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State of Decay 3: Everything We Know (2024)

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After several years of laying dormant and entirely out of reach, Undead Labs’ long-awaited State of Decay 3 has finally popped its head out from beneath the sand. That’s right, Xbox Game Studios’ soon-to-be trilogy is once again on the cusp of receiving a brand-new chapter for the series, which means, if you did begin to have your doubts about it ever seeing the light of day — you might want to retract them.

As it turns out, State of Decay 3 isn’t all that far away from breaching the shores; it’s due to arrive at some point in the latter half of 2024, apparently. Even still, if you are interested in learning a bit more about it ahead of its global debut on consoles and PC, then be sure to read on. Here’s everything we currently know about Undead Labs’ State of Decay 3.

What Is State of Decay 3?

State of Decay 3 is an upcoming third-person action-adventure and sandbox-survival game by Undead Labs and Xbox Game Studios. In a similar vein as its prequel, the game will center its world around a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which the undead hordes dominate the monopoly, and the last-remaining survivors hang onto the hopes of developing a sustainable future for humanity.

State of Decay 3 is an open-world survival game set years after a zombie apocalypse nearly wiped out humankind,” the blurb reads in part. “An evolving zombie threat is taking over the landscape and you need to carve out a life for your community of survivalist homesteaders.” So, like State of Decay 2 — only with an entirely different setting and batch of characters. Fair enough.

Story

Shrine to the fallen survivors (State of Decay 3)

State of Decay 3 will clearly follow in an almost identical pattern as its prequel. Naturally, there’ll be a zombie outbreak, and with it, a society that’ll be on the verge of succumbing to the pressures of a post-apocalyptic nation. Story-wise, we can’t say that we have a great deal to go on, but from the looks of the trailer, it will feature multiple protagonists, all of whom will play a key role in generating a narrative of your choosing.

“It’s always been important to us that State of Decay is a kind of every person’s survival experience,” says Studio Head and Head of Product Philip Holt. “This is not a hero’s journey as a sort of literary structure. Instead, the world of State of Decay is the story of environmental transformation, which reveals the things that are already inherently worthy in our survivors. Things like ingenuity, resilience, adaptability, collectivism — those are the traits that lead to survival.”

Of course, those who’ve played State of Decay before will no doubt have a vague idea of how the series works narrative-wise: you rescue a character, and then have them embark on a slew of daring missions and other fetch quests in order to unlock better tools, weapons, skills, and resources for your settlements. There’ll no doubt be an overarching storyline for all of this pottering about — but for the most part, it’ll be a DIY affair.

Gameplay

Survivor standing on top of abandoned vehicle (State of Decay 3)

From the looks of it, the third chapter in the series won’t deviate all that much from the original blueprint. In other words, the gameplay will still primarily revolve around general base-building, open-world exploration, combat, and crafting. Furthermore, it will also include several playable characters, all of whom will have a single lifeline to their names—a lifeline that you, being the curator of souls, will have the opportunity to mold and develop as time progresses forward. Again, as it’ll be a classic State of Decay game at heart, each death that you may or may not encounter will result in some form of knock-on effect to your community, which means that you’ll also need to keep a lid on your citizen’s welfare and overall safety. No pressure there, then.

In the words of Undead Labs, “the choices you make affect in-game events and storylines, so be careful: if one of your community members falls to the zombie horde, you’ll lose that character and their abilities forever. Every risk must be weighed against the reward!” Simply put, if you suffer from one too many bites, then you’ll lose control of one of your characters, and if you lose all of your characters, then you’ll essentially be forced to start from scratch.

“With online multiplayer for up to 4 players, start a community together from scratch with your friends in a shared, persistent world,” the description expands. “You’ll all be able to build, develop, and expand a base that reflects your designs and choices.”

Development

Character holding up a shotgun (State of Decay 3)

Undead Labs first teased the outlines for the third chapter in the series back in 2020, at which point the developer announced that the game would be available on day one for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Aside from that, the developer has been relatively quiet on the matter, and has only recently made the decision to shed a little extra light on the IP by way of introducing a brand-new gameplay trailer and thread of in-game screenshots. Now, if all goes according to plan, then State of Decay 3 should, with any luck, be gearing up for a launch on Xbox Series X|S and PC at some point in Q4 2024. But more on that shortly.

Trailer

State of Decay 3 Official Trailer | Xbox Games Showcase 2024

Thanks to the Summer Game Fest, we do have a small amount of gameplay footage to share with the group. Need we say more? You can check out the latest trailer for State of Decay 3 in the video embedded above.

Release Date, Platforms & Editions

Towering enemy approaching vehicle (State of Decay 3)

At the time of writing, State of Decay 3 doesn’t have a concrete release date. However, it has been noted that, while the blog post has since been updated by Obsidian Entertainment, it’ll be shaping up for a launch on Xbox Series X|S and PC via Steam and Game Pass on November 12, 2024. Of course, we aren’t in a position to confirm this just yet, but going by the news that has been circulating over on social media, the game will be targeting a Q4 2024 release window. Either way, Undead Labs is likely to shed a little more light on it over the coming months.

Interested in staying up to date with the State of Decay series? If so, then be sure to check in with the team over at Undead Labs via their official social channel here. In the meantime, we’ll be doing our best to share all of the latest developments right here on gaming.net — so stay tuned!

 

So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up a copy of State of Decay 3 when it arrives on Xbox and PC? Let us know your thoughts over on our social channel here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.