Gotta admit, despite some minor grievances that I have about this game's gameplay, I find myself weirdly compelled to keep playing it. There are some genuinely cool mechanics that kinda force me to plan out each in-game day to be efficient about exploration (and it's a fun world to explore). Typically it requires me to set aside some time at night to scavenge in-door areas (or "dark zones") when zombies are outside, and then completing main and side quests as well as some other minor errands during the day. It makes for a fairly compelling gameplay loop.
I also really dig this game's world building and characters. After a few hours of playing, I'm not entirely convinced that they completely scrubbed Chris Avellone's work from this game. There are many signature characteristics of his writing here both in quest design and character writing. Especially the characters because there's a lot of them here - both major and minor - that tend to be very distinct and memorable thanks to the fact that each of them has their own quirk that makes them easily recognizable. This is a far cry from the dull and bland characters from the first game so either they hired some really damn good writers to replace Avellone or they actually kept his work and just decided to scrub his name alone from the game.
As for my gripes about the game, most of them are revolving around the laborious task of trying to clear out zombies from the immediate vicinity of the area that I want to scavenge so that I could start picking the lock on an ambulance in peace. That shit can be just as tedious as it was in the first game but at least this time around they don't keep respawning so that's good. Every zombie on the block will be attracted to you once you enter combat so there may be a lot of stragglers to bash over the head but at least once you clear the area then they're gone. I only had a couple of situations where a bunch of aggressive zombies materialized behind my back but that must have been some kind of a scripted event that I triggered while scavenging the area, so that was a bit janky.
Anyway, it's a pretty enjoyable game so far. I get how it may not be for everyone, considering that it borrows many of the much-maligned open world tropes from other games. But saying that it's a terrible game is just absurd.