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State of Decay 2 is a zombie survival game made by Undead Labs. It is a sequel to 2013’s indie hit with emphasis on base building. It is a budget title and subscribers of Xbox Game Pass can play it for free.

The game is set in an open world and you can select which sort of environment, like a valley or a plateau, you want to explore. Your home base is populated with a variety of characters and if one of them dies, he/she is lost forever. You must then choose to continue playing another character. Probably more infuriating is the fact that your characters will also get fatigued, forcing you to let them rest and switch. This fatigue gradually limits the maximum stamina, to the point where you cannot run for more than couple of seconds. While it is annoying to be stuck in a difficult mission with very low stamina, you can use a consumable to get it back.  

Both melee and gun combat in State of Decay 2 are passable. It is neither boring nor remarkable, although drop-kicking a zombie never gets old. You can use a wide assortment of melee weapons like pipes, bats and axes in addition to a standard selection of guns. As you utilise more skills/attributes of the same category, you will level them up and unlock new abilities.

Co-op was touted as a big feature of this game, but it is far more limiting than I had imagined. A host can invite his friends into his world and complete missions, but progress is not saved for both players. Only the hosts world is affected, while the guest gets rewarded for the progress they make. Thankfully, there is separate loot for both, making it less likely for your friend to mess up your game.

Roaming around the world and looking for material is your primary goal. Whether it is medicine, ammo, fuel for your vehicle or a backpack full of supplies. Using this, you can build new structures and upgrade your home base. A basic set of upgrades include better beds, infirmary, workshop, rain water harvester, garden and many more. All of the above result in different bonuses, QOL features and helps you in various ways in surviving.

State of Decay 2 was supposed to be a big improvement on its predecessor; while it has improved, it’s tough to really gauge how much. It can get terribly slow at times and is far from polished, not to mention looks quite dated. I don’t think they’ve added enough to the game for it to stand out as a wow title.

Being a budget game and a part of Xbox Game Pass saves State of Decay 2 from too much scrutiny. It has too many bugs and network issues, in addition to the overall jankiness of its mechanics. The systems were engaging enough for me to keep playing the game, but decisions related to co-op will prevent it from reaching its full potential.

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Source : http://www.asianage.com/technology/in-other-news/230518/a-budget-zombie-survival-game.html

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