It's no secret to those who know me that I enjoy a good zombie shooter and survival games, so when you combine the two I'm usually in. A friend of mine asked me to join in on State of Decay 2 and I didn't hesitate.
In State of Decay 2 you are the "leader" of a group of survivors with the goals of keeping the survivors going in your base along with "helping" others in the area all the while dealing with the undead hordes. Normally I'd be overjoyed at the premise and have that itch to play as much as possible. Unfortunately, there are some issues with the way the game is constructed and played. The biggest issue has to do with multiplayer. I am fine surviving n my own, however, survival is much more enjoyable with friends. State of Decay 2 has that aspect, but it's a little weird so perhaps I should back up a little.
In single player mode you run around the map looking for supplies to strengthen your base and appease the people who live there. Weapons, modifications and rucksacks of base supplies are the bread and butter of existence. Finding this stuff and dragging it back to base will allow you to grow the community and expand your facilities. Players can choose which of the base inhabitants go on these hunting excursions and you will need to change up which character is active fairly often as they become tired and need to heal from wounds and disease. I actually love this mechanic, because it keeps things fresh with each character having their own strengths and development. Add to the mix the various help requests and the ability to add people you encounter to your ranks and there's a pretty solid survival aspect to this game. Multiplayer is the same-ish with some weird differences. The biggest differences in multiplayer are the storage system, base supply, crafting and healing.
The storage system is designed to avoid griefing, I think. How it works is that you have two storage systems, one for base supply and a personal stash. The base supply system is where you deposit rucksacks of elements to keep the base running and assist with crafting and any rucksacks deposited in multiplayer are deposited in the base of the game host, i.e. the person whose game you joined. It does seem reasonable until you have to craft or heal one of your characters, because you can only draw on the base supplies from your own game. This way, if you just start the game and join someone else to play you won't be able to do these things if you haven't built up your own supplies in single player. On one hand I can understand why this is, because you can open a multiplayer session to random people and they could bleed you dry of resources, BUT, and it's a big but, you can also lock the multiplayer session down to friends only. I think that friends only games should be able to share resources. This really annoys me. To me it's just lazy game design to not have a permission system where the host can allow friends to draw on their resources. The next thing that annoys me is the game distribution system.
The game is only developed for Windows and is distributed like an XBox application. To play it on a PC you have to sign up with a Windows account on the Win 10 XBox applet. This does piss me off since you have to now sign into your desktop using a Windows PIN or account logon. God! I hate Microsoft.
Finally, would I recommend this game? Well no I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it and doesn't want to have to set up a Microsoft account. If you are an XBox fan-person, then it's OK, but to anyone else I'd stay away and not bother. If you are on an operating system other than Windows 10 then it's a hard pass. Don't even try to get it running in Wine or PlayOnLinux.