State of Decay 3 Needs to Avoid The Walking Dead's Biggest Problem

There isn’t a ton known about State of Decay 3, other than it is in development. Developer Undead Labs gave the gaming public a nice tease last year, but there hasn’t been much info about what players might see in the third game of the series, but there’s been plenty of guessing on what changes State of Decay 3 will bring. While conversations over what improvements are needed in the series are warranted, there’s also one aspect the developer needs to make sure and keep. The game needs to keep zombies front and center of the action.

Stating that a zombie-themed survival game needs to keep zombies at the forefront might seem like something that can go unsaid. However, there seems to be a pattern in this genre (and adjacent to it) where the walking corpses aren’t the real problem. They turn into something just short of scenery. Sure, if a player makes a really wrong move, they’ll get eaten. However, many stories like AMC’s The Walking Dead shows humans are the real problem. State of Decay 3 needs to avoid this scenario at all costs.

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The pull to move the focus of a long-running zombie game or story to evil humans makes sense from a video game perspective. After a while, a player has ducked and jived enough undead that it starts feeling stale. On the other hand, when a player is going up against human enemies, there’s an expectation that those characters will have better AI. After all, if they were real humans, they’d be able to plot and plan. Despite this fact, development for State of Decay 3 has to avoid the lure and focus on the zombies.

It’s not even strictly survival zombie games that tend to wander off the point of the original story. Telltale’s The Walking Dead series started off with its focus in the right direction, as did the show, but eventually the central villains changed from cannibalistic corpses to evil people. It turned into communities of humans fighting against each other, while the same thing more or less started happening in in past SoD games to some degree. As such, it’s understandable to worry about a potential “battle between communities of humans” plot point.

Again, there still isn’t much known about just what State of Decay 3 is going to offer. However, the reveal trailer might have hinted that not only is the focus going to be zombies and the plague that’s wiped out so much of the world, but the focus could be a change in the virus itself. The trailer showed a survivor out hunting, only to run across what appears to be a zombified dear. That could mean there are going to be enough challenges in the world that there’s no reason to go back to the “humans are the real monsters” trope.

Now that the calendar has shifted to 2021, Undead Labs might be gearing up to share some more details on things like a State of Decay 3 release date. Hopefully, whatever details are shared next will continue to point to a focus on the zombie threat, rather than attempting to minimize the danger of the walking dead.

State of Decay 3 is in development for PC and Xbox Series X/S

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