Let me introduce you to The Refugees. They’re a hardy bunch, ten survivors who banded together in an abandoned strip mall. Every member of their post-apocalyptic community brings a little something different to the table. Oscar, or Grouch as he likes to be called, fashions himself as a lawful sheriff, quick to lend aid to other pockets of humanity and always prepared to dish out justice. Terri is a bit of a loner; a former goth teen who’s knows her way around a building’s plumbing system.
For two straight weeks, The Refugees pushed back against a world where walking, talking, and even breathing are significant detriments to a happy and healthy life. But now they’re doing alright. Life seems manageable. Oscar and his computer-loving pal Zeke rigged solar panels to their base, and a few others have secured more than enough food and medical supplies. Sure, there are zombies everywhere, but for now, The Refugees plan to feast. They all might be dead in the morning anyway. State of Decay 2 is brutal like that.
It took a few dozen hours to build up The Refugees’ resources to the point where the survivors could afford to relax. State of Decay 2 is a game where progress is measured in inches rather than miles. As a genre-bending experience that’s equal parts survival game, post-apocalyptic management sim, and action romp, State of Decay 2 has a steep barrier to entry. But to a certain kind of person — one who finds careful planning and resource management just as exciting and lopping off a few hundred zombies’ heads — this might be one of the year’s most entertaining games.