Dead Island 2 is the second part of the series, which is an adventure and action game from a first-person perspective, and it is published by Deep Silver and developed by Dambuster Studios.
It’s not your day. Just crashed in Los Angeles (renamed Hell-A for form here) with your plane, you have to fight your way out of the burning wreckage. As if that weren’t bad enough, you appear to have crashed into your worst nightmares: into a neighborhood filled with zombies!
As you try to make your way to safety, you get bitten by one of the undead attackers, but then it happens: you don’t turn into a zombie yourself! As it turns out, you are immune and thus may hold the key to saving humanity from this zombie plague. But before you can think about that, you must first save yourself: get out of Hell-A!
An arduous journey
It was a very difficult development path. The game was announced in 2014 at E3, but then it was quiet for a very long time. The developers faced several challenges, and Dead Island 2 seemed to be in a state of oblivion.
That remained the case until various sounds circulated last year that the game was still being worked on and that it might even come out as early as that year! Finally, the game was re-announced at Gamescom last year with a new trailer and real launch realize date. and After a long wait and several delays, the Dead Island 2 game is now in our hands and fully playable!
It’s just a flesh wound
Such a difficult development path usually has consequences for the game that is released, but fans of the series can rest assured: the game is Dead Island all over again. That means lots of diverse zombies and a host of weapons to dissect those zombies with.
You can take that quite literally, as Dambusters studio has built each zombie from various anatomically correct parts. If you hit it on the head with an axe, you can split the skull and see a piece of the brain splatter out. If you hack into an arm, you can chop it right off the torso. The same goes for intestines. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you have a zombie in front of you that is just barely wobbling on one leg, has no arms, and has an axe in its head.
Of course, the damage you do depends greatly on the weapon you use. A blunt hammer will crush a zombie and send it flying through the air, while a machete is more likely to remove body parts. Moreover, each weapon can be modified and equipped with fire, electricity, or a green chemical that you can use to melt zombies away.
You cannot use your weapons indefinitely; after all, the game has wear, which forces you to try out new weapons regularly. Fortunately, you can repair and further rig your weapons at a workbench, so you can keep using your favorite weapons over and over again.
After a while, my excitement increased after defeating the zombies. So that in the beginning, there are long-range weapons (rifles, air rifles, and a nailgun, for example), and then there will be other options that we won’t reveal here.
Is it open world or not?
Dead Island 2 is not an open-world game in the literal sense of the word. The story of Dead Island leads you through ten districts of Hell-A as you wade a path to freedom. Each of these districts (ranging from the haughty Bell-Air to the Hollywood movie studios, the Pier, and Venice Beach) is free to visit and explore. Before you start your journey, you can choose from about six main characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, but barring the voice, we still had a hard time discerning the influence on gameplay. We concentrated more on the weapons and their upgrades, largely negating the characters’ characteristics.
There are several side missions to play through in Hell-A, ranging from helping an influencer make catchy videos to searching for missing persons. But you can also choose to just enter random houses, especially in Bell-Air. The mega-sized houses in that neighborhood beg to be searched, with everything left as if they could move right back in tomorrow (after cleaning up the zombie tracks, of course). Some houses are even still inhabited and there are strange snoops among them.
Lots of content but the story is weak
Those who consider the story may think of that other, currently rather popular, game featuring Infected, The Last of Us. Indeed, Dambuster’s studio has clearly taken inspiration from that game. After all, here too you are bitten by a zombie, but turn out to be immune and thus perhaps the savior of humanity. This puts you in a unique position in the (game) world, but that’s pretty much where the parallel ends.
Dead Island is a lot less subtle and more focused on destroying zombies in the most unique way possible. Nothing wrong with that, by the way. This becomes even more fun when you are able to use your surroundings to do so, for example by pouring water from a jerry can over loose power lines or blasting oil drums with fire. The zombies themselves are delightfully varied as well, with screamers, which zombies summon in large numbers, and grunts of various sizes who stomp on the ground Hulk-like and fire-resistant zombies only too happy to run at you while burning.
Over the course of your 25-hour escape from Hell-A, you will encounter a wide variety of increasingly powerful and varied zombie enemies. Those who also follow the many side missions can easily add another 10 hours to that. If we compare this with the 3-4 hours that the campaign in the first Dead Island took, we can say that we are not lacking anything in terms of content.
If we have to give a point of criticism: especially in the second part of the game, the game sometimes got out of control, causing the waypoint to disappear and we could not move forward. This forced us to exit and restart the game several times, after which everything was restored.
Also, it was not always entirely clear what was expected of us, especially since most of the time the objective could be summed up as “get to the waypoint,” so the moments when that is not the case take you somewhat by surprise. Also, the later battles can get quite tough, with no way to lower the difficulty. So you have to work hard, but that makes the feeling of victory all the greater when you succeed.
final thoughts of Dead Island 2 – A successful zombie experience.
Dead Island 2 plays nicely and lets you experiment with a diverse selection of zombies with a hefty arsenal of weapons. The concatenation of various mini-open worlds allow limited free exploration and works pleasantly, especially on current-gen consoles.
The story doesn’t have much going for it, but we don’t expect that from a zombie slasher either. It is adequate and leads you through the game’s main hotspots in about 25 hours. The game runs smoothly, with pop-ins here and there, but nothing to really complain hard about.
The game keeps running smoothly even when a dozen zombies appear on the screen, with half of them on fire and the other half getting a shock from your prod. Especially given the game’s long history, this is a great achievement. If you want to go out and slaughter zombies in a nice uncomplicated way, Dead Island 2 is absolutely the right place.