State Of Decay 2 Review – A Decent Addition to Zombie Genre

Be prepared for the worst to come.

State Of Decay 2 Review
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance


State of Decay 2 is not a perfect game by any means, but it is bound to deliver an enjoyable time for everyone.


  • Great Open Ended Gameplay.
  • Characters Have Depth.
  • Resource Management Makes The Game Challenging.


  • Outdated Graphics.
  • Performance Issues.
  • Clunky Combat And Animation.

I still remember playing the State of Decay for the first time on my old potato PC in 2013. I fondly remember that game due to nostalgia, and it was also my first exposure to the zombie/post-apocalyptic genre. Fast forward to today, I am here sitting in front of my PC looking forward to giving State Of Decay 2 a try.

Key Takeaways

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Game Length: 16+ Hours
Time Played: 20 Hours

  • Editors Note: Our reviewer played the State of Decay 2 for over 20 hours, testing its various mechanics and systems.

I have played many zombie shooter/survival video games since the first game, but none have impressed me as much as the first installment of State Of Decay. So, I am excited to share my thoughts on this game in this review. Let’s see how the State of Decay 2 holds up today.

Story And Setting

Story And Setting
Story And Setting. (Image by eXputer)

In State of Decay 2, the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic America where a zombie outbreak has devastated the population. The military and every city in America have fallen, leaving no one safe from the plague. The game’s setting and story are open-ended, just like the first game, and now there is the added feature of a multiplayer mode.

The story isn’t pre-defined or revolves around a central protagonist but instead, you survive along with your teammates and friends. Like a leader leading a pack through dangers and harsh environments. You are tasked with developing a community and fleshing out your base while reaching out to remaining survivors.

State of Decay 2 doesn’t break any new grounds or innovate combat that would have made it stand out from its contemporaries.

Every person you meet on your journey has their own story, unique abilities, and character. Some are doing great, while others are struggling to keep up. The characters aren’t shallow and most of them are trying to meet their ends while living to see another sunrise. 

When it comes to the story, there’s no huge linear storyline campaign. There are quest storylines and most of them consist of scavenging parts to build a better base or finding stray human survivors so you can strengthen your ties and grow as a community.


The Gameplay.(Image by eXputer)

State of Decay 2 doesn’t break any new grounds or innovate combat that would have made it stand out from its contemporaries. However, the real challenge exists in surviving along with another group of humans.

It is at its core a survival game that involves heavy exploration and scavenging materials. The very first mission leads you and your ragtag group of survivors into a hidden base established outside the urban area where most of the game takes place. There are no tall skyscrapers but only small outposts, marts, and gas stations for you to loot from.

Characters, Inventory, And Resourceful Management

Switching Characters
You can switch between characters to take a rest. (Image by eXputer)

State Of Decay 2 insists that you take a stealthier approach when venturing out in the wilds. This made even more sense when I reached the outpost and found out that I had to manage 4 characters. So as a player, I was responsible for feeding them, taking care of their health, and most importantly, making sure that they were healthy and alive by the end of the day.

I had to task them with pillaging important parts for crafting materials while I was on the hunt for collecting plague samples to aid my dying teammate. During this, you can switch between characters but make sure you are depositing your gear in the supply box so you can pick it up from there after switching. 

Resource management also extends to weapons which made me quite conservative with my weapons and utility usage.

Resource management is a huge deal, and it makes sense; you are in a post-apocalyptic world, so resources are always going to be scarce. You can refill your stamina bar with pills, but once you are out, you will suffer fatigue and, in this case, switch to another character. You have to balance between your weapons arsenal and health-refilling items in your inventory because you cannot hold them all.

I could summarize the whole game as a looter survival video game, but it is much more than that. The group of survivors plays a huge part in your story, so if you think you can just survive on your own, you are wrong.

Combat Is Decent, But Nothing New

Killing Zombies
A sleek finisher to end the zombie’s suffering. (Image by eXputer)

You are never too prepared to fight, and keeping this in mind, I was extensively scavenging for weapons part to craft. Running out of ammo never becomes a serious issue since you can clear out the military outpost and claim it for yourself. There, you will find enough ammo to survive hoards of bloodthirsty zombies.

However, in close combat, melee weapons are crucial. This could be a simple pocket knife or a pickaxe. Although melee weapons are effective in dealing huge burst damage against tougher zombies, they are not durable. Use them a lot, and they are going to break into your hands. 

Each character and survivor you meet along the way has their own story, skillset, and personality.

Resource management also extends to weapons which made me quite conservative with my weapons and utility usage. So I started avoiding conflict in the first place. I didn’t want to degrade my melee weapons because I had to scavenge to repair materials. You have to be extra cautious while looting since any noise made can attract the attention of zombies. I am not taking that risk. Nope!

The combat is decent, but we have seen it a thousand times. Compared with games of the same genre, it needs some polishing. I found the movement mechanics underwhelming. It doesn’t feel advanced, and at times, I wondered to myself if I was playing a remastered version of State of Decay.

Clunky animation and movements feel so sluggish that they ruined my mood during combat. I was spamming my keys just to dodge the zombie attacks and it finally happened after I tapped the dodge key like 10 times.

Vehicles Are Back, But Drive At Your Own Risk

Vehicles in State Of Decay 2
This dude thinks he is going to hit us inside the jeep, lol. (Image by eXputer)

Vehicles are an excellent addition and provide convenience for traversal purposes, but since you are in a survival setting, you have to manage your fuel consumption carefully. 

One of the early objectives involved fixing up and refueling the car. While I was on the way to the gas station, I came across a screamer, the most annoying kind of zombie. After surviving that encounter, I fixed my car and hit the road, looking for other survivors. I quickly realized that the loud engine noise was like a dinner bell for the zombies.

It is a high-risk, high-reward situation where driving a car may save you and your team from fatigue but beware of your surroundings. Loud noises are deadly for your life.

Visuals And Performance

Visuals And Perfirmance
Visuals and performance.(Image by eXputer)

As much as I liked the other aspects of State of Decay 2, the visuals are outdated compared to today’s standards. I can understand that this game engine is not advanced anymore, and on older machines, the fps drop is more likely to happen.

My PC rig is fairly decent and it boasts slightly above mid-range specs as far as performance goes. I was experiencing 100+ on 1080p ultra settings, but I was experiencing occasional lags in taxing scenarios. FPS isn’t the issue here since it’s a 6-year-old title, but I was expecting more in terms of smooth gameplay.


State Of Decay 2 Review
The Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

I had a decent time playing State of Decay 2. While I have some good things to say about it, the cons are highly noticeable and should have been addressed quite a while ago. Surviving and building a community takes a lot of time, which is also the most enjoyable aspect of this game, so it never felt like a chore.

The game’s open-world sandbox gameplay, resource management, and multiplayer elements make it an enjoyable and challenging experience that will keep you engaged for hours. The only real letdown is the game’s combat mechanics and clunky animations but the game’s focus on survival and exploration makes up for it.

State of Decay 2 is not a perfect game by any means, but it is bound to deliver an enjoyable experience for everyone. For die-hard fans of the zombie apocalypse genre, it is worth a try.

This concludes my review. If you enjoyed reading this, do check out our other fantastic reviews.

This is box title
Get This Game
If you are fond of zombie-apocalypse genre video games.
Dont Get This Game
In case, you are looking for high-end graphics and storyline.
Buy/Wait For Sale/Don't Buy
Considering it is an old game, you can wait for sale before purchasing it.
Alternative Games
  • The Last Of Us
  • The Walking Dead Telltale Series
  • DayZ
  • Dying Light
  • Days Gone
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Moiz Banoori is the brains behind eXputer. Having worked at various Video Game sites, with 8 years of Content Writing Experience and a Journalism Degree at hand, he presently monitors teams, creates strategies, and publishes qualified pieces through his aptitude at eXputer. Feel free to get in touch with him through his gaming profile on Steam and PSN.

Experience: 8+ Years || Manages Teams, Creates Strategies, and Publishes Guides on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Journalism.

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