Dead Island 2 Impressions: We’ve Played The Zombie Assassination of Dambuster Preview’s Sequel

Dead Island 2 Impressions: We’ve Played The Zombie Assassination of Dambuster Preview’s Sequel

After years of silence, the Dead Island series is finally coming back to life. Dead Island 2 is actually almost here, as just revealed at Gamescom’s opening night live event, and I’ve gotten to know the game’s campaign mode as part of an exclusive preview event in London earlier this month. , is now fully completed and in development. Finish. Plus, I was able to play the game for about 30 minutes to see and feel this upcoming zombie killing game, which takes place in a “Blood Sandbox Environment”.

For those who remember, the original Dead Island game and its successor Dead Island: Riptide revolved around surviving a zombie apocalypse on a tropical island and killing zombies as one of many characters. The game follows a storyline that includes many side quests, but also allows for open-ended exploration. There are plenty of ways to kill zombies, thanks to the plethora of (melee) weapons around and the ability to craft new ones yourself. For example, electric weapons are made by adding batteries to a stick.

Dead Island 2 brings many of the core elements of the first Dead Island game, but with an all-new setting. Los Angeles was announced as the location for the new game a few years ago, but apparently development stopped before it was finished. At the London event, the current development team from Dambuster Studios explained that they still liked the idea of ​​”HellA” so much they chose to stick with it. However, everything about this game has been rebuilt from the ground up.

Dead Island 2 sends players into quarantined Los Angeles overrun by zombies, where the army has given up and retreated. All six playable characters in the game are immune to the virus and are very determined to survive. The developers told me because when playing Dead Island 2, you don’t escape “Zompocalypse”. Instead, you’re part of a group that not only survives zombies, but actually thrives. While exploring iconic Los Angeles locations such as Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica Beach, players must “find your inner killer, and maybe your inner zombie.”

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After that introduction, I started a 30-minute playthrough at the event. I play a character named Amy, who starts at night on the sands of Santa Monica Beach, somewhere halfway through the campaign storyline. It was dark, with fire and smoke visible in the distance. My starting weapons include a katana sword, an assault rifle, a pair of dewclaws that emit electrical sparks, a sledgehammer that appears to deal fire damage, and a heavy revolver. Taking a quick look at the UI, I see that the weapon creation feature is back, as are your weapon’s character abilities and special perks. The flashlight restores light in the dark.

I decided to approach the first few zombies that were wandering the beach. It’s still slow and got me used to the controls. As they approached, I immediately noticed the detail of the zombies compared to previous Dead Island games. When I hit them with my sledgehammer, part of their bloody face fell off. Closeup decapitating them with my revolver, wasting blood. Another zombie lost limbs in the katana attack, so it fell and continued crawling towards me. I later found out that I was observing a whole new flesh-and-blood technique. With this, “anatomically correct layers of skin, fat and muscle can be torn off” to reveal “individual fragile internal bones and organs”. The unique bloody effect undoubtedly increases the immersion of the game.

As I walked from the beach to the Santa Monica Pier, I encountered different types of zombies. I nearly lost my life fighting zombies with exploding gas tanks on their backs, and then I managed to electrocute some of them as they stood in a puddle near the broken line. Next, I entered the arcade room, where I was attacked by a swarm of zombies, one of which was screaming at me with electrical pulses that slowed me down. In this situation in Dead Island 2, the hand-to-hand combat became very intense, and I ran back and forth, attacking, healing, and dodging attacks to survive. Complementing the action is an electronic/rock soundtrack that ebbs and flows like the action.

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After a while, most of my ammo was spent on assault rifles and pistols because ammo was scarce in Dead Island 2. The developers focused on melee combat and worked hard to diversify melee attacks at your disposal. There’s now also a final attack on stunned zombies and a power-up attack for extra damage, and more. Each weapon has a different attack power, for example, the Charged Pitchfork lets you shove them into zombie faces from below for extra damage and gore. And then there are the special attacks, which were set to “Weighbridge” in the demo. It will surprise the zombies around you. Additionally, there is a special fury attack that attacks in combat, which speeds you up and lets you kill zombies with your bare hands when activated.

As I approached the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier, it was another round of fierce fighting. I laughed too, because a goal called “Line Jumpers” appeared: it ordered me to kill all the zombies that tried to cross the line to the Ferris wheel. Other zombie types appear. There are ‘drool’ that spit out vomit and a giant zombie ‘smasher’ that is hard to kill with one punch on the ground. ‘Runner’ zombies are best taken out with thumping legs, interrupting them and letting you finish them on the ground. Another zombie that has huge explosive protrusions on its body that force you to kill it from a distance, this also applies to zombies that emit green gas from their backs.

With so many different types of zombies coming towards me, it was a real challenge. Using another special attack called “Curve Ball”, which allows me to throw incendiary and blood bombs to distract the zombies, proved useful. With the help of a few developers gathered around me, it took me four attempts to kill all the zombies. The zombies change appearance each time they try, indicating that the zombies that appear in the game are random. Despite or possibly because of the difficulty, I can only say that it was a very pleasant and exciting experience. Every time I kill zombies in a different gory way, I am happy.

Graphically, Dead Island 2 also looks to have a part. The Santa Monica Pier and the Ferris Wheel, with all their holiday lights on, look both beautiful and spooky. Dambuster Studios used a “cheesy tone” for the atmosphere of the game. For me, the game environment is cool and lifelike, like the Dock kiosk with lots of little details. The last part of the demo was especially scary: as I entered the Ferris wheel, a zombie clown with metal spikes on his arms and legs climbed up and threw me out of the wagon in a cutscene. Then I walked down the unlit and burnt part of the pier. The combination of scary sound effects, darkness, smoke, and terrifyingly ominous music is another moment that illustrates what a very thrilling game Dead Island is.

Another cutscene ensues as I enter the burnt pier building. The creepy clown pushed me to the ground, started eating the face of the dead zombie next to me, and jumped on top of me. I’m pretty sure people who are afraid of clowns are at risk of having a heart attack when playing this role because it’s really scary. Another fierce battle ensues as the Joker Zombie regenerates by eating nearby corpses. After a few tries, I found that my dewclaws quick attack and constant dodging was the way to go, and I was able to complete the demo.

Overall, this preview shows me Dead Island 2 expands on the game mechanics of the previous game, but is much darker and scarier. Different types of zombies require different types of attacks, and the game’s battles are both challenging and satisfying. Gory effects, lively zombies and atmospheric locations add variety and excitement. I also thought it would be great to play this in VR, but the developers present couldn’t comment on whether that was an option, though they laughed. Absolutely includes the option to team up with up to three players to complete in-game events, and releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC (as an Epic Games Store exclusive), and Stadia.

Aside from the campaign story (co-op), I still can’t confirm what else this game will bring. Dead Island 2 still retains most of the content from the previous game, improving and expanding on what worked well before. Based on my current impressions, I think this might be the series Dead Island 2 fans have been waiting for. Regardless, it’s a game to watch for anyone who likes zombie games or horror games. If you are afraid of clowns, stay away.