The review embargo for State of Decay 2 is up, but I’m not quite ready to provide my final evaluation of the game. It’s a huge game, with three playable maps and a complex web of interconnected systems to work through. I’m not going to give a score at this time, but I can share some of my overall impressions. Much like its predecessor, it’s an ambitious game hamstrung by technical issues.
The game’s biggest addition is the introduction of co-op, with up to four players working together online. One player acts as a host, while the others join the cause and help battle zombies and ransack buildings for supplies. It’s a lot of fun, though glitches abound – even after downloading a sizable patch. Characters skitter around the screen as though the game can’t keep track of everyone, items disappear, flashlights are basically broken in multiplayer, and zombies materialize out of thin air. State of Decay fans may be used to shrugging off these kinds of technical issues, but I’ve run into situations where my characters have found themselves teleported into danger through no fault of my own. Considering the permadeath penalties that are at stake, it’s rough.
Single-player is much more stable overall, though the Xbox One X isn’t able to leap beyond a consistent 30 FPS. I’ve been taking advantage of the game’s Play Anywhere support and have been spending most of my time on PC. There, I’m able to achieve a consistent 60 FPS framerate with all of the graphics settings on ultra.
In spite of those problems, it’s an awful lot of fun. There’s even less of an emphasis of a critical path in the sequel, and I’ve been exploring as much as I can. I’ve managed to take control of one of the largest home bases that I’ve encountered – a minor-league ball park – and am preparing for a final assault against a few remaining infestation zones. Or maybe I’ll claim that power station and make life a little easier, first. As soon as I get a sense of how this story ends, I’ll be posting my review. Until then, I’ve got zombies to kill.
For more on the game, check out two hours of multiplayer from our recent episode of New Gameplay Today Live.
State of Decay 2: Ultimate Edition is available on Xbox One and PC on May 18, while the standard edition is available on May 22.