Video Games

Dead Island 2 Hands-On Preview

I played Dead Island 2. It’s a strange sentence to write in 2022. First announced in 2014, he unveiled his now infamous trailer featuring a zombified runner. Since then, the game has been largely unseen. Almost a decade of radio silence led most people to believe Dead Island 2 was dead.

until now.I played Dead Island 2. About 20 minutes. It’s real. It’s scheduled for release in 2023. And, as far as I can tell, it has the potential to please many Dead Island fans.

Despite its long absence, Dead Island 2 remains true to its original plan, the sequel to Techland’s acclaimed (and incredibly good) original open-world, co-op, California-set. While that vision was first put together by Yager Development and then taken over by Sumo Digital, creators of Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Dead Island 2 is now owned by Dambuster Studios, the people behind Homefront: The Revolution. is in the hands of Rather than continue the work of his predecessor, Dambuster built a new version of Dead Island 2 completely from scratch. Despite all this, the sun-drenched, humorous and pulpy vision from the original trailer remains. but there are some recent upgrades.

A short demonstration lets you control Amy, one of six playable characters. The final version will support three-player co-op for him, but for now, I’m stuck solo in what Dambuster lovingly calls “Hell A.” Bright and weird Los Angeles, ravaged by the latest zombie outbreak. At this halfway point in the campaign, I’m on the beach looking for a laptop containing ‘Blood Drive’.

Guns can sometimes be useful, but Dambuster’s main focus in Dead Island 2 is brutal melee combat. The flames scorch the skin and dissolve the muscles, leaving only a blackened skeleton. You can even tear the undead to pieces with your bare hands thanks to Fury Mode, an ultimate-like ability enhanced by a zombie infection that slowly floods your veins over the course of the story.

Flesh is torn, entrails are spilled, limbs are flung from the body, and flames scorch the skin.


Fueling this splatter is a bespoke system that Dambuster calls “FLESH” (Full Positional Extraction System for Humanoids), which procedurally shreds zombies with each attack. It was definitely worth the time and effort spent developing it. I find a ton of wet chunky gore incredibly funny, at least in the short term.

All that bloodshed is well and good, but the battle that leads to that bloodshed needs to be accomplished as well. The row of ferris wheels is filled with undead ready to be crash test dummies. 20 Dead or so Although he’s gone through Zedd and still feels a bit like “I’m wielding a stick”, it feels like a lot of first-person melee attacks go awry, but Dead Island 2 has combat There are some great ideas to enhance the . .

The combat system encourages constant movement, with dodging, kicking, and jumping all integral parts of it. Thrown weapons known as curveballs (grenades, shurikens, decoy bombs, etc.) can also be woven into the usual hack-and-slash whirlwind. Being able to attack and dodge out of the way of your grab and immediately throw Molotovs in quick succession is a pretty fun rhythm. And what impresses me is the fact that Dead Island 2 seems to maintain that rhythm. There is a stamina system, but it is incredibly generous. You can freely try different techniques without holding your breath every 10 seconds.

Dead Island 2 – Screenshots from the trailer

The ferris wheel on the pier has lost power and needs to be restarted. To do that, you’ll have to go through even more zombie-filled buildings, as you might imagine. It’s your chance to play around with the more structured layers of Dead Island 2’s combat. A dynamic elemental system reminiscent of BioShock. Oil burns in flames, and water can extinguish those flames. But water also conducts electricity, and when combined with batteries it turns harmless puddles into death traps. An amazing variety of zombie types helps tie this together. Among the colorful hordes are corpses with gas canisters and water bottles, and simply targeting them can add some basic fun to the fight. and hope to ensure that these elements always work in battle.

Now that we’ve cleared the building of enemies, we can turn on the Ferris wheel and move on to the next challenge. Meet the utterly disgusting Buccho, the decomposing clown. He’s the best example of Dambuster’s truly awesome zombie demo of his design. A lot of the corpses I’ve seen so far are very close to classic playbooks (some definitely owe Left4Dead), but they’re still beautifully gruesomely detailed. A unique design aspect of Buccio is his arm bones. This is carved into his two spears that he uses to pin me to the ground. He’s hungry too, and the boss arena is littered with corpses that can be eaten to restore health.I trot him out so he punts each body before he restores too much of his HP. must keep up with the movement of

It’s here that we test more weapons, which can be upgraded in the workbench with various Bonker addons, as the series’ DNA suggests. A blow torch is attached. A pair of wolverine-like claws are encased in electricity, the sparks of which stun Buccho. None of my sample inventory feels out of place with the original Dead Island, which rejected gritty realism in favor of mayhem at its best, and Dambuster is certainly determined to stick with that his MO It seems that.

As well as weapon customization, you can also play around with your character’s build. However, rather than an ability tree that is gradually unlocked by leveling up, Dead Island 2 chooses a set of collectible cards (“skill decks”) representing different traits, buffs, and abilities. Assigning a card maps these aspects to a character, and all you have to do is reshuffle your deck and change your character’s build. A short demo session leaves little time to browse a small sample of his decks, but I hope this system gives you a more flexible RPG layer than a rigid branch of the skill tree.

With Butcho dead and the Blood Drive secured, the demo is over. And thanks to this little seaside show, it’s also clear that Dead Island 2 isn’t just alive, it’s kicking. We may have risen from the grave, but we still have much to prove. Dambuster’s first impression is solid, but with a distinct sense of familiarity. Dead Island 2 appears to share a lot in common with his brother-in-law, Dying Light, as well as his Dead Island in the original. For longtime fans, this might be exactly the news they want to hear, but even at this early stage, I’m struck with the feeling that I’ve already played all this. craft, quirky humor. After playing one Dead Island game, one expansion, and two Dying Lights, it all feels like part of the same corpse.

Is Dead Island 2 just The Walking Dead or is it going to be truly amazing? The answer lies beyond the Santa Monica Pier on the Los Angeles skyline. There are many things I have never seen. What kind of place is the open world? What twist does the story take? What wild characters can you make with skill decks? How will the mission design change? How good are the jokes? It’s all of this that determines whether the Dambusters effort is a harrowing good time or a sequel that arrives a decade late.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK news and features editor.

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