It has been well over a decade since the original Dead Island gifted us with one of the most outright fun zombie games ever (in my humble opinion). As difficult as it may be to believe, we are finally getting a sequel in the form of Dead Island 2 in April. The developers have released a brand new, lengthy gameplay preview to further assert that this is not another false alarm. Encouragingly, it very much looks like the game many of us fell in love with, while improving the experience a bit for 2023. You can check it out the age-restricted trailer right here.
A lot to unpack there. Primarily, it is unabashedly violent through and through. The violence seems downright decedent, with the “revolutionary dismemberment technology” highlighted throughout. The game kicks off with you, the player, infected but immune to the zombie virus that has ravaged the city. There is a roster of six slayers to choose from, each with a unique combat style. As for the combat, there is now location-specific damage that can be dealt to the different zombie types in the game. Hit them in the leg, they fall over. Hit them in the head, well, their head caves in. That sort of thing.
The video also highlights the differences between various weapons, such as the slicing funness of a katana or the blunt, crowd-clearing force of a sledgehammer. And yeah, there are plenty of guns to go around too. Weapons can also be endlessly modded, much like in the original game, which is part of what helped to set it apart in the zombie genre. New types of weapons have been added to the game as well, such as bombs filled with blood and guts to distract zombies. New skills and abilities customization options can help tailor the game to the individual player’s style.
One of the more unique things highlighted in the trailer is a new “Fury” mode that allows the player to exploit the zombie virus flowing through them, using abilities not unlike the undead enemies populating the game. Admittedly, it's easy to be skeptical for as many delays as this game has suffered. That said, this trailer is nothing if not encouraging. The synopsis for the sequel reads as follows:
“A deadly virus is spreading across Los Angeles, turning its inhabitants into ravenous zombies. The city is in quarantine and the military have retreated. Bitten, infected, but more than just immune, you learn to harness the tainted powers running through your veins. Only you, and the handful of other swaggering assholes who happen to be resistant to the pathogen, hold the future of Los Angeles (and humanity), in the balance. You were born to this. As you uncover the truth behind the outbreak you’ll uncover the truth of who – or what – you are. Survive, evolve, save the world – just another day in LA!”
Dead Island 2 arrives on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC on April 21. You can pre-order a copy now at DeadIsland2.com.