What's Coming in Dead Island 2

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Ashley_Buckwell
edited August 2023 in Gaming

The long-awaited and relentlessly delayed sequel to Dead Island is almost here, and it may well be one of 2023’s biggest titles. Dead Island 2 was originally revealed in June 2014—almost a decade ago—with the release of a viral cinematic trailer. The trailer featured an oblivious jogger turning into a zombie while running down the street as an apocalypse unfolded around him. At the time, the game had a release window in 2015. Now, in 2023, following numerous delays, multiple development teams, and even canceled versions, Dead Island 2 is finally launching. 

Dead Island sequel

Dead Island is a zombie apocalypse action RPG. The 2011 game, by publisher Deep Silver, is set on the beautiful fictional Banoi Island in the Pacific. Players awoke in a resort hotel the morning after an intense party, with shocked survivors realizing that most other partygoers had been zombified overnight.

Much like its setting, which features an idyllic façade that masks the violent horrors going on around the island, Dead Island is not as it first appears. It has zombies but is not exactly a survival horror game. It is played in a first-person perspective and has shooting but is not a first-person shooter. Dead Island is an open-world action RPG that favors melee combat above all else. Despite being slightly rough around the edges, the game received rave reviews when it launched. Its sequel is looking to be much more refined and every bit as much of a gorefest.

Dead Island 2 trailer

Dead Island 2 is a first-person survival horror game. The game revolves around a group of immune-but-zombie-powered individuals. While details on precisely how the story will play out in Dead Island 2 have not yet been revealed, we know it is set chronologically after the first game and in the same universe, although it is unlikely there will be any callbacks to the original. Instead, Dambuster Studios is creating its own unique take on the themes Dead Island laid down. You choose one of six characters to play as, and then you work your way through the city, which has been divided into several zones filled with hordes of the undead. Each character has different skills and abilities, and the game offers players plenty of room to explore and customize their characters. The game can be played solo or with two other players in multiplayer co-op mode.

True to the Dead Island 2 reveal trailer from 2014, the game is set in a quarantined Los Angeles that has been overrun by the undead. The game is effectively an open world environment. Los Angeles has been divided into several zones, and players progress through the zones in a linear fashion. Although gameplay progresses linearly, players have the option to return to older zones to complete side quests or to explore further. Each zone varies in size and in the amount of content it contains. Each zone also has its own unique zombies: if you are in the zone known as Muscle Beach, for example, you will encounter comically buff bodybuilding zombies. This zoned approach feels more measured and focused than that of other much more expansive open world games in which players are left to explore on their own.

Graphics and design 

Dead Island 2 has a vibrant, whacky, zany tone, but that tone is only the surface of what is actually quite a violent game. Footage from an extended gameplay reveal shows off a few important graphics elements and highlights how the game’s dismemberment physics operate. With the new “FLESH” system, which stands for "Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids," Dead Island 2 is taking fighting to the next level. The FLESH system allows a player to target and destroy individual zombie body parts. Each of the weapons available to players allows for a unique form of bodily feedback. For example, samurai swords can be used for slicing, whereas hammers can be used to land hefty hits. The graphic details are meticulously animated. Suffice to say, Dead Island 2 goes all-in on the fighting action.

Mechanics

Dead Island 2 offers a solid combat system, with dozens of different weapon types and a diverse range of melee attacks. In addition to hand-to-hand combat, players can use firearms, though these are often limited and should be used sparingly. The game also allows for signature attacks.

This combat system allows players to deal with a wide variety of zombie types. Zombies can be heavy, exploding, or electric, making for interesting combat situations. Players can also take advantage of environmental factors to their advantage.

The game has a parkour and movement system. The parkour system allows you to jump and slide around different obstacles, including by zip-lining and by climbing ledges. Parkour mechanics are also used in combat.

In-game Alexa voice commands

Players will be able to initiate certain actions in-game using voice commands. An Amazon Echo device or any microphone or headset can be used to receive and transmit voice commands to the game. This feature will reportedly work on PC and also on console ports. Commands will include interacting with NPCs, swapping out weapons, engaging in special combat abilities, and even goading on zombies.

Dead Island 2 release date

Dead Island 2 comes out April 21, 2023, on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.

The game’s arrival comes after a long and arduous development journey. Dead Island’s original developer, Techland, left the project after it was released, going on to develop a different zombie game, Dying Light. Developers Yager then took on the task of developing Dead Island’s sequel; however, Yager left the project in July 2015. Then in 2016, Sumo Digital took over and worked silently on the game’s development for the next two years. But in 2019, the publisher’s parent company, THQ Nordic, announced that Sumo Digital was no longer working on Dead Island 2 and that instead an internal team at Deep Silver known as Dambuster was developing it.

With such a tumultuous development path, predicting how good the game will be is no easy task. Dead Island 2's decade-long development suggests Dambuster had many hurdles to overcome. Nevertheless, the game looks fun, with a silly tone that contrasts with its outrageous carnage. To play it and to see more exciting games, check out the Xbox Game Pass and see why the Xbox Game Pass is Acer’s official sponsor. 

Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.

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