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Five Things We Want In State Of Decay 2

by Jeff Cork on Jul 05, 2016 at 11:01 AM

The original State of Decay was one of those games that immediately made me crave a sequel – and not just because I wanted more of the same. Many elements from Undead Labs' zombie-survival game were what I'd been wanting from the genre for years, but a lack of polish and general wonkiness held it back. The game's Year One Survival Edition addressed some of my complaints, but it still wasn't quite there yet, as I mentioned in my review. Now that a bona fide sequel has been announced, I've put together our State of Decay 2 wish list. 

Keep The Good Stuff
This seems like a no-brainer, but you never know. When I look back at the original game, it's filled with highlights. I love the feeling of desperation that envelopes even the most mundane scavenging mission, where you can choose to quickly rummage through an area at the expense of stealth. Knowing how persistent and pervasive those zombies are made that simple choice weigh heavily every time I walked up to a drawer or medicine chest. I loved managing a community, helping to create a place that not only could survive, but actually thrive in this inhospitable world. And I loved the setting, a series of small towns surrounded by farms and plenty of out-of-the-way spots to explore and loot. It was rough around the edges, to be sure, but that base game remains a fantastic framework for a truly great sequel.

Embrace Co-Op, But Not At The Expense Of Single Player
Even as I built up a new home and recruited help, I was constantly reminded of how isolated I was during State of Decay. We don't know much about the sequel at this point, but it will support up to four players in co-op. That's great news, since every extra set of hands is appreciated – especially if they're good at swinging cricket bats. I do hope that the addition of multiplayer, which fans have been requesting since the first game launched, doesn't somehow take away from that single-player component. I want the option to jump into a friend's game and help out, or to request help from my friends when I need it, but for that kind of interaction to be optional. I don't want the game to be scaled in such a way that missions are essentially impossible without a full crew. Or, if a mission requires that kind of help, I'm hoping that Undead Labs will let A.I. companions pick up the slack.

More Vehicle Variety
Driving was a big component of the first game, with players using various cars and trucks to get around the world safely – provided those rides didn't explode en route. It's pretty obvious, but I'd like to see more types of vehicles in the sequel. Let me ride a motorcycle, or even a bike. Your characters drove an RV in the Breakdown DLC, but you didn't get to actually get behind the wheel yourself. Think of all the extra storage space you'd have on scavenging runs, if you could toss bags of loot into your RV. On the other hand, if you've ever attended a monster-truck rally, you likely know how fragile those things are. It would be a nice trade-off between function and vulnerability. It would be great to add a camper to your garage, as well as buses, trailer trucks, and other oversized vehicles. These might require additional maintenance, but those mechanics have to earn their keep somehow, right?

Streamline The Base-Management UI
Once you figured it out, the base-management component of the game wasn't that bad. Still, the various systems and functionality at hand weren't adequately explained for some players. The Year-One Survival Edition enhanced those systems, but Undead Labs might want to revisit the entire base system for the sequel. I enjoyed the complexity and flexibility that the original game offered, but it definitely has plenty of room for improvement. Fans of the series have demonstrated a tolerance for learning how it all works, managing resources and following along the various requirements for needed improvements, but if the sequel is going to be a success it also needs to cater to people who might not have that kind of patience. Perhaps people could choose to run things themselves or hire someone to handle all but the most important choices? Let some of us nerd out over building towers and weighing the benefits of various types of electrical power, and let the rest of 'em just go out and kill stuff.

QA Its Ever-Loving Brains Out 
I was able to look past floating, teleporting, and disappearing zombies – especially when they're not supposed to be able to float, teleport, or disappear – but I know that the original's rough visuals and overall lack of polish was a deal-breaker for some players. Don't give them an easy out this time. Take the time that you need to iron out those visual goofs and other issues, so we get the game we've been waiting for all this time. Trust me, it's not like we won't have any other zombie games to play in the meantime.