State of Decay 2’s Newest Heartland Expansion Will Take Players Back To The Location Of Original

State of Decay 2’s Newest Heartland Expansion Will Take Players Back To The Location Of Original
Credit: Undead Labs

During Xbox’s E3 briefing, State of Decay 2 developer Undead Labs dropped a trailer for the newest expansion for the game titled Heartland, which will return players to the first State of Decay‘s Trumbull Valley. Heartland picks up 18 months after the end of the original State of Decay; gamers will be able to explore the old world and reconnect with familiar characters to find out what they have been up to since the end of the last game.

State of Decay 2 is an open-world/indie zombie survival game for Windows and Xbox One that follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, which Undead Labs initially released in 2013. In the game, players can join cooperative teams to scavenge for items and build communities and strongholds to survive in a world filled with hordes of vicious zombies.

Heartland combines new elements of the sequel to rediscover the environment of the original. Developers remade the Trumbull Valley map from scratch while still ensuring fidelity to the locations in the first State of Decay. In-game survivors are no longer randomly-generated but exist as pre-made characters sprawled across the newly-remade map. As for the undead denizens of the valley, in-game zombies will—of course!—have mutated into new varieties previously unseen in the earlier title, so players won’t merely be rehashing older battles in Trumbull Valley.

Devotees of State of Decay will also find another unexpected development in the way Heartland sets up the player’s basecamp. Unlike the base game, Heartland‘s players will not be able to pick out better locations for their camp: The characters are restricted to one specific area for their base.

In the beginning, players will have the option to pick one of two characters to play as, each with their own separate storyline. One is a man whose mission is to find a friend he has never met in person; the other is a woman seeking her estranged father. Developers described the male survivor as a “grizzled” ex-convict who joins forces with an “idealistic young cop,” while the woman’s campaign has her teaming up with her “loving but emotionally distant aunt.”

Besides the storyline, Heartland is said to be especially difficult in comparison to State of Decay 2. The developers compensated for this change in difficulty by providing more buffed-up survivors spread across the Valley in pre-determined locations, each available for recruitment with special passive abilities to help players survive in State of Decay‘s unforgiving world.

The first State of Decay was released in 2013 to positive reviews for its innovative combination of various elements from first-person shooting, role-playing, and strategy games in an open, post-apocalyptic world. State of Decay 2 expanded on these successes while introducing cooperative play in 2018.

The Heartland expansion is available now for $9.99 on Xbox One or PC.