State of Decay was a very well received hit when it arrived in 2013. The game, originally for Xbox 360 and PC, with an Xbox One release that followed, tasked you with survival in a zombie apocalypse. You had to manage resources, sustain frayed relationships and ensure you can survive. Due to its popularity, it was no surprise that a sequel was eventually announced at E3 this year.
Apart from the initial reveal trailer (which you can see below) not much is known about the upcoming sequel. Fortunately, IGN have spoken with developers Undead Labs and gleaned a bit more nuggets of info whilst we await the games release in 2017.
Speaking with CEO, Jeff Strain (suspicious surname right?) and design director, Richard Foge, IGN have gleaned some new pieces of information including new concept art and the news that State of Decay 2 will provide four player co-op:
“The millions of State of Decay players have been clear about what they want in State of Decay 2: A bigger, better State of Decay they can play with their friends.”
One of the main pieces of new information learned from the interview is that the play area in State of Decay 2 will be much bigger than the originals map:
“I know SoD fans are hungry for details on number and size of maps, regions, kilometers of playable area, etc, but we’re not quite ready for that. For now, suffice it to say that the playable area is substantially larger than State of Decay.”
Following on from the confirmation of four player co-op, there are obviously concerns about how that will work in terms of the other players suddenly deciding to turn on you in-game, as the game can foster hostile relationships, which could inevitably lead to a survivors downfall. Richard Foge commented on how players will work in a multiplayer context:
“The primary goal for multiplayer is that other players bring an interesting new dynamic to the simulation. The heart of State of Decay is consequences, and we need to make sure that other players are more than just an awesome addition to moment-to-moment gameplay; they need to become a part of the story based on the agency they have in your world.”
“Your guests cannot just say ‘screw it, I’m taking this to PvP-town!’ and directly attack you or any of your community members, because State of Decay 2 isn’t a PvP game. They can’t go into your base and tear down all of your facilities. But there are plenty of ways that they can be a hostile force in your world because they can directly affect the simulation in meaningful ways.”
“The simple example of this is someone making noise and the zombie simulation responding. You may find yourself in a situation where one of your characters ends up getting killed because your guest made a racket that you couldn’t deal with. This goes both ways though. You may end up causing a situation that gets one of your guest’s characters killed, permanently.”
“A more complex example is killing enclave NPCs that aren’t a part of your community. There might be great reasons for them to kill those characters or they might just be going Westworld Blackhat on your simulation, but either way you are going to have to deal with the consequences of those actions. In the case of killing members of an NPC enclave, your relationship with that enclave is most likely going to become incredibly hostile and they may attack your community on sight. Now you have to decide how you want to handle that situation.”
There was also a revelation that players will be able to split off from each other and the group and explore, as needed, to ensure the groups survival. Players can do this by using cars within the game:
“We want it to be fun to play with your friends, so the design mechanics encourage teamwork and cooperation,” Strain said. “That said, ‘encouraging’ is not the same as ‘forcing.’ You will be free to get in a car and go anywhere you like, just as you would if you were playing by yourself.”
“There may be times when it’s tactically advantageous to do so,” he continued. “For example, you may be under the gun to get medical supplies back to your base, and you decide to split up and have two players scavenge the supermarket pharmacy while two others go scout for a car or SUV with a large amount of trunk space to get the goods home. Or you could even be working on completely separate objectives and only come together as needed to get each other out of a tight spot. Ultimately you’ll be more effective (and, if we do our jobs well, you’ll have a lot more fun) playing close together, but as always with State of Decay, your play style is up to you.”
Strain also spoke about the move to the Unreal 4 engine from CryEngine in the original. He confirmed that the move will provide a substantial improvement, visually, but also allow ease of creation of content. Strain commented that this would allow for an easier means to create content before and after the games release.
State of Decay 2 is scheduled for release on Xbox One and PC in 2017.
Are you excited for State of Decay 2? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on the RGM Forums.
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