Top critical review
Not bad as such, just very disappointing.
24 May 2018
Well that was a bit of a let down. I played through the first game several times and loved it despite its bugs and quirky mechanics.
This time around, and five years on, it’s very disappointing to see that all the same glitches and problems are still present. Missions have to be abandoned (and the potential to gain favour with other groups lost) because the last remaining infected in the building is somehow stuck in the wall and can’t be killed. The most likely cause of death still seems to be falling off a tower because your survivor is too stupid to climb down the ladder – it seems to be pot luck as to whether he chooses to take the sensible option or just step off into space. Is it that hard to just have a simple “interact with” button for ladders like every other game has for the last twenty years? Fair enough, if I wander out to face the apocalyptic hordes armed with a Chef’s Knife and a can of Soda Pop then I deserve everything I get. But you can’t have perma-death and no save points in a game with so many bug-induced ways to die.
There seems to be far more resource management needed than before to keep your idle bunch of survivors from starving to death or becoming depressed and running away. Additional there’s the problem of far fewer cars being available and the need to keep them topped up with petrol, which, given that they get about 5 miles to the tankful is really annoying. Nighttime play is also pretty much impossible as it's VERY dark and your torch appears to be one of those key-ring ones you get free with petrol.
The steadily unfolding storyline present in the first, which develops from the obviously alarming discovery that something has gone horribly wrong whilst you’ve been away fishing (“Holy sh*t dude, one of those psychos tried to bite me!”), meeting the first gang of survivors in the church to uncover what happened to the world, through to trying to find a way to escape the valley of death, has been ditched for a pure open sandbox experience. Maybe it's just me but I seem to be wandering around helping out my annoyingly persistent and seemingly useless neighbours until I get bored or it crashes on me, again. It feels a bit pointless.
Don't get me wrong, if you stuck with the first one and enjoyed it you'll probably enjoy this but it feels like a poorer, less well thought through version of the previous game with all the old problems still present. It’s a shame, I genuinely wanted it to be great but SoD2 smacks of lazy development and a product not yet ready for release.