Each year, E3 is home to a deluge of great game announcements and memorable reveal trailers. Earlier this month, Deep Silver wowed the collective gaming world with their instantly memorable and engaging trailer for Dead Island 2. Similar to how the original Dead Island featured an attention grabbing introductory trailer, the sequel – crafted by Yager Development – follows suit. After the Dead Island 2 trailer, interest surrounding the game built to a palpable level, and from everything seen during the DI2 gameplay demonstration, this is for a very good reason.
Dead Island 2 takes place after the Hanoi outbreak in the first title, this time set in in sunny California. The Sunshine State’s most iconic locations will be featured in Dead Island 2, allowing players to take their zombie-killing skills to areas such as Venice Beach and Hollywood.
As players explore and survive in Dead Island 2, they will be able to choose from one of four different playable classes. These classes, the Hunter, Berserker, Speeder and Bishop, all feature their own unique skill sets as well as strengths and weaknesses in any given area. Learning your selected class and mastering its strengths is an important aspect of Dead Island 2, as the game’s dynamic multiplayer structure will allow players to interact with one another at any time – be it cooperative, competitively or simply avoiding human interaction.
Dead Island 2 offers numerous new features that fans of the original title and Dead Island: Riptide will be happy to learn about. For the first time in the series, players will be able to dual wield weapons, allowing for more widespread carnage than ever before. Additionally, Dead Island 2 features a vastly improved weapon crafting system with an emphasis on creating absurdly powerful motorized weapons. These weapons bring a whole new level of depth to crafting and creating, with such brilliant combinations such as a weed whacker equipped with rapidly spinning fan blades. Creativity is king when it comes to killing in Dead Island 2.
This mantra rings true when examining Dead Island 2’s astoundingly brutal and visceral combat. Each swing and slash feels satisfying, each blow carrying with it weight and stomach-churning sounds of impact. Dead Island 2 also features strategic dismemberment, similar to the system seen in Dead Space that allows players to remove limbs in order to slow the advance of the undead. Environmental kills have been given an important role in Dead Island 2 as well; one specifically showed during the presentation featured a fire being started in an abandoned car, slowly spreading to a nearby lawn only to eventually immolate dozens of nearby zombies. Using the environment in such a dynamic way is nothing short of impressive.
Mastering the sounds of an environment is just as important as utilizing various ways to kill zombies. Dead Island 2’s undead will follow any loud noises, as seen in the demo presentation. At one point, the presenter set off a car alarm which in turn attracted a nearby horde of zombies, only to throw a handy homemade bomb into the group, blowing them to smithereens.
The destructive nature of the bomb also lent itself to the nature of Dead Island 2’s environments. Outside of being used for tactical kills and setting traps, many aspects for the California landscape are destructible in the game. This was shown off as one unfortunate zombie was caught in a car after having the door slammed shut on it. After struggling, the zombie eventually broke through the window, illustrating that both the player and the legions of undead foes can both take advantage of this.
Zombies are not the only thing to be feared in Dead Island 2. In addition to the various typed of undead that the player will encounter in the game, there are also different factions and groups of humans that are out for blood in the chaotic landscape of California. Marauders and raiders are a constant threat in Dead Island 2, and while the player will never have to worry about being turned undead by them, a bullet to the brain is a very real danger.
Dead Island 2’s E3 presentation was an older, 2013 build and Deep Silver was quick to mention that the visuals will be greatly improved by the time the game launched in 2015. That being said, Dead Island 2 was still very impressive visually. It is clear that Yager and Deep Silver are focusing on creating a video game that will leap out to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners.
Set to release in the spring of 2015, Dead Island 2 looks to be a vast improvement over earlier titles in the series and something that fans of killing zombies can certainly sink their teeth in to.
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Raymond Porreca using meeting notes taken by Matt Heywood
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”