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State of Decay 2 Review Roundup

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State of Decay 2 is already here for those who got their hands on the Ultimate Edition on Xbox One and PC, but the horde will come soon for the rest of us. With new zombies, encounters, permadeath, and colonies to keep alive, this sequel looks like it has much more to offer than its post-apocalyptic predecessor.

But did this iteration live up to its zombie-survival promises? You might already have the answer to that if you got your hands on the game's early access. The resounding cry from critics is that the title is swimming in bugs. In our verdict, we said "State of Decay 2 runs extremely poorly, even on Xbox One X." Check out our in-depth thoughts in our State of Decay 2 review. Keep on reading for a selection of other reviews from around the industry, or head on over to GameSpot's sister site Metacritic for a look at the wider reception.

Game: State of Decay 2
Developer / Publisher: Undead Labs / Microsoft Studios
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Release date: May 18 (Early access with Ultimate Edition) / May 22 (Standard Edition)
Price: US $30 / £25 / AU $50 (Standard)

GameSpot -- 5/10

"Often though, it's the game itself that will do its best to deter you from playing rather than its lack of depth. State of Decay 2 runs extremely poorly, even on Xbox One X. Despite not standing out graphically in any regard, the framerate will frequently dip well below its 30 frames per second target, sometimes locking up momentarily when the action is thick on screen. As a result, inputs can often feel incredibly sluggish and unresponsive, which just becomes annoying when you're trying to swing your way out of a supply run gone sideways. ... State of Decay 2 is in rough shape as it stands." -- Alessandro Barbosa

Kotaku -- No Score

"It's not the story that shines in State of Decay 2, it's the sandbox. It's the small moments that emerge from the gameplay and the world itself that are the most compelling. Running out of gas far from home can mean the difference between life and death. Or you decide to check just one more building for supplies before heading back to base, everything turns to chaos, and somehow you make it out by the skin of your teeth. Or maybe you don't, and that survivor is dead forever. Or maybe they're dead and then they rise undead and then you have to re-dead them. (It's awesome when that happens.) Don't worry, you won't be too sad when they're gone; if you get attached to any characters, it will be because they're great fighters or they have another useful skill, not because you have deep conversations with them." -- Stacie Ponder

IGN -- 7.5/10

"State of Decay 2's zombie-infested maps are good places to scavenge, fight, and survive in. Combat is satisfyingly brutal and the special zombies inspire some real fear of permanent death, even though the Blood Plague turns out to be more of a sniffle. But the bugs are just as persistent as the zombies, and after a dozen or so hours the repetition of both eventually take their toll, making the appeal of replaying feel more limited than I'd expected for a sandbox RPG." -- Dan Stapleton

Daily Dot -- 3/5

"For a world that seems to so enthusiastically encourage players to always stay on their toes, it's supremely frustrating to see a game so often bungle it for you. It felt far more like the game was cheating me out of my investment in certain characters than the idea that it was my poor decisions or genuine bad luck securing our demise. Survival games are always a tough sell, considering that mere nuts-and-bolts survival is often a tedious, demanding task, but State of Decay 2 felt like it could achieve that magic blend of resource management with emergent storytelling, making my zombie apocalypse my own. Instead, we're left with a button in the menu that offers to unstick you from between a rock and a hard place, but only in exchange for precious leadership points." -- Joseph Knoop

Destructoid -- 8/10

"For as entertaining as its various systems are, State of Decay 2 isn't a perfect game. It lacks a few obvious quality-of-life features, like an easy way to swap items between survivors when they're exploring in a team and a less cluttered inventory system that can be read at a glance. These annoyances are compounded by technical hiccups, collision issues, and wonky physics that are frustrating at best and quest-breaking at worst." -- Ray Porreca

GamesRadar+ -- 3.5/5

"State of Decay 2 is a survival sim that asks every “what if?” question that you might have had about living in the zombie apocalypse and, better yet, challenges you with answering most of them yourself. The state of things hasn't changed too much over the original State of Decay, aside from the notably upgraded visuals and the smart inclusion of online co-op play, but developer Undead Labs has astutely avoided overreach in favour of doubling down and amplifying the game's strengths as a purist survival sandbox." -- Alex Avard

Polygon -- No Score

"Post-apocalyptic life must be a dismal experience. The endurance of a joyless existence of survival, surrounded by the remnants of all that is absent? It's not for everyone. ... State of Decay 2 manages to simulate this gray, dispiriting life so fully that my denouement was self-annihilation. I'd had enough, so I gave myself up. I stood in the street, waiting for the dead to come and, literally, put me out of my misery." - Colin Campbell

Eurogamer -- Avoid

"State of Decay 2 is a poor return on the scruffy promise of its predecessor, which topped Xbox Live Arcade charts largely, I suspect, for its resemblance to DayZ. It tantalises with the thought of raggedy everyday heroes pooling their myriad talents to survive, only to quantify and busywork all that out of existence. Its resource and scavenging elements are as suffocating as its social elements are underplayed. It's saying quite a lot that the bugs, in the end, are the things I remember most strongly about it - accidental windows upon an experience that is less sluggish and dreary and, well, less of a zombie." -- Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

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