E3: State of Decay 2

One of the games shown by Xbox for E3 was State of Decay 2, a sequel to the hugely addictive open-survival game by Undead Labs. While it does all the things you’d expect from a sequel, adding new features and making the game look better and feel more realistic, it’s the addition of multiplayer to the game that’s going to change the game most.

Solo play will once again put you control a community of survivors – either guiding their contributions to the collective, or turning them into reminders that any one of them can die if you aren’t careful. Multiplayer will let players bring their communities to each other. You’ll be able to drop into games with friends, or invite them over to yours – then work together to survival.

Players will be able to join each others games, and coming with them is the entire community that they run.

I spent an inordinate amount of time on State of Decay and expect I’ll do the same with State of Decay 2. The original had a rocky release in Australia due to some trouble with the classification board (the game originally had morphine provide players with positive benefits – that’s since been changed to painkillers). I was so invested in wanting to play the game that I managed to get my hands on a copy for the 360 through other means.

I played it for ages, usually forsaking the story elements for the open world bits. I’d do hit and runs on a horde, clean out a neighbourhood, and gradually work my way through locations until I got a real defensible position community.

Occasionally I’d lose a character, or expanded beyond what I was able to manage (always wanted every type of building in my safe haven), but starting over was fun too.

Even the little arguments between each characters were interesting, dynamic as they tended to be, and really added something special to the game – a touch of humanity where without it’d be hard to pick them and the zombies apart. It’s going to be even better to share the experience with others.

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