State of Decay 2 is a third person, action adventure, survival horror, RPG game, usually shortened as survival fantasy by the developers. 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 procedure. In 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 given the opportunity to choose between three new maps, Cascade Hills, Meagher Valley, or Drucker County. The player can transverse between the three maps at any given time, provided they have the required resources.
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 character, 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 fiersome 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.In that regard, zombies continue to be the main threat in the world of State of Decay. Zombies populate most of the areas in all three maps, and are a constant menace to which the communities need to plan around. All types of freak zombies make a comeback as well. Noise is the main factor that can trigger and attract zombies, but other variables such as sight or lighting are important to consider as well. Using projectile-based weapons without proper attachments can lure big hordes of undead enemies. A new addition to the game is the plague system. Populating certain spots on the map are plague hearts, which are protected by their respective wardens, the plague zombies. These particular zombies are much more aggressive, fast and cunning than normal, and they can be easily spotted by their dark-red tone and several tumors growing in their bodies. A player character that is attacked by plague zombie will immediately receive a plague disease meter, and the meter is filled by subsequent hits by more plague zombies in chain. If not treated, the character can acquire plague disease, which can ultimately turn them into another plague zombie. Plague hearts can be destroyed, killing all plague zombies in the area, and allow the player to loot the necessary ingredients to brew the cure for plague infection. Nonetheless, plague zombies can be found wandering the open world outside of plague heart infestations, although they have a chance to drop small quantities of the plague serum. Plague heart locations will not replace regular infestations. Another important aspect of State of Decay 2 is the base building system. When a community starts to grow, so will do their needs. Resources like food, basic living conditions (such as beds or toilets), vigilance outposts, storage, and more, need to be fulfilled. A good home base can increase the moral and effectiveness of survivors, whilst a badly-managed base can decrease morale from survivors which can lead to abandon or even suicide scenarios. Members of the community are required to travel the map to scavenge for valuable resources that can be brought back to the base in order to do maintenance, stock, or further improvements. Bases need to be defended from sporadic attacks from nearby zombies, which can be attracted by bigger voices producing higher amounts of noise. Zombie attacks can result on damage or destruction of equipment and working stations within the base, and even the permanent death of characters found inside. The player is free to abandon the base and establish another one at any given time, even if on a different map.
Aside from zombies, the world is populated by human characters which are referred to as survivors. Every character in the game is structured by procedural generation, a system that assigns different values to something driven by distinct but coordinated variables that result in a set of organized, logical results that are different each time. The procedural system assigns the looks of the character, defined by gender, face, skin color, hair, height and clothes. More than 75 faces are included in the base game, with more planned to be included in post-release downloadable content. Each survivor is also assigned a set of distinct attributes, chosen from a pool of more than 1,200 traits, around a thousand more than what was available in the original game. There are positive traits, such as counselor, that allow a specific character to solve disputes between members of the community or improve morale of a saddened survivor. Negative traits, like asthma, which can hold back the cardio and stamina skills from a survivor given their condition. There is a fair share of "flavor" traits that do not have any effects associated with them and are only for immersion, such as kept smartphone, which the character describes as a valuable possession because their family photos are preserved on the device. Some traits can define the identity of a character, such as the newly-added Halo Champion trait that nicknames any character as Arbiter, a character from Halo. Although most traits are introduced to a character when they're found by the player, there are special traits that can be acquired through gameplay and events in the world.
Every survivor is vulnerable to the world around them, all will react to the events happening in the game. They can become upset due to disagreements or fights with other members of the community, the death of a fellow member and friend, starve, or worry about any nearby infestation or lack of resources. It is the duty of the player to find a way to alleviate these negative conditions. A survivor whose morale is low enough can flee the community or attempt towards their own lives.
Development & Release Edit
After the widely successful release of State of Decay on Summer 2013 as one of the best rated and most sold Xbox 360 Arcade titles, receiving two downloadable expansions and an Xbox One port, Undead Labs started production on the sequel, State of Decay 2. Since the beginning, two key ideas that were highely solicited were planned for the game: cooperative gameplay for up to four players, and a more stable engine to support the backbone of the game. Undead Labs replaced CryEngine 3 in favor of Unreal Engine 4, as it allows better optimization, dynamic lighting, subtle shadows, as well as more effects happening at screen at once.
State of Decay 2 GuidesEdit
- State of Decay 2 – How to Repair Vehicles
- State of Decay 2 - Influence Points Guide
- State of Decay 2 - Resources Guide
- State of Decay 2 - Resource Locations
- State of Decay 2 - Maps Guide
- State of Decay 2 - Home Base Guide & Base Locations
- State of Decay 2 - How to Cure the Blood Plague
- State of Decay 2 - Ammunition & Weapons