I really enjoyed my time with State of Decay 2. That’s probably in spite of the game, rather than because of it. It’s got a number of lovely systems that are all hampered by janky controls, poor performance, glitches, bugs and an overwhelming lack of polish.
Still, if you can get past those, there’s an enjoyable management sim-cum-action game buried under the surface. The game is everywhere – and that’s reflected in its scores, which range from gushing praise to vitriol. Here’s what critics think of State of Decay 2
If you can deal with a healthy dose of bugs, State of Decay 2 is an extremely satisfying and unpredictable management sim with a solid action-survival game laid on top.
State of Decay 2 is just as good as the original but fails to make good on its major promises. There’s some great quality of life improvements here and there, but the repetitive goals to work towards and cursory co-op options stop it from being any better than the original. Despite all this, State of Decay 2’s gameplay loop is strangely alluring, but many won’t put up with its technical shortcomings.
I had a lot of fun with State of Decay 2… when it was all working. Its core gameplay loop is repetitive, but there’s a sense of satisfaction in seeing your community move from a small base with no water and power to a dominant force in the town capable of sustaining itself on its own that kept driving me forward.
State of Decay 2’s zombie-infested maps are good places to scavenge, fight, and survive in. Combat is satisfyingly brutal and the special zombies inspire some real fear of permanent death, even though the Blood Plague turns out to be more of a sniffle. But the bugs are just as persistent as the zombies, and after a dozen or so hours the repetition of both eventually take their toll, making the appeal of replaying feel more limited than I’d expected for a sandbox RPG.
State of Decay 2 comes together as a game that feels designed for players who like to make checklists and chip away at long-term tasks. That notion might sound contradictory to existence in a zombie apocalypse, where death comes fast and often, but engaging with the game from this perspective makes its rough edges seem more like minor smudges. State of Decay 2‘s unique approach to survival and management might not appeal to everyone, but it certainly feels like an instant cult classic.
State of Decay 2 confidently reaches the series’ potential as the ultimate zombie survival sim, even if it hits a few familiar bumps in the road on the way there.
The point is this: although there’s a very competent core loop and entertaining resource management sim somewhere within State of Decay 2, it’s really, really, broken. Unacceptably so. It frustrated me mightily to see a flash of a game I wanted to play, only to be immediately reminded that it’s not ready for release.
Last Updated: May 17, 2018