9 years ago, during E3 2014, we had the opportunity to witness the first trailer for Dead Island 2 during the PlayStation conference. Since then, the Deep Silver game suffered from various delays and changes in your development team. However, as the years passed, the news about the development of Dead Island 2 was increasingly scarce. This changed 4 years ago, when in a THQ Nordic financial report the company listed Dead Island 2 among his projects to be released in the following years. The moment arrived and on April 28 Deep Silver launched Dead Island 2 —for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC via EGS— developed by Dambuster Studios and in our review, or Review, We will tell you about our experience killing zombies in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Welcome to “Hell-A”
With zero pretensions —and plenty of references to zombie movies— we are presented with the story of Dead Island 2. It places us during a zombie apocalypse that breaks out in the city of Los Angeles when a group of survivors tries to escape from the chaos on a plane As expected things go wrong and the ship crashes. We will have to choose between one of six of these survivors or “zombie killers” to start our adventure. Each of Dead Island 2’s zombie slayers has its own stats, history, and special abilities. However, the zombie slayer that we choose does not change the development of the story of Dead Island 2 at all.
The premise of the game’s story may be outdated, but the humor with which it tackles some everyday things makes the occasional laugh.
Our character is immune and our mere existence is a hope for humanity. With this in mind we must find a way to escape from the city together with the other survivors that we find on our way. Dead Island 2’s story is something that still works, but even in 2016 it would have felt worn down. However, the secondary characters and the situations that surround their arcs keep the story of Deep Silver and Dambuster Studios fresh.
Our zombie killer, in addition to having unique lines in the history of Dead Island 2, has some peculiarities. Once we know each of them we can choose the one that best suits our style of play.
Bruno is similar to Amy, but not as fast. However, of the six characters, he is the one that generates the most critical damage. Amy is the fastest zombie slayer of the group, but also the least resistant. She can throw weapons with force and has a bonus when attacking from behind. Carla is strong and can absorb elemental damage. Additionally, she has a unique ability that allows her to deal with large groups of zombies. Dani is tough and her abilities are health regeneration by consecutively killing zombies and creating explosions with heavy attacks. Jacob has the most level statistics of the group and his special ability allows him to increase the damage of his attacks as he eliminates zombies. Ryan is basically the tank of the team, since he can absorb large amounts of damage and is very slow. His special ability allows him to recover health for each zombie he kills.
Weapons—such as pistols, shotguns, or rifles—can also be modified to deal elemental damage.
Leaving aside the unstable rhythm of the story of Dead Island 2, let’s talk about its gameplay, which is what we will be most busy with during the more than 20 hours that the game can last just doing main missions. In this first-person game, the main fighting mechanic is —far from being firearms— melee combat. This is not to say that there are no pistols or shotguns. However, dodging at just the right time—to be rewarded with a counterattack—or blocking a zombie’s lunges are what define our survival when attacked by groups of walkers. At our disposal we also have baits, flying kicks and even ninja shuriken.
Fury mode is perfect for fighting a large number of enemies.
We can find throughout the different interconnected areas of the world of Dead Island 2 a large number of weapons, among which are wrenches, rakes, baseball bats, mitts, machetes and katanas among others. These weapons have a specific duration and can be modified —at different crafting tables throughout the game— to increase their attack power, speed, or deal elemental damage. For example, modified weapons can electrocute an enemy and at the same time recover our health, there are many ways to get different combos in Dead Island 2. In order to make these modifications, we will have to collect all the resources that we find on our way — a tedious but very satisfying mission when we put together the weapon that gives us the effect we are looking for.
In a world full of zombies, the best film awards had to be called that.
Elemental damage in Dead Island 2 is not only present in weapons, since there are also zombies that will attack us while they are electrified, burning or even holding gallons of corrosive chemicals. This can be mixed in our favor with puddles of oil, chemicals, water or loose cables or gas tanks found in the game environment. Thanks to this, the combat in Dead Island 2 has depth and even some strategy. However, the addictive combat system of Dead Island 2 is overshadowed by the repetitive tasks that we will have to do to complete the missions. Everything in Dead Island 2 is limited to getting a fuse, battery or looking to examine an objective to activate a dialogue line and continue with the mission. This in a long game day becomes repetitive and heavy.
The deck of ability cards will complement the power of our weapons. A gallon of water is ideal for putting out a fire.
As for the graphics, Dead Island 2 stands out for the detail of the buildings and the explorable areas. This time, the game went from being an open world to being several areas with different buildings to explore. The game both on PC —with a Ryzen 3700x, 16 GB of RAM and a Radeon 5700— and on PlayStation 5 runs at a stable 60 FPS. Another detail to highlight is how the damage of the zombies is shown in the game, since they react to the type of attack they receive in a procedural way and without losing coherence to the attack they receive. The game’s music also stands out for its quality, in which we find both original and licensed music and it fits perfectly into the world that Deep Silver and Dambuster Studios have portrayed in their game.
Dead Island 2 In Summary
Dead Island 2 is a good game that from the start gives us everything it can offer. Hordes of zombies, many weapon combinations and an environment to strategize with our upgraded weapons and abilities. However, after a few hours the experience becomes repetitive, the online game is not stable and the end of the title – as in The Calisto Protocol – is behind the paid DLC that have already been announced. So we can say that Dead Island 2 is a game that is enjoyed only by a few, but that can be annoying if its use is abused.