Morale is important when you want to keep every man and woman at your base, strengthen it, fix it or just ensure there's enough food to eat. The team stresses that SOD2 will better signpost what's happening to your settlement, and what's happening to your characters -- important when you'll have to balance home problems while inching forward with the story. Apparently the narrative will lightly blend together with your day-to-day settlement woes, so you might actually make it through the entire game despite distractions -- I'm looking at you Fallout 4.
What pulls me in most is how players bond with their survivors, and when it comes to hard decision time, what choices will you make? We recruit two new members during our playtime, but those new members come at a cost: Our only medic is coming down with the zombie plague, and we didn't have time to save him. Medic skills are rare; we made the wrong decision.
The following decision isn't made for us, though. We approached the guy and were given two options: End his life, or send him out into the open to fend for himself / try to find a cure. We did the latter, and the gamemakers said that there is the (small) chance that these people will recover and return back to the fold -- which sounds both supremely tempting and like a mid-season TV plot-twist.
I also got a glimpse at how cooperative play will work inside the game, with a flare gun used to summon your Xbox buddy (or random stranger) to your side. Like in the standard game, if you die while helping your friend and that person stays dead, you'll also get to keep any supplies and materials you find. High stakes, but possibly worth it too.
It's been played out and debated in excess, but zombie movies, books, TV shows and games are at their best when they focus more on the humans, less the undead threat. That is the interesting part. State of Decay 2 hints at a game system that could make the definitive zombie game for me -- and there's still plenty of time until spring 2018.
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