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Dead Island 2: Everything We Know

December 23, 2019
6 min read

The case of ‘Dead Island 2’ is a curious one. The first ‘Dead Island’ game was not particularly well received by critics. However, the game was loved by many for its light-hearted tone and putting a fresh new spin on the increasingly tired genre of zombie games. Naturally, the game’s commercial success spawned a bunch of expansions and spin-offs, including the well-received ‘Dead Island: Riptide’ in 2013 and the not so well received ‘Escape Dead Island’ in 2014.

But the game that all fans have been wanting for the best part of a decade now is a full-blown sequel to the original game. Publisher Deep Silver has teased ‘Dead Island 2’ for a long time now, but we are yet to see any indication of a final product. The game has been stuck in development hell for so long that we must now ask the question – Will there even be a ‘Dead Island 2’? Read on to find out everything we know.

Dead Island 2 Gameplay: What To Expect?

We don’t have a lot of first-hand information about ‘Dead Island 2’ from publisher Deep Silver, and it is somewhat unclear if the vision for the game is still the same as five years ago. However, ‘Dead Island 2’ reportedly trades in the island paradise setting, in the first game, in favor of three distinct locations in California – sunny Los Angeles, vibrant San Francisco and another as-yet-undisclosed location in California itself.

The game is a direct sequel to the original ‘Dead Island’, taking place only a couple of months after the events of the first game. The virus has spread to California, and the entire state has become a quarantine zone as designated by the United States Armed Forces.

The decision to change the setting of the franchise could potentially have far-reaching consequences. While the island paradise setting was somewhat unique for a zombie survival game back in 2011, the urban jungle theme is fairly played out by now with games like ‘State of Decay’, ‘Dead Rising 3’ and ‘Dying Light’ hitting a lot of the same notes. In order to make it work, the developers will certainly have to add their own unique spin to the formula.

In order to get an idea about what ‘Dead Island 2’ could be like, we would do well to look towards another game – 2015’s ‘Dying Light’. Developed by the same people responsible for creating ‘Dead Island’ in the first place, Polish video game developer Techland, ‘Dying Light’ is something of a spiritual successor to the ‘Dead Island’ franchise.

The game made plenty of improvements to the open-world zombie formula, many of which we can expect to see in ‘Dead Island 2’. These include an enhanced movement system with parkour for easy and fun traversal across large sprawling cities, enhanced Role Playing Game (RPG) mechanics with deeper customization, skill trees, and weapon crafting, and better zombie variety.

However, one way we can expect ‘Dead island 2’ to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack is through its story. While games like ‘Dying Light’ take themselves very seriously, ‘Dying Light’ revels in its silliness and prefers to take a much more humorous approach to the zombie apocalypse. Surely, ‘Dead Island 2’ will seek to follow in that legacy and provide a more light-hearted and amusing experience to players.

Dead Island 2 Developers: Who Are the People Behind It?

The development of ‘Dead Island 2’ has been fraught with difficulties ever since it was first announced in 2014. Initially, franchise creator Techland was signed on to develop the sequel. However, they exited the project soon after to focus on the development of ‘Dying Light’ and were replaced by Berlin-based German video game studio Yager Development (best known for the military Third Person Shooter ‘Spec Ops: The Line’).

Barely a couple of years later, the development team went through another reshuffle that saw Yager being replaced by UK based Sumo Digital (best known for ‘Mortal Kombat 11’), who themselves were replaced earlier this year by Nottingham based developer Dambuster Studios, a subsidiary of Deep Silver and developers of 2016’s First Person Shooter (FPS) ‘Homefront: The Revolution’.

‘Dead Island 2’ will be published by Deep Silver.

Dead Island 2 Release Date: When And Where Can I Play it?

Although originally scheduled for a mid-2015 release, there is currently no timeline for the release of ‘Dead Island 2’. All the backroom changes and the lack of updates regarding the project lead me to believe that the earliest we could see the game releasing, is late 2021. If you can’t wait that long for your open-world zombie fix, Techland’s ‘Dying Light 2’ is set to be released soon in the first half of 2020.

Much like its predecessor, ‘Dead Island 2’ could be a cross-generational title with releases across PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Dead Island Franchise Retrospective:

The first ‘Dead Island’ released in 2011 for a number of platforms including PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and later for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016. The game is set on the fictional summer paradise island of Banoi in the year 2006. Banoi is located off the coast of the island nation of Papua New Guinea and features popular tourist hotspots amidst swathes of untamed wilderness.

The game starts out with a mysterious zombie outbreak that transforms most of the people on the island into zombies, including the criminals in Banoi’s maximum-security prison and the local police force. Four individuals – rapper Sam B., Chinese spy Xian Mei, ex-football star Logan Carter, and ex-police officer Purna find themselves to be immune from the zombie virus and set about trying to escape the hellish holiday destination.

‘Dead Island’ is a survival action horror game set in an open-world setting presented from a first-person perspective. Combat is a huge part of the game and focuses very acutely on melee weapons instead of firearms. That is not to say that there aren’t any guns in the game; there are. However, melee weapons like blades, shovels, etc. make up the bulk of your armory and can be modded via the game’s crafting system to enhance effectiveness.

To do so, you must find exclusive blueprints that unlock special electric and poison upgrades for melee weapons. Each weapon has limited durability and needs to be repaired once it wears out. Of course, much like many other zombie games ‘Dead Island’ features several different zombie types, some of which require a specialized approach in order to take down.

An expansion to the first game titled ‘Dead Island: Riptide’ released two years later and 2013, and continued the story of the original four survivors as they escape the island and attempt to find a cure for the outbreak.

Dead Island 2 Trailer:

You can watch the reveal trailer for ‘Dead Island 2’ right here.

Read More: Best Upcoming Zombie Games

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