Over the weekend, owners of Undead Labs-developed, Microsoft-published State of Decay 2 may have been surprised to find a surprisingly-hefty patch available for the title. Clocking in around 20GB, the sizeable update outweighs many games’ complete installation base, and many have been unsure about what it includes. Though the practice of patching a game is quite commonplace within today’s landscape (often adding features like Far Cry 5‘s Shovel Launcher, or Fortnite‘s Avengers-themed inclusion of Thanos), the size of the update is outside the norm for many titles that have graduated beyond the ‘Early Access’ (or ‘Game Preview’, on Xbox) status.
The 1.2 Patch, as discussed broadly in a post published on Undead Labs’ site, aims to focus on “stability, performance, and multiplayer improvements”, and includes a link to specific issues reportedly fixed. Going further into detail, however, some substantial issues have been addressed – many of which contributed to an overall lower review score. See the full list at the bottom of the page for the complete list of reported fixes in the update.
Final Score: 7.5/10
State of Decay 2, without question, expands upon just about every system present in its predecessor, and improves the formulae that create such an immersive sandbox experience. Regrettably, a substantial number of technical issues present at launch hold back its true potential.
Those familiar with Scholarly Gamers’ State of Decay 2 review, published last week, may recall some substantial gameplay issues that made themselves present during the dozens of hours spend bounding across the wasteland. Below is a copy-and-paste-inclusion of some technical issues reported in the original review, and those highlighted in green have been addressed by the Patch 1.2 update.
The following was published on May 25, 2018.
- Base / Community
- Multiplayer: Facilities constructed within a base would often not appear for the visiting player, leaving wide-open areas that cannot be interacted with
- Multiplayer: The storage locker (central inventory / stash) would periodically disappear for the visiting player. Requires quit/rejoin.
- Solo: Switching characters at home base would often cause enlisted followers to disappear. Requires quit/restart.
- World / Exploration
- Multiplayer: Driving causes many de-sync issues that can have you crash into each other (in separate vehicles), or substantial rubber-banding (in same vehicle). No apparent workaround fix.
- Multiplayer: Some Freaks would not appear on the map for the visiting player, leaving them exposed to attack. Host player would have to spot or deal with them alone.
- Multiplayer: Buildings fully searched / scavenged by the host player prior to multiplayer session was created would show up as un-searched by the visitor, yet the visitor cannot search anything within the building.
- Multiplayer in General
- Though players find more interpersonal enjoyment in slugging it out together against the elements, dwindling supply resources, and unyielding undead horde, there’s no way around the blanket statement that State of Decay 2 suffers the most (technically) when partnered up online (note: no split-screen available).
- Though more a design issue than a glitch; a huge disappointment was the inability to see how the game is ‘beaten’ when you’ve joined in as Player Two. Upon concluding the final mission, you’re given a (frankly insulting) message that “While [your partner] celebrate[s], you’ll exit to the main menu in 10 seconds”. Were I not playing in the same room as my friend (in apseudo-LAN-Party setup), I wouldn’t have been able to see the end-game cinematic. I understand that this is done in order to prevent Player Two from unwittingly concluding gameplay on their own community, but this was a disappointing letdown after spending the better part of a dozen hours in someone else’s map, working through every other component of their story.
It’s important to note and discuss the impact that this Patch holds for the overall experience that State of Decay 2 has to offer. The lion’s share of issues I came across during my playthrough were borne of technical bugs and issues, not shortcomings in the game’s design and execution. State of Decay 2 remains a thoroughly enjoyable experience that should please most fans of the first game; many facets remain true, albeit in a larger scale.
Anyone who held themselves back from dipping a toe in the water (or even those that did and found too many technical issues to continue) should consider a thorough examination of the patch notes detailed below. The number of game-breaking issues fixed should make for a much smoother (albeit, still a bit bumpy) ride through State of Decay 2‘s extensive sandbox playground.
Patch 1.2 Notes, via Undead Labs:
The 1.2 patch features significant improvements related to:
- Increased stability
- Improved networking interactions for clients
- Improved networked vehicle interactions
- Elimination of Out Of Memory crashes
State of Decay 2 Patch 1.2 Highlights
- Grenades no longer get stuck and explode in front of client character’s face or behind their head while throwing
- Fixed instances of clients dealing damage to their host’s non-active community members with explosives
- Flashlight beams no longer cast shadows from the player’s character model (which had caused flickering shadows)
- Characters no longer “self-shadow” when using a flashlight in multiplayer
- Fixed issue with doors appearing the opposite of the state they are in
- Resolved situation where, when getting into vehicles, the camera could become detached from the player’s character
- Fixed issue where, when clients swap weapons while in vehicles, the weapons do not swap upon exit from vehicle
- Fixed rare bug that could prevent Warlord legacy arc from being completed
- Fixed rare bug that could block Sheriff legacy arc from starting
- Fixed issue where player’s loot sometimes becomes invisible until their entire backpack is deposited into a Supply Locker
Networking and Multiplayer
- Numerous networking bandwidth and CPU improvements
- Game now exits to main menu faster when a client loses their internet connection, so players will no longer hang after dismissing the pop-up
- Improved network vehicle interactions in multiplayer games to address weird “rubber-banding” and physics issues (including cars flying into the air).
- Host facilities no longer appear invisible to clients during multiplayer
Zombie and Character Behavior
- Zombies no longer become immune to the Assault Kick
- Reduction of step height to prevent survivors popping up onto props while moving
- Fixed issue with player HUD disappearing after NPCs are executed by zombies
- Community advice list no longer shows up under vignette on the map
Environment and Collision
- Fixed numerous collision spots across all 3 maps where players or vehicles were getting stuck
- Fixed numerous collision spots across all 3 maps where players were getting stuck in an infinite freefall animation loop
- Elimination of white line that appears when driving at night time
- Addressed a variety of spots in world where player was not able to climb over props they should’ve been able to
- Additional polish and reduction of LOD popping
- Additional lighting tuning passes, reduction in glowing props
- Addressed a variety of general crash bugs
- Updated a number of strings that were previously hardcoded in English
- Audio mix optimizations