In May of this year Undead Labs came out with State of Decay 2, a sequel to their smash hit State of Decay (check out our review). It was met with some success with a bit of a buggy launch. Four months later and they have delivered the newest DLC for the game Daybreak which introduces a separate wave-based horde fighting mode. Is it worth the price of admission? Time to find out. This is our State of Decay 2: Daybreak review.
Back into the fray once more we go to survive the zombie apocalypse survival game that is State of Decay 2. Except this time in Daybreak we get to switch things up and instead of being your average citizen trying their best to make it to see tomorrow you get to play as one of the elite mercenaries of the Red Talon. Why are you and three others of your ilk here at this “abandoned” base? What is the purpose of the tech who needs babysitting as he/she works on the power supply and then the “the data”? What is the purpose of the data collected? Why were only four people sent on a mission with limited supplies in an area crawling with juggernauts?! You're guess is as good as anyone else's. Don’t come into Daybreak expecting story or much in the way of background.
That being said, what Daybreak does, it does well. It is a 4-player wave based horde mode for State of Decay 2. You can play it by yourself with the AI controlling the 3 members of your squad (the AI isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either). At one point I found myself defending a broken wall that had zombies rampaging through as the AI decided it would be best to be on the other side of the compound attacking a single zombie in a hoodie (I can only surmise that the AI dislikes hoodies). Of course, with any game of this type playing with actual people is where it all clicks together and creates the complete experience. Protect the walls, keep the tech alive, kill zombies who get stronger with every wave, ration out your ammo, oh and survive. The melee combat system that is one of the distinguishing features of the State of Decay franchise is a treat to use in Daybreak, it is unfortunately the only thing that separates itself from many other horde mode type games. You’ll find the typical mechanics found elsewhere with sprinkling of the various gear you see in the normal game. It is fun though, for the first 3 hours. Only one map is featured with the same type of zombies spawning per wave. The thing making a difference is unlocking various “special” weapons and items you can start with on you mercenary. Culminating with gear that you can unlock for the main campaign including an actual Red Talon Mercenary.
Overall the gameplay is solid. But it’s nothing new and after a while left me personally wondering why I was grinding. Because that is what it is, a grind to get better gear for you mercenary (who you can't customize look wise) to get further in the horde mode so that you can unlock more gear for the main campaign. Coming in at USD $9.99 makes this easier to recommend, but only if you’re a fan of horde mode type gameplay.
- Solid gameplay
- Melee mechanics
- Stuff you can unlock for the main campaign
- Only one map at present
- Typical wave-based horde mode game type
- Doesn’t add much to the base game except items you have to grind for