Xbox's State of Decay 3 finally gets a beautiful new trailer after 4 long years, but still no release date

State of Decay 3
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • State of Decay 3 is the third entry in a long-running Xbox exclusive series developed by Undead Labs. Like the first two games, it's an action-adventure survival game that tasks players with scavenging, managing a survivor community, and fighting the undead in a zombie apocalypse.
  • First announced back in 2020 with a single teaser, State of Decay 3 has finally made an appearance at Xbox Games Showcase 2024 four years later with a new trailer.
  • The trailer has given fans what appears to be their first look at combat gameplay in the sequel, along with a glimpse of its advanced graphics.
  • One thing we didn't get was State of Decay 3's release date, which is still unknown. We do know that the game will be available on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam.

There's plenty of zombie games on the market these days, but few are as conceptually interesting as State of Decay, Undead Labs' Xbox console exclusive series that blends action, stealth, survival, and management mechanics into one unique post-apocalyptic package. It's been a long time since State of Decay 3 was first announced back in 2020, but now, four years later, we've finally gotten another look at it thanks to a new trailer shown at Xbox Games Showcase 2024.

The trailer — which you can watch via the embed below — shows off State of Decay 3's world and what seems to be some of its shooting gameplay (it's HUDless and unclear if it's just cinematic). When it launches, the game will be playable on Xbox Series X|S consoles and Windows PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam, with day one availability on Xbox and PC Game Pass as well as Xbox Cloud Gaming if you have the Ultimate tier of the service.

One thing we didn't get from the trailer was any official release window or date, which will likely disappoint some. We've previously predicted a 2025 release — late 2024 at the absolute earliest — though ultimately, there's no way to know for sure until Microsoft and Undead Labs share more.

Based on what we saw in this new trailer, it's clear that State of Decay 3 will play out much like the first two games, with great emphasis placed on keeping a fledgling band of survivors alive by finding effective ways to combat undead hordes. One aspect of the franchise many are hoping will improve with the sequel, though, is the dynamism and depth of your community members. NPCs in previous State of Decay titles have been very static, so survivors that develop bonds over time and change based on the events of your playthrough would be a great way for this third installment to spice things up.

It's also worth noting that the original teaser for State of Decay 3 showed a plague-infected deer feasting on the remains of a wolf, suggesting that it will feature zombified wildlife. The undead in State of Decay and State of Decay 2 were exclusively human; experienced players may need to be ready to deal with that twist.

At long last, State of Decay 3 surfaces

A massive zombie blocks a survivor's vehicle in State of Decay 3. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Xbox fans have been waiting a long time to learn more about State of Decay 3 and when they'll be able to play it, so it's great that developer Undead Labs has finally surfaced with another trailer to share. What's been shown so far looks very compelling, though after seeing the very rough state State of Decay 2 was in for a long time, I'm choosing to be cautious with my optimism.

Speaking of State of Decay 2, it's actually gotten quite a lot of post-launch love since its 2018 release, including the Curveball content update last September and the Heart Attack update from last May. Undead Labs partnered with Wushu Studios for additional support while working on these, likely so that they wouldn't negatively impact the development of State of Decay 3.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.