also provides a challenge, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Resource gathering gives a large sense of purpose, so does helping other communities most of which give a passive bonus to your gameplay. Once you have moved into and built up your first larger base, a sense of accomplishment is about you every single time. It’s so very satisfying.

Now on to the annoyances and negatives that exist as of patch version 28

List Of Small Annoyances

  • The game occasionally randomly crashes to desktop with no error, it seems to always happen in particular areas of towns, starting the game up again doesn’t take long though this may annoy some players. You lose no progress, as it usually follows an autosave by mere seconds.
  • Items still get stuck under your inventory table in the base if you drop them while in the inventory menu at the table, these items are non-recoverable no matter what you do. So don’t drop weapons or things of importance near this table.
  • Fire bombs/Thermite/Molotov’s thrown in large numbers into an area do not keep enemies on fire, when the first one goes out they stop taking damage. A restart of the game usually solves this bug.

Game Breaking Negatives

  • If the host of a multiplayer session you are part of has a mediocre internet connection BEWARE as switching character in their session may drop you under the map and murder the character you switched to, this has happened more than once amongst me and my friends when the wrong person hosts the session. There is no way to recover said dead character. (upload speed is a HUGE factor for the host)
  • You will find the odd invincible regular or blood plague zombie in this game, when I say invincible, I mean they will act like a juggernaut when you hit them with a car, they wont die, but the car will explode and kill you instantly on impact. If you pay attention its avoidable, if the zombie spawns sticking waist up out of the road with no legs, swerve to avoid at all costs.
  • If you clear all plague hearts off the map on day 1 (after moving maps with an established community) the game will respawn them on the afternoon of day 2, this is an internal game state database error, its in the process of being fixed, just don’t do it.

Conclusion

For a game released in 2018, State of Decay 2 still very much holds its own on uniqueness of gameplay experience, open world gameplay and balancing of difficulty to provide challenges. Graphically its at decent standards for today, and the game runs butter smooth on modern hardware. I highly recommend this game to play either with a bunch of friends (find the best host connection amongst the group and use it) or on your own for complete immersion. I’ve put over 200 hours into this game on steam and I can truly say, every time I fire it up to play it satisfies me in some way I didn’t think it could. The devs actively patch the game, so some or most of these bugs may be gone by the time you play it, Or more content may have been added. At the time of writing this article you can pick this title up on STEAM for £24.99

 

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. I preordered the Ultimate Edition. I only ever remember myself preordering once in my life before in spite of many years of gaming. My relationship with the first State of Decay, as demontrated in my recent streams, is one of love and hate. I loved it and found it fun in many ways but the bugs also got on my nerves so badly. I look at this review, and I feel sad. I really, really wanted State of Decay 2 to avoid the problems of the first game, but it doesn’t seem like it did. I agree with so many points of this review because I can relate to them (believe it or not) even though I haven’t started playing SoD2 yet; I can relate to them from the first game! I believe that this review is very fair, and that does sadden me, because I really wished that SoD2 would’ve earned itself a 9 out of 10 from most reviewers.

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