I am now in the mid-game and I’ve gotten over the console-based UI and am really enjoying the game. I may in fact be even more addicted to SoD 2 than I was to the original (which I loved). So much of the game is exactly the same (door bashing zombies with my SUV never ever gets old) in a good way, and the new aspects make the game even more appealing to my zombie apocalypse OCD.
The expanded base building is excellent, I love the choices you need to make, the mods you can install, and the features each structure give you, as well as the morale and noise factors. So many decisions to make! Crafting has been expanded as well and I’m finding it really useful, especially now that I’ve found several skill books so some of my characters are quite good at making some really nice stuff or grant really nice bonuses. The addition of power and water is cool, as is the extra layer of decisions that come with it.
I like that there are more enclaves of survivors, not all of them friendly, and while it seemed overwhelming at first with all the radio calls for assistance, you can get a feel for who you should be helping and who you just need to let go fairly quickly. I’ve reached Allied status with four of the closest enclaves to me (the truck stop is my base right now) and they provide a good mix of medical (Doctors), military (Soldiers), tech/radio (Residents) and food (Neighbors). I have friendly status with a couple of other enclaves, and have only one that hates me (Nomads) because I refused to help them wipe out another enclave. The soldiers in particular are handy to have as allies because they will follow me for 0 influence cost, and they’re very well equipped for plague heart fights.
Plague Hearts are the other new thing that I am enjoying. Since there doesn’t really seem to be a story to the game like there was in the original SoD (at least not yet, despite radio broadcasts from the Red Talon and The Network that hint at a story), the goal of clearing the plague hearts helps fill the gap. I like that they require some tactics and planning to clear effectively. I also assume that once I have cleared them all from the current map, I will be prompted to move to the next map?
Finally, I like the hero system and the individual missions each character spawns that are unique to that character and their skills/personality. It helps you spread the play time around to all the characters instead of just switching between two favorites, which in turn helps develop everyone, adding more skills and features to the community. Plus some of them are just fun to listen to (Five makes me laugh every time out).
I’ve got the truck stop all built up with power, water, fuel and outposts supplying beds and meds. I turned Jordan into a Builder leader, and several other characters have Hero status. I have upgraded infirmary, workshop, garage, storage and lounge areas, so infections, maintenance and morale are no longer a problem and once I moved from the starting location I found several vehicles I’ve reclaimed and am using (including a couple just for their trunk storage for extra supplies). At this point, with basic needs met or exceeded, I am pretty much ready to start taking down the remaining plague hearts (I’ve killed 3 of 9 so far) and making sure my survivors are as ready as they can be for whatever happens after that.