When I look in my backpack and see no more repair kits at my disposal, that’s when the feeling of imminent defeat crept into my mind, causing me to shift my focus from maintaining the integrity of our failing base to one of seeing if our team of four could just beat the clock and make it to the next wave for a potential CLEO supply drop. A quick glance up at the clock revealed that a full 1:53 was left. Not good…
The intensity of survival in the face of an increasingly growing and punishing wave of undead is what makes the upcoming four-player co-op multiplayer Daybreak Pack, featured in the upcoming post-launch content releasing on September 12 for State of Decay 2, an incredibly fun experience to play together with good friends, a team of strangers online, or solo with AI bots (who are a heck of a shot).
Your core objective, beyond just trying to stay alive through each of the seven rounds of Daybreak (and keep your base intact), is to protect the Technician, a lone person in the center of the base who’s feverishly working on a massive antenna used to communicate with CLEO, the mysterious drone network introduced in State of Decay Year-One Survival Edition. Keep them alive through to the end of the second wave of undead and that will trigger a supply drop; surviving successive waves will also allow you to receive these goods from the sky.
Once CLEO has made its delivery, it’s a mad dash over the wall to have your team run out to the field looking for flashing green lights which mark the location of the supply drops. These drops contain a lot of the new toys that will be introduced to State of Decay 2, ranged weapons such as auto-shotguns and machine pistols, melee weapons like a battle axe and a mace, or useful items such as remote grenades to name just a few. They also contain repair kits that you can bring back to your base to help improve the wall integrity against further waves of undead.
For efficiency sake, we found that it’s important to communicate with teammates to ensure each is running to a single drop location — only one player can extract the contents from a crate at a time — as there’s limited time between rounds of zombies before we’re forced to retreat to the base for a flurry of repairs, healing, and reloading.
Like the main game of State of Decay 2, these supplies can live in each of the player character’s personal inventory for quick access. Or they can be stored in a shared supply cache inside the base for all players to pull from. Having these supplies nearby will help in the later rounds as the difficulty begins to rise and there might be a time (or two) you can only retrieve one of CLEO’s drops. Not to mention these later rounds start to feature increasing numbers of undead as well as tougher brutes like blood plague zombies and the new zombie freak the Blood Plague Juggernaut that makes jumping over the wall for a supply run that much more treacherous.
Communication is also vital while your base is under attack: “Who’s clearing walls?” “Can you man the top of the barrier?” “Is anyone repairing the wall?” This becomes vitally important once the inevitable happens when a wall breaks down and the horde comes crashing through making a beeline for your Technician. Keeping them alive is vital to not only getting those CLEO supply drops but ensuring you can advance to the next round – lose your Technician and your game is over.
Even if you wind up losing this battle, Daybreak is introducing a new currency system known as Prestige that rewards you for surviving these punishing rounds and defeating unique and higher-level enemies. Prestige is then used to purchase unlocked blueprints for some of the exotic weapons and items mentioned earlier that you can then bring back into the main game. You will also be able to create a CLEO Core that works as a mini-Daybreak in State of Decay 2, that if you survive that round against the undead will reward you with a CLEO drop full of some of the new items that Daybreak introduces.
By combining elements of team play, tower defense, horde mode, and of course zombies, Daybreak’s four-player co-op multiplayer mode looks to add a great new element to the world of State of Decay 2. It’s currently set to arrive on Xbox One and Windows 10 on September 12 and will cost $9.99 on the Microsoft Store, but if you have State of Decay 2’s Ultimate Edition it is included along with the previously released Independence Pack. Game Pass subscribers can also purchase Daybreak Pack with a 10% discount.
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