Dead Island 2 is still going strong. Almost eight years after its initial announcement, the much-anticipated and long-delayed zombie game has finally been released.
There was a lot of speculation among Dead Island 2 fans that the sequel would be forever stuck in development hell, as ownership of the sequel repeatedly changed hands among the developers. In 2022, the open-world zombie game reemerged, and now we know it is not only still in active development, but it is very close to completion.
Now that a release date has been confirmed in addition to some new trailers, we are ready to start getting excited for Dead Island 2. While there is still much to learn, we hope to learn more as the release date for the game approaches in 2023.
Do you want to know more about the long-awaited sequel to the survival horror film? The following article provides an overview of everything we know so far about Dead Island 2.
Dead Island 2 Trailer
Until recently, the only Dead Island 2 trailer we had was the original 2014 reveal cinematic. This video showed a rapidly decomposing jogger running along Venice Beach in Los Angeles.
The trailer didn’t reveal much about the game, but it set the tone for what we can expect from the tone of Dead Island 2. After eight years, two new trailers for the open-world Zombie survival game have been released. The new cinematic offers a taste of this apocalyptic version of Los Angeles, following in the footsteps of the original film.
However, after an eight-year wait between cinematic trailers, you can understand that fans may want to actually see Dead Island 2 in action. Thanks to Dambuster Studios, the long-awaited sequel was accompanied by a gameplay trailer demonstrating just how violent it will be.
DEAD ISLAND 2 RELEASE DATE AND PLATFORMS
Dead Island 2 will be released on February 3rd, 2023, according to Dambuster Studios.
As part of Gamescom 2022’s Opening Night Live, this release date was announced along with two trailers. The announcement came after a leak on Amazon’s page for the game indicated that it would be released on February 23, 2023, although we now know that the release date was slightly off. Thus, a game has arrived earlier than expected for once. We will ignore the eight years of development hell it has endured in order to reach this point.
Fans will be eagerly awaiting the release of the film. Since Dead Island 2 was first announced eight years ago, the development of the game has changed hands twice, leaving players disappointed in the past. Originally scheduled for release in 2015, it was being developed by Yager, the same studio that created Spec Ops: The Line. However, it did not materialize.
As of 2016, development was transferred to Sumo Digital. Approximately three years later, Dambuster announced it had taken over development of the game. Hopefully, it will make it across the finish line this time.
A number of platforms have been confirmed for Dead Island 2 including new- and old-generation consoles, including PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia.
DEAD ISLAND 2: WHAT WE WANT TO SEE
Dead Island 2 has been in development for almost a decade, giving us plenty of time to reflect on what we would like to see in the game. Having been stoked by the anticipation of a sequel to the cartoonishly dark zombie brawler, our expectations have grown to bewildering heights, only tempered by the game’s troubled development process. There is no way to predict how Dead Island 2 will look, but that hasn’t stopped us from dreaming.
To begin with, we expect it to continue the focus on melee combat from the first game. In its original version, Dead Island attempted to stand out from other zombie games of its time by emphasizing makeshift handheld weapons that could be upgraded with mods found throughout the island. Although guns were available, ammunition was scarce, so we usually used nail-filled baseball bats or electrified hammers to destroy the undead.
According to the leaked screenshots of Dead Island 2, the sequel will follow a similar pattern. In the game, the player appears to be carrying a wrench that has been modified with a spiked wheel, and what appears to be a homemade stun baton. In order to determine the range of weapons and upgrades available, we will have to wait and see.
As for Dead Island 2, we’d love to see it lean into the series’ humor. There was nothing serious about the original, and at its best, it reveled in the ridiculousness of battling hordes of zombies in a tropical paradise. Hopefully, the sequel will go further, eschewing the hamfisted melodramatic narrative in favor of some good, old-fashioned ghoul thumping.
DEAD ISLAND 2 GAMEPLAY AND STORY
After Dead Island was re-revealed, we are starting to gain a deeper understanding of the game. In fact, our first glimpse of the game came from its leaky Amazon listing, which revealed that Dead Island 2 is not set on an island. Instead, it takes place in Los Angeles, or “HELL-A”.
According to screenshots on the game’s listing page, it will continue the series’ emphasis on melee combat, and its blurb promises plenty of gore, saying the combat will deliver “the most intense, visceral, and gory first-person experience”.
According to the blurb, you will be able to select from a variety of weapons, each of which offers a unique tactical advantage. Additionally, there will be six playable characters to choose from, each with their own abilities customized with a new skill system, Dambuster (opens in a new tab), that allows players to re-spec instantly and experiment with a variety of combinations.
During an interview with PCGamer, James Worrall revealed that while the game does not have a branching narrative, each character offers a unique vantage point.
“Each player character has their own voice and their own dialogue,” said the developer. “So you might get one character who’s particularly driven or energised or upbeat. You might get another character who’s a little bit more of a cynical individual. Some characters are quite low key, subtle. We’ve written those characters to reflect broad playstyles.”
As for the zombies, Dambuster confirms there will be “dozens of distinct zombie types, each with their own mutations, attacks and hundreds of LA-themed variants.”.
The story of Dead Island 2 is still unclear, but it sounds as if you will play as a survivor of a deadly virus that has destroyed Los Angeles. Together with other survivors, you will attempt to “uncover the truth behind the outbreak” as you “harness the zombie within”.
In order to facilitate this collaboration, Dead Island 2 will support single-player gameplay, as well as a cooperative mode with up to three players. However, we are still learning a great deal about how co-op will work.
According to IGN(opens in new tab), the game’s ‘FLESH’ system, or ‘Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids’, “procedurally shreds zombies with each strike” to provide a truly gory experience. In the trailer, we were able to see this for ourselves.
With regards to combat, IGN stated that the game “encourages constant movement, with dodges, kicks, and jumps all being integral components” and that the stamina system is not oppressive, allowing you to “experiment with a variety of different techniques”.
DEAD ISLAND 2 NEWS AND RUMORS
In order to create a more “representative” Los Angeles, Dead Island 2 consulted a diversity council
Dead Island 2 developer Dambuster Studios’ art director Adam Olsson explained how they tackled Los Angeles in a recent interview with The Loadout (opens in new tab). Though there are more comical exaggerations, such as Hell-A’s Muscle Beach having bodybuilder zombies, Olsson confirms decisions were made after consulting Dambuster’s diversity council.
“It was a really interesting exercise trying to break down what makes something LA and what stands out as a truly unique LA experience. “We were very cautious to take anything that would feel like a hurtful stereotype and that’s why, in the studio, we have a diversity council that helps us understand whether we’ve pushed something too far,” explains Olsson.
“The council has worked very closely with us to make sure we’re pushing out a good tone because we want to make sure that we bring Dead Island 2 into the 21st Century. We want to be contemporary and we want to be representative.”
Alexa Game Control integration
There will be an interesting feature in Dead Island 2: Alexa Game Control. With Alexa Game Control, PC and console players will be able to control their games with voice commands. This feature was announced during Gamescom 2022.
In order to use it, you do not need an Amazon Echo device or an Amazon Prime membership. Also, it is not necessary to say “Alexa”. There is no requirement other than connecting a microphone or headset to your PC or console and linking an Amazon account to your game account.
The Amazon blog post(opens in new tab) states that you will be able to use Alexa Game Control to perform tasks such as finding the nearest workbench or choosing your best weapon when playing a game. As mentioned in the post, it is possible to “manipulate zombie hordes” simply by saying “hey zombie”.
The FAQ for Dead Island 2 (opens in new tab) indicates that it will be available in English in North America on PC and Xbox at launch, with more regions, languages, and maybe even platforms to follow in the future.
Dambuster Studios takes over development
Earlier this year, Dambuster Studios acquired Sumo Digital, which had been developing Dead Island 2. There was no further information provided at the time, but it did indicate that there was at least some progress being made on the sequel.