I creep towards the gas station, my friend trailing behind. Fuel’s running low and we might not make it back to base. Everything depends on this one scavenging mission.
I check the front door.
Locked… looks like I’ll have to make some noise to get in.
I raise my pistol and jolt back as a bullet barges it’s way through the window. As we climb through the shattered panes, my friend lets out a gasp. A screamer stumbles from a back room, arching it’s body back as it prepares to unleash hell.
This was a mistake, especially after State of Decay 2‘s latest difficulty update.
We fall backwards, eager to escape before swarms of the undead converge.
I bark out a quick plan – you stay to get the petrol, I’ll lure them away.
After a minute of running away, a message pops up on my screen: “Move Back To Host!”.
I keep running.
Instead of letting the game teleport me back to my friend, I turn and make a last stand against the oncoming zombies. Sure, I died a bitter death. Sure, teleporting me back would’ve saved me. That should have been my choice, and therein lies the problem. State of Decay‘s multiplayer tethering sucks.
Creating stories is at the heart of State of Decay 2. Whether I’m talking to other characters at base, scavenging for supplies or clearing infested buildings with a friend, it’s always building on the story of my camp. If someone dies, they can’t come back. It’s an event that will impact everyone and be a part of our tale forever.
Going out in a blaze of glory, making a dramatic last stand, watching zombies claw at my friends guts – those are the epic, memorable moments that I cherish (weirdly). Multiplayer should be an extension of that, a way to have those experiences with a friend whilst offering new, interesting ways to play. New tactics present themselves, like splitting up to execute a daring plan. In State of Decay 2, those moments are subsequently ripped away when multiplayer tethering messages flash on screen.
Multiplayer tethering limits what is an otherwise excellent game. So, when Undead Labs announced State of Decay 3 at last year’s Xbox Games Showcase, I instantly knew this could be the one. I’ve gone through every zombie survival game out there and I’m confident that removing restrictions on the multiplayer experience will be the final push that the franchise needs to achieve greatness. In fact, I’m eager to see Undead Labs take the leap and create a persistent online world where groups of survivors can interact and clash over a sprawling map.
Hunting For Scraps
In the trailer shown last year, we got a glimpse of another new feature for the State of Decay franchise: animals. Okay, it’s probably a little deeper than just animals roaming around. We see both alive and undead creatures, hinting at a few changes for the gameplay which could help push the franchise even further.
Scouring the woods whilst foraging and hunting for food is something that could drastically improve the gameplay loop. In State of Decay 2, supplies around the map slowly dwindle since you’re always scavenging. By introducing hunting, State of Decay 3 could provide an endless supply of resources whilst giving the player a reason to trek deeper into the wilderness.
Undead animals might not be worth eating though. I’m not sure whether these are going to be new boss zombies or if they’ll just be new regular threats, but I’m predicting the latter. After all, an undead deer certainly isn’t as threatening as a Juggernaut.
Regardless, I hope undead animals add some unpredictability to the franchise.
Epic Horror Moments
A wolf pouncing from the depths of the forest. A group of struggling survivors being hunted by packs of feral zombie dogs. Splitting up from your teammate to execute a dangerous, yet rewarding plan. These are the shocking moments that could help State of Decay embrace it’s roots in the horror genre. Yes, I’d probably die in all of these scenarios, but I’d die happy in what will hopefully be the best zombie game yet. No multiplayer tethering, the same great scavenging gameplay and exciting new features – State of Decay 3 has great potential.
Now feels like the right time to go watch some classic zombie films… ah, who am I kidding! Shaun of the Dead, anyone?
How else can Undead Labs improve the survival experience in State of Decay 3? Are you still playing State of Decay 2 almost 3 years on? Let us know in the comments below or over on our social media! If you haven’t started your survival adventure yet, you can grab State of Decay 2 on the Xbox store here. Don’t forget to check out more from our team below:
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