State of Decay 2 is a horror survival game sequel to State of Decay developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It released on May 22nd, 2018 for both Xbox One and PC, with an early release date of May 18th for owners of the game's Ultimate Edition. State of Decay 2 offers a vast open world game divided into three different maps, each with its own setting and locations. The player assumes the role of a procedurally generated character, and in given time recruit new members to their cause in order to maintain an entire community. Combining elements from survival horror, role-playing and action adventure games, State of Decay offers a wide variety of elements that help define a personal community experience that is constantly evolving and always different from player to player.
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 the procedure. At 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 fearsome 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 tumours 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 a 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 morale and effectiveness of survivors, whilst a badly-managed base can decrease morale from survivors which can lead to abandoning or even suicidal 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, race, skin colour, hair, height and clothes. More than 75 faces are included in the base game, with more planned to be included in the 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 trait, that allow a specific character to solve disputes between members of the community or improve the 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 "flavour" traits that do not have any effects associated with them and are only for immersion, such as the kept smartphone trait, 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
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 highly 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 favour of Unreal Engine 4, as it allows better optimization, dynamic lighting, subtle shadows, as well as more effects happening at the screen at once.
The Prepper's Pack was released on March 5, 2018.
The Doomsday Pack was released on May 14, 2018.
Released on June 28, 2018, the Independence Pack features three zombie-ready vehicles, access to a supply drop containing three new patriotic melee weapons, two unique ranged weapons and piles of single-use fireworks that are perfect for causing general havoc.
The Daybreak Pack was released on September 12, 2018. The following features are available:
- Players and up to three teammates play as highly skilled Red Talon soldiers armed with high-end weaponry. Together, they will defend a fortified position against waves of oncoming zombies, while a vulnerable technician repairs a critical satellite relay.
- The Blood Plague Juggernaut is a tougher version of the juggernaut who will expose players to blood plague. To combat this new scourge, players have access to a new set of CLEO weapons, including eight new ranged weapons, six new melee weapons, and six new deployable explosives.
- The more waves players survive, the more rewards they earn. Rewards and unlocked items can be used to fight more efficiently in future Daybreak sessions and players will also be able to access those same unlocked items for their main community of survivors, giving access to the new CLEO weapons, additional accessories, and upgrades for their base — including the opportunity to bring in a Red Talon soldier.
The Daybreak Pack will be available for players who own the Standard Edition for $9.99, and is included with the Ultimate Edition at no additional cost. It will also be available at launch for Xbox Game Pass members with a 10 % discount.
Choose Your Own Apocalypse
This is a free update from the developers for players who own the initial game (physical and digital). It introduces zones or modes to play with that has vast difference from zombie population, zombie activities, and essentially causing morale effects on a community. These zones are as follows:
- Green Zone - a zone which has lesser zombies, more fuel capacity in vehicles, more bountiful loot and overall an easy experience to newer players.
- Standard Zone - a zone which defines the initial game's mode with easier to explore areas and literally small zombie population.
- Dread Zone - a harder zone with increased zombie population and activiities.
- Nightmare Zone - a tougher zone with large population of zombies numbering from roaming ones and hordes.
- Lethal Zone - the newest and the hardest zone that will introduce all the blood plague mutated freaks from the State of Decay 2: Heartland. Further details about this mode will be announced soon.
Other information about this difficulties are in this link: Difficulty Options.
State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition is a remaster of State of Decay 2, released on March 13th, 2020 as a free update to all returning owners of SOD2, including Xbox Gamepass, and makes State of Decay 2 available on Steam and Epic Store. This version includes a new map, improved graphics, a overhauled tutorial, a new set of heavy weapons, and much more.
Bugs and Glitches
The initial game of State of Decay 2 is filled with bugs and glitches, such as sudden FPS drops, vehicle scarcity glitches upon new campaign creation, hours of gameplay without any call from scattered survivors, etc.
After the bloater detonates, there is a a chance that the gas' damage cloud remains, even after the particle effects disappear completely. This invisible cloud will continue affecting any survivors who walk or drive through it. Restarting the game is the only way to fix it. As of today, this glitch has been patched out.
This could be experienced after completing your community and creating another one. In this community, even on Standard Mode, cars spawn at a very low rate and are hard to come by at all. This glitch is still prominent today, and has a chance of happening every time you bring a trio of survivors in from a previously completed campaign.
This glitch affects players who have completed a previous campaign on Dread or Nightmare, and have imported a trio into a Normal Zone. The glitch manifests as locations with little to nothing in loot containers. This glitch affects all locations in that save, and there is no way to fix it at this moment.
On Standard Zone, most structures have been reduced from 4 to 5 searchable spots to 2-3 per location, with rarer loot showing up less frequently, with a lot of low-tier, repetitive loot spawns occurring frequently.
This glitch may also occur when reducing difficulty on a save-game and has not been patched.
There are times when distress calls seem to never appear, and no apparent cause or solution has been attributed to this. In order to rectify this, a restart may be required.
Irregular Car Crashes
This is a common glitch found within the game, where a disproportionate amount of spin, tilt, or force is delivered to a vehicle during an impact. In severe cases, the vehicle could be flung several hundred feet in a random direction. There is no way to predict or avoid this, aside from avoiding crashes and impacts from Juggernauts and other large Freaks, although this may also occur if a player hits a seemingly insignificant object or bump.
Another common glitch involves the night brightness dropping far below any reasonable level, often leaving the player in pitch-darkness. This can happen randomly and suddenly, although it may have been patched out of the game.
After the latest updates, a glitch may occur that prevents the player's flashlight from casting light, ultimately rendering the item useless until a restart is performed.
Occasionally, a survivor will glitch through a watch-tower and fall to ground level, possibly causing damage. There is a possibility of this occurring when arriving back to home base or continuing the game from the main menu. This glitch has been found to be more frequent when occupying the Container Fort community site.
Follower Heading Home without Dismissal
This glitch will occasionally happen upon side mission completion when a follower is accompanying you. After completion, there is a chance that the follower will "dismiss" themselves, despite the game still considering them a party member. This is done one of two ways - they either walk home or disappear from the map and reappear at home. The fix is generally to dismiss the follower by speaking with them, which could be easy or hard, depending on which type of this glitch you encounter.
There are two glitches known to affect Infestations:
- Infestation Randomly Ends - Occasionally, either the infestation will be marked as "cleared" early, despite zombies or all the zombies will randomly leave the area, causing the game to register the area as "cleared". There are no known negative effects of this glitch.
- Last Remaining Zombie - Occasionally, a zombie will get stuck within the map's geometry, often from inside a wall or other inaccessible area. The solution is usually a restart.
Double Plague Heart
Occasionally, a Plague Heart will spawn over itself, causing two hearts to occupy the same area. Oftentimes this can prove extremely difficult to overcome, as the Plague Zombies will not die until both are destroyed. The best solution to this glitch, if encountered, is to use explosives to dispatch both quickly.
Zombie(s) Running in Circles
This glitch occasionally affect zombies or hordes entering a building. It is either by luring them with firecrackers inside and they will run endlessly. It is still a common glitch from the latest updates and has no negative effects.
Build Facility Quest Unrecognized
Occasionally, this glitch affect the Community Quest and Legacy Quest requiring to build a certain facility. This glitch will begin when resuming a campaign while a facility is being built and no exclamation point is attached at the upper left side. It can be fixed by destroying the facility first, rebuild it again, and wait for it to complete. As of today, the glitch still remains.
Rural Police Station Glitch
- Survivor Running in Circle- Oftenly, a survivor will head into the right side of the main hall. It will stay on that location running in circle. The survivor affected will respond when talking to them but they are still running. They are totally rendered useless on defending the base from invading hordes. When the affected survivor gets controlled or made into a follower, another survivor will replace them.
- Survivor Climbing up and Down- The glitch can affect one or two survivors in the community as they climb up and down of the roof top on vice versa. Just like the first listed glitch of the Station, survivors are totally rendered useless on defending the base from invading hordes. When the affected survivor gets controlled or made into a follower, another survivor will replace them.
These two glitch are featured in the initial game, however they were patched out from the latest updates.
State of Decay 2 Guides
- Guides Removed due to link error.