12 State of Decay 2 Improving an apocalypse • PLATFORM XBOX ONE, PC • STYLE 1-PLAYER ACTION (4-PLAYER ONLINE) • PUBLISHER MICROSOFT STUDIOS • DEVELOPER UNDEAD LABS • RELEASE SPRING S tate of Decay was a big hit for Microsoft and developer Undead Labs, both in its original form and the updated State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition. The team’s unique vision for a survival simulation had players managing a community and fighting zombies, constantly striv-ing to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic world. State of Decay 2 is sticking to that intriguing core prem-ise, but with key improvements that address the main criticisms of the first game. The addition of multiplayer is the most sig nifi cant change. The original was a single-player experi-ence, despite years of zombie fiction proving that a solo survivor isn’t a survivor for long. In State of Decay 2, you can improve your odds by joining forces. Up to four players can share the same world, teaming up to complete missions and gather resources. Even better, you aren’t doomed to wander alone if you don’t have any friends online; you can either send up a flare to ask a random player to assist, or bring along an A.I. companion from your community to watch hot 50 your back. Your selection of potential heroes has also improved. The people who join your group are randomly generated, but they have more abilities that define their characters and impact your com-munity. Undead Labs says that State of Decay 2 has a pool of 1,000 positive and negative traits that survivors can possess. One character might be good at gardening, which can help your food production. Another might have a chronic snoring problem, which brings down morale.