State of Decay 2: Daybreak Impressions

The most recent DLC pack for State of Decay 2, Daybreak, has officially launched on September 12, 2018. This addition to the game brings with it a brand new horde mode game type set in its own unique map seperate from the open world maps in the standard game. Let’s dive in and take a look at how this DLC stands out in the zombie apocalypse.

The basic premise of this game mode is for four players to protect the technician inside of the walls of the makeshift base while he repairs a satellite relay. Near the technician, players have several supply boxes full of ammo, weapons and wall repair kits which will be needed when the zombies inevitably break through the defenses. The game will begin throwing waves of zombies of all different types at the players that will increase in number the more waves that players clear out.

 

While the first few rounds are relatively easy to get through the difficulty curve definitely flies up fast around wave four and five, throwing harder enemies in larger groups at players such as armored zombies and multiple juggernauts at a time. While the horde is attacking their main focus will be trying to break down the wall to get inside and kill the technician. If they manage to do so and players do not get there in time the game is over and the players gain prestige, the currency that is rewarded, based on how many waves they lasted.

During the game, saving ammo is key especially for late game waves of enemies. The walls of the base have spaces in them to allow players to shoot through, but melee weapons cannot make contact through them. In the earlier rounds, jumping over the walls to take on the horde face to face is a good way to conserve ammo for later rounds or for when juggernaut zombie types spawn.

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Between rounds, care packages will be dropped into the field in front of the base containing weapons, health and ammo. During this time players can run out without the worry of being attacked by the horde. Splitting up and grabbing each of the packages will give players plenty of time to get back to the base to heal up, deposit what they are not using in the crates and prepare for the next round to begin. If the players last to the end of 7 rounds the technician will finish their job repairing the relay and the players will win the game. Players are rewarded with prestige currency as well as items that can be equipped right off the bat in future Daybreak games and can unlock weapons and even new survivors for players to use in the main State of Decay campaign. These incentives give Daybreak a lot of replayability value for players.

While Daybreak does a good job of adding on to the established world with this new mode that breaks up the day to day survival from the main game, there are a few of bugs to be aware of. There is a clear rubber banding issue with zombies jumping around the map when running towards players or the barricade which can throw off player positioning. Sometimes when zombies are killed various body parts will be left hovering around the map and don’t clear out between rounds, making for awkward moments for players staring at a bodyless hairpiece for the rest of the game. While these bugs don’t seem to be game breaking issues they do add the feeling of a lack of polish from an otherwise stable game.

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Daybreak is not a huge edition as far as content goes but is a welcome distraction from the main grind of the campaign, and with the possibility of unlocking items for both the main game and Daybreak, it gives the grind of the game purpose. Unfortunately, there is only one map to play currently so hopefully down the line there will be more maps added to the scenario to keep the game type fresh. Daybreak is at its core another zombie horde mode in a saturated market of the same game type, but if you enjoy State of Decay 2 and enjoy horde mode it’s definitely worth checking out.