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'State of Decay 2': Here's everything we know so far

When State of Decay launched, at what might have been the height of the zombie craze, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that the game resonated with Xbox 360 players. The game implemented a bevy of tropes from an eclectic blend of genres, including action-adventure, survival-horror, stealth, role-playing, and strategy mechanics, to deliver a compelling survival-minded zombie apocalypse simulator.

More: Microsoft raises profile of State of Decay series, sequel to appear at E3 2017

If you’re itching for more zombie action, you won’t have to wait long. After a genuinely surprising announcement at E3 2016, Undead Labs has been laying the groundwork for State of Decay 2, which is set to launch later this year on Xbox One and PC. Here’s everything we know about the sequel so far.

Survive with friends

Microsoft announced State of Decay 2 with a teaser trailer, shown above, during its E3 2016 press conference. The trailer features the tagline “no one survives alone,” cementing the sequel’s premiere feature, co-operative play for up to four players.

Speaking with IGN in December, Undead Labs CEO Jeff Strain said, “The primary goal for multiplayer is that other players bring an interesting new dynamic to the simulation.” With that said, Strain assured players that co-op won’t feel tacked-on. He claimed that the friends you play with will serve a narrative purpose. Although we don’t know precisely how the dynamic will work, we do know that you will have to remain on the same side as your friends.

Friends you join up with cannot attack you or cause any direct harm to your base. That’s not to say that the actions of your companions won’t have ramifications when you go back to braving the conditions solo, however. Strain suggested, for instance, that if your ally attacks an NPC enclave, there’s a good chance that your enemies will come back for blood later on. In other words, pick your friends wisely, because once someone messes with your game world, you may have to deal with consequences in the drop-in-drop-out co-op format.

When playing co-op, you also won’t be tied down to the same area as your friends. Strain said it’s possible, and sometimes even recommended, to split up for awhile, completing separate missions before meeting back up. He remarked that while it’s advisable to remain relatively close, Undead is leaving that choice up to the user.

Overall, working as a team seems to be beneficial. In an interview with GameSpot at PAX East, Strain said enemies will not become stronger when playing cooperatively. While this may be a deterrent for users looking for the ultimate challenge, keep in mind that you can always branch off and do things on your own.

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