State of Decay 2: When Undead Labs, a relatively young Washington-based studio, launched State of Decay in 2013, they were not anticipating the huge demand the game created. In a market already flooded with zombie survival horror titles, they must have done something right to stand out the way they did. And those who have played the game (and have since become fans) can vouch for that.
State of Decay took players on a zombie-mauling spree alright, but more importantly, it made them take up several significant responsibilities within the game’s limited world. That means that you had to be able to act promptly and keep your thoughts and plans sorted while being threatened by the undead the whole time. The game achieved this rare mix by blending third person elements with role-playing elements. After spending some time with the game, those who had become fans were already rooting for the game to spawn a franchise. Many of them were even ready with their personal wishlists, as many gaming forums on the web are a testament to. Needless to say, then, excitement was pretty high when Undead Labs announced State of Decay 2 during E3 2016. And while reports are sparse about what we can expect from the upcoming game, there are a few great hints to go by. We will hear more about State of Decay 2 during E3 this year, but there’s a substantial amount of time to go in between. So we decided to do a round-up of all the information about where the game stands right now and spread the hype.
State of Decay 2: What to Expect
Update: While State of Decay 2 will retain the open world structure of its predecessor, but the developers have promised a newer approach to increase replayability and make for a more immersive experience. This will be achieved with not just one, but three different maps. And as the creators say, each of these maps will be nearly the size of the entire map of the first game. “You should expect to see slightly different environments, definitely different landmarks, and locations, different layouts lending themselves to different strategies, unique home sites, and even different mission types,” reads the blog post on the game’s official website.
In explaining the purpose of this unique approach, the devs say that it will make for a better gameplay experience, for players would feel as if they are moving from one town to another when they’re traveling in between maps. It would also reduce the chances of repetitiveness, and more interestingly, make for easier expansions later. If you’re worried about not being able to carry your stuff when you’re moving in between, they have assured that the idea is to be able to take everything, and everyone, along.
The last game not only had an intriguing story line but also had complex game mechanics to accompany it. You played the State of Decay as one among the many playable characters that it presented and tried to find more AI companions among the Survivors to help you on your mission to escape Trumbull Valley and leave behind the epidemic that had hit it. The ending was very open-ended, which prompted many to believe that there would be a second installment following soon enough. After a couple of DLCs and a greatly improved Year One Survival Edition, Undead announced the State of Decay in 2016. While fans loved the first game because of how it incorporated elements that have been greatly lacking from the genre in general, the clunky mechanics did not escape their attention. While that was somewhat addressed in 2015’s edition, we all know there’s room for more improvement. But what adds to our excitement for State of Decay 2 is the fact that the creators’ awareness of the first game’s flaws and their willingness to address them. In an interview with IGN, Undead Labs’s Jeff Strain and Richard Foge said that they were paying attention to fan feedback during the creative process of State of Decay 2. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at all that we know we’ll see in the upcoming game.
State of Decay 2 Features
New Extended Maps: We don’t know if the new game will revert to where the previous game had ended. If you have finished State of Decay, you will know that the survivors’ attempts to leave Trumbull Valley in search of a safe new town free of zombies did not exactly pan out as expected, so there’s a chance that State of Decay 2 will be a direct continuation of its predecessor. However, what we do know is that Undead is going all out with the new game’s maps. While State of Decay’s open world consisted of 8 square kilometers of playable area, Strain and Foge have assured fans that they will have more playable space in State of Decay 2– significantly more. According to the aforementioned report, the new game will be set in a new, much larger town, complete with its own nuances. That means more replayability than the last title. This is good news for sure.
A Brand New Multiplayer Mode: This has to be one of the most exciting things about State of Decay 2. The idea behind expanding the world of the new game was to throw in some added perks, and one of those is that this time around you will be able to play a State of Decay game with your friends. Besides the solo campaign, the new game comes with a four player co-op multiplayer that allows you to explore the world and slay zombies along with your friends. The mechanics that constitute the multiplayer are pretty dynamic and will let you group up to play a particular mission, or even let the lot of you to split up and play out different missions while still come to each other’s aid when necessary.
Better Graphics, thanks to a much-needed Engine Upgrade: If you have experience with 2013’s State of Decay, you must have appreciated the way the creators implemented some really unique elements into the game. But we have to admit that it suffered because of its chalky-at-times animation and shabby gameplay. This is why the creators are using a different engine for developing State of Decay 2. Strain said that the decision to move to the Unreal Engine 4 was fuelled by the need to achieve a higher graphics resolution and more fluid movements. Alongside that, the new engine would support better content developing, considering the significantly larger world of State of Decay 2.
State of Decay 2 Gameplay
Besides some innovative new addition, we can expect the new game to retain some of the gameplay elements from the earlier games. Like its predecessor, State of Decay 2 will also be playable from a third person perspective. But unlike most traditional video games, you will be put in charge of a whole community and act hard to keep it together in the middle of trying times. The game’s page on the official Xbox site points out that there is no one hero in the upcoming game, but you will get to play “as an entire community — each survivor in the game is their own person, with a unique mix of background traits, skills, and attitudes.” But don’t expect building and maintaining the community to be a piece of cake. In fact, this was the very factor that had set the first game apart from its peers in the genre. Every single decision that you will take in the course of the game has the potential to have lasting consequences, and more often than not, you will have to bear responsibility for the outcome.
In addition to that, expect to build new bases from the ground up that will hold up well to zombie attacks and manage resources like food, medicines, ammunitions, and other useful material to keep inmates well. You can get hold of the resources by scavenging or trading with the non-playable characters that you encounter. The previous game let players decide if they wanted to recruit and control an NPC with the help of a relationship meter. We expect this feature to return in State of Decay 2. However, we hope to be able to control more than one of them at a time.
Everything in the new game will be about careful planning, and that includes managing its vehicles and weapons. Players will require to be careful about wear and tear of their aids, and not upgrading or maintaining them at regular intervals will result in degradation.
Coming to the multiplayer mode, what we’re getting is a co-op one. But the creators have said that there will be enough variables thrown into the mix. For instance, your friends can even go rogue on you when you think they’re on your side despite the title not having a player vs player mode. This can be achieved by drawing the attention of the zombies in your direction while you’re least expecting it, and even killing some of the AI controlled survivors in your community. Thankfully, this will work both ways, and doing this may result in consequences.
State of Decay 2 Wishlist
While we do know about a few things that we’re going to get, much about the features and gameplay of State of Decay 2 is shrouded in darkness. However, this has only given rise to some really thorough wishlists from fans of the earlier game. Here are a few of our favorites.
Enemy Upgrades: State of Decay was about doing a lot of things at the same time, but the main task was undoubtedly to be alive through the zombie apocalypse that had hit Trumbull Valley. The zombies were powerful enough to surprise players and dealing with them was pretty hard. However, to make the gameplay more dynamic, we hope Undead comes up with an improved AI system for the enemy to reinforce the elements of strategy and stealth in the new game. This was kind of marred in the previous game due to the overall shabbiness, but we don’t want to deal with that anymore. Also, we could have new kinds of zombies in State of Decay 2, each with their own unique traits, to increase variation.
One other cool thing would be if there were some hostile human survivor groups as well, a la The Walking Dead. Yes, it would make the game harder, but that’s the fun.
More Weapons and Vehicles: While the first game had a lot of different kinds of weapons like firearms and a range of melee weapons to help combat zombies when you’re out of ammo, we would love to see some crazy new arms coming to the new game. Perhaps the creators will think about adding some zombie slasher staple like chainsaws? The same can be said about the vehicles- when traveling solo, being able to get hold of a bike would be amazing as it would make exploration all the better. Also, let us have some larger options that would help in transporting survivors across the zombie infested lands. They would also be great for mobile storage when we’re on the move, even if we’re solitary.
Make Character Traits More Effective Throughout: We love how the concept of the games center around consequences, and on a different note, how each character is always unique with their own quirks, whether good or bad. So it just makes sense if the folks over at Undead Labs decide to blend the two together to make up a new feature where every character’s trait will reflect positively or negatively on the gameplay, depending on the trait itself. This would also eliminate those annoying traits that seem to be useless.
Custom Character: In all honesty, we are really praying for this one to happen. Wouldn’t it be great to build your character from the ground up, complete with his or her own set of skills, weaknesses and physical features?
State of Decay 2 Trailer
State of Decay 2 was announced during E3 last year with a cinematic trailer. What we loved was the homage to the old game by using a simple signpost that reads “Trumbull County” as some fellows with a car speed past it while smashing in zombies with their ride. It also gives us a look at the returning base building feature (just a glimpse, really) and some really weird looking zombies. Have a look at it below.
State of Decay 2 Release Date
State of Decay is currently scheduled for a 2017 release, but a specific date is yet to be announced by the creators. However, Undead Labs has already announced that we will hear more of the details regarding the upcoming game during E3 this year, so here’s looking at June. These details will include the release date, gameplay, and system requirements, and we expect the game to launch shortly after these are revealed. As of now, we’re expecting a Q3 release date for State of Decay 2. However, we will update this section with the actual date whenever the devs announce it. As for the platforms, the new game will be playable on the Xbox One and the Windows PC.
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We’re pretty excited about the release of State of Decay 2 for a number of reasons, and we hope we’ve got our readers just as excited about the upcoming game. While details are few and far between right now, the creators have promised to reveal more with time, so make sure to check back on this post regularly. As you wait, you can check out what we have to say about the possibilities of Resident Evil 8 happening. Also, let us know about why you want to play State of Decay 2 and the features and elements that you want to see the makers include in the comments below.