State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition Game Poster Image
Zombie survival sim is bloody, gory, stressful, repetitive.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Themes of community, camaraderie, and sacrifice are present. Gameplay demonstrates how cooperation and willingness to help make things easier can result in greater rewards -- and how refusing help can have consequences. It also glorifies and sensationalizes bloody violence.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

Survivors have varying personality traits; they can become angry/hostile toward one another, but nearly all seem to want to help and do the right thing -- time, resources, and circumstances permitting. It's up to the player whether to help or ignore people in need.

Ease of Play

There are tight controls for shooting, fighting, and driving. It starts off fairly easy, but difficulty slowly ramps up as play progresses. When survivors die, they're gone forever, and losing several in a short timeframe can make it harder for the player to accomplish tasks and for the community to defend itself.

Violence

Players use guns, explosives, and melee weapons -- ranging from knives and swords to wrenches and mallets -- to shoot, clobber, and stab the living dead, often dismembering them limb by limb or crushing in their skulls. Dark red blood/gore appears frequently.

Sex
Language

Occasional use of "s--t," "f--k" in spoken dialogue.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A series of missions involving alcohol-obsessed survivors shows the danger of fighting the dead while impaired. Players can have survivors find, craft, and consume various prescription medicines, including painkillers and opioids, to treat injuries and recover health.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition is a third-person survival game for Xbox One and Windows PCs that's set during a zombie apocalypse. Players use realistic weapons -- guns, knives, wrenches, improvised explosives, and more -- to combat the living dead in gory, visceral fights that typically result in sprays of blood, as well as severed limbs and crushed skulls. The goal is to build and grow a community of survivors; doing so takes teamwork and a willingness to help others, sometimes sacrificing your own safety and resources in the process. But it's eventually up to the player to decide who to help and who to let fend for themselves, and those ignored may turn hostile. Dialogue includes occasional use of words like "f--k," and players must frequently find or craft strong drugs and medicines to heal themselves and others.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3, 5, 9, 10, and 12-year-old Written bySteven I. May 22, 2018

Language

Lots of profanity. Profanity for the sake of profanity. The first three words of the game were all profanity. Characters use profanity in dialogue and cut scene... Continue reading
Adult Written bylongington May 17, 2018

Great Zombie Survival Game!

This game was questionable because my two sons (12 and 14) wanted it but it was mature. The game also wasn’t out so I wanted to read about it first. After watch... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byScally August 25, 2019

Good game that promotes leadership

When I played for the first time, I found the game to contain quite a large amount of profanity used, though depending on the maturity of your child, it should... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byOSullivan2000 February 11, 2019

This game is great, but has blood and gore.

This game is really fun for people who love zombie games. This game takes a lot of skill and is somewhat of a strategy game. In this game you have to build you... Continue reading

What's it about?

STATE OF DECAY 2: JUGGERNAUT EDITION follows a very similar formula to its predecessor, State of Decay: It presents an open world overrun by the living dead in which pockets of survivors do whatever it takes to live another day. Players spend the bulk of their time scavenging buildings for supplies -- food, fuel, ammunition, medicine, building materials -- needed to help their community survive, while keeping tabs on radio transmissions by other survivors in need of help. You'll make friends with some enclaves, enemies with others, and slowly recruit more people to live in your own community. Each new recruit becomes a playable character whose skills and unique abilities develop as you spend time playing as that character. But you don't want to grow your community too quickly, since having more people also means you need more beds and resources. Members of your community could starve or die of infection if you don't have the proper supplies to meet their needs, and in this game, death is permanent. Even the leader of your community can die forever if you aren't careful. As the game progresses, you'll find new areas to explore, discover more survivors and enclaves in need of help, and evolve your community by claiming more outposts and earning access to a steady supply of resources. The Juggernaut Edition -- a free update for those who purchased the original game -- includes all content and DLC from State of Decay 2 along with a new map, more weapons, and improvements to graphics and performance.

Is it any good?

If you've ever wanted a Sims-style zombie game, this ought to do the trick -- assuming you can deal with the stress and repetitive gameplay. There's an unavoidable time management element to State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition. As time marches unstoppably on, your community of survivors will keep using up all of the resources you track down. As resources dwindle, the survivors' morale sinks lower and lower, until they begin fighting with each other, starving, and threatening to leave. At the same time, there's also a vibe reminiscent of The Walking Dead, thanks to a focus on growing a community of people who work together to provide for one another and help other survivors. The best -- and, not coincidentally, most stressful -- moments in the game are when you're racing against the clock to find resources necessary to save someone who's rapidly deteriorating from infection, knowing that they'll die if you don't work quickly and efficiently. It's in these situations that the zombie simulation feels most authentic: scary, tense, and with real, unalterable consequences hanging in the balance.

But there are other times when the action settles into what can only be described as a slog. You'll go on countless repetitive scavenging missions simply to ensure your community is well stocked. And many of the survivors you help have the same objectives, such as to be protected while looting a house or to be accompanied back to their own group or community. More variety would have gone a long way toward making the experience less monotonous. In the end, State of Decay 2 will likely sink or swim based on the strength and appeal of its zombie apocalypse simulation. If you want to feel the stress and experience day-to-day travails of living in a world populated by the shambling dead, there's ample fun. But if you want something with a little less repetition and a little more story, keep looking.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Do you view zombies, like the ones in State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition, as people or as monsters? Does the distinction make any difference in games in which you must slaughter them in order to survive?

  • There are times in everyone's life when you simply don't have the ability or resources to help everyone who needs help -- so how do you decide who to help and who to let fend for themselves?

  • Why do you think that zombies, like the living dead found in State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition, are so popular? Is there a reason so many entertainment properties feature them?

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