Xbox One, PC; Undead Labs/Microsoft
This zombie survival game tries hard to stand out from the flesh-hungry crowd, but glitches will leave players groaning
Easy as it is to look at yet another zombie apocalypse survival game and see only the generic elements, State of Decay 2 tries hard to stand out from the groaning, flesh-hungry crowd. Zombies have taken over the world, the desperate remnants of humanity gather together to stake out a new life … but State of Decay 2’s big idea is community. Rather than playing as some solo Bruce Campbell, you regularly switch between members of a group.
These characters have useful skills, but peccadillos, too: my leader is a coffee fiend whose bean skills keep everyone alert, but he’s also a depressive and grumbles a lot, lowering morale. They often have personal missions to follow, a lovely touch that delivers more interesting quests than the escalating waves of zombies that the game’s story throws at you. Sometimes a character’s trait turns out to have amusing applications, or they come out with just the right line at just the right time. But I always felt like I was supposed to care more for these ciphers than I ever did.