State of Decay 2 is a fairly traditional video game sequel. It’s the original game, but bigger and better. Bigger maps, deeper character and base building mechanics:

“We are deepening the simulation systems. There were 100 character traits in the first [game], there are over 1000 traits in this one, so we have a wide range of survivor characters and they have a direct impact on the simulation, in a much more meaningful way than in the original game. Base building options are greatly expanded, the physical size of the world is obviously much larger.”

The original State of Decay was a good game, but one that was bursting with untapped potential. It’s a fascinating mash-up of genres and mechanics that always felt compelling, but one that perhaps missed the mark in terms of execution.

What Undead Labs are hoping for with State of Decay 2, then, is to fulfil that promise of the first game. The sequel is aiming to be the ultimate zombie survival game. If you’re looking for a game that simulates the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, then this is probably the game you’re looking for.

Rather than run and gun through hordes of zombies to make daring escapes or collect wood to build shelters, State of Decay 2 is more of a simulation. The core gameplay takes place in third-person. It’s a shooter, but not in the way you’re thinking of. It’s a survival game, but not in the way you’re thinking of.

You’ll explore and scavenge supplies from nearby towns, trying to avoid loud combat so as to avoid drawing the attention of zombie hordes. You’ll start out by taking over a single building as your base of operations, building it up to be defensible whilst also catering to the basic needs of the survivors that call it home.

Much like its predecessor, it’s trying to be a completely different experience:

“The zombie genre is crowded. When we announced the game [there was] a lot of ‘hey, does the world really need another zombie game?’ Our thought was ‘yes, it does’ – to us there are some fantastic zombie games out there, but none of them had really captured that survival fantasy experience. That sitting around with your friends saying ‘what would you do, what’s your plan?’

We really wanted to capture that and give players the ability to do that. State of Decay 1 was a good swing at that, especailly for the size of team and the resources we had. With State of Decay 2 we’re able to take that a lot further.”

You might think State of Decay 2 is trying to make its home in an already oversaturated market, but there isn’t quite a zombie game like it.

And that’s without even mentioning the newly implemented co-op, which allows up to four friends to attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse together.

State of Decay 2 launches in 2018 on PC and Xbox One.