Dead Island 2 Emerges Victorious with Its Fun and Upgraded Gameplay
While waiting almost a decade for a game is usually not worth it, Dead Island 2, set to launch on PS5 and PS4 next month, at least delivers on the comedic fun teased in its reveal trailer from E3 2014. The game has been developed by three different studios over the past decade – Yager Development, Sumo Digital, and Dambuster Studios. Making it difficult to discern where each studio’s contributions begin and end. Nevertheless, the game offers an enjoyable experience that is both familiar and fun.
During our recent playthrough, we experienced the opening four to five hours of the game, which encompassed several mainline missions and a few side quests. Players can choose from six characters, each possessing unique abilities and stats.
The opening sequence of Dead Island 2
The opening sequence involves falling prey to a zombie bite, which surprisingly reveals the character’s immunity to the virus, granting them certain advantages in the full game. However, we did not encounter any gameplay consequences of this immunity during the initial hours of the game.
Nonetheless, the initial main quests require players to establish a base of operations at a lavish HELL-A mansion owned by a celebrity and then venture out into the surrounding area in search of rescue. Our first impressions of the primary storyline were that it felt somewhat predictable, lacking exciting elements or characters worth risking your life for.
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The game’s core narrative adheres to a typical open-world formula, but we found the side quests to be more intriguing. Dambuster Studios has demonstrated much more creativity with its optional content, such as quests involving an elderly gentleman stranded on the top floor of his mansion due to a malfunctioning stairlift or a TikTok-obsessed teenager thirsting for zombie carnage.
Regarding gameplay, Dead Island 2 feels akin to Dying Light 2, but with less emphasis on parkour – at least for the first few hours. Although firearms are intended to play a more significant role in the game than in Techland’s latest zombie game, players will initially rely on melee weapons to battle the undead.
Common items like baseball bats, wrenches, and iron pipes can be found throughout HELL-A, but they have limited effectiveness on their own. To improve their effectiveness, players can utilize workbenches to apply elemental modifications and perks to upgrade weapons, similar to Dead Rising 2.
This process requires resources and cash, and since weapons degrade over time, players must pay to repair their favorite weapons at these stations.
Resources are so abundant in Dead Island 2 that scavenging for supplies becomes just as frequent an activity as destroying zombies’ brains. Environments are replete with resources, with suitcases to loot and car boots to pop open found every few steps.
While these pickups are not necessary, the sheer volume of clutter can become overwhelming and frustrating. It is a prevalent feature of many open-world games nowadays, but taking time out of a story quest to collect resources in a given area is still an unenjoyable task for many players.
Despite some of its shortcomings, Dead Island 2’s captivating zombie battles make players forget its flaws. The game’s first few hours demonstrate that players will have a blast smashing zombies’ faces in, expanding their arsenal with more potent weapons, and unlocking new skills.
All the expected elements of a high-quality open-world game are present, so players should not anticipate anything vastly different from previous classics. However, what is evident is that Dambuster Studios placed a high priority on making the game enjoyable.
Dead Island 2 offers a quirky set of weapons and a large zombie horde for players to battle, making it an enjoyable experience despite its unremarkable story and looting. Set to release in April, players can expect hours of fun.
Are you planning to play Dead Island 2 when it launches on PS5 and PS4 on April 21, 2023? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.