versions Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, PC. Also available at Playstation 4 (04/21/2023), Xbox one (04/21/2023), Computer (04/21/2023) and PlayStation 5 (04/21/2023).
Usually, when a game has turbulent development and goes on too long, the end result is disappointing. Dead Island 2 was announced in 2014, with Yager Development, the makers of Special Ops: The Line, in command since two years earlier. In 2015 the plans changed: the title passed into the hands of Sumo Digital. And after a long time of silence and doubts about the existence of the project, at Gamescom 2022 it returned to occupy the front pages of the media, now under the baton of dambuster studiosan internal Deep Silver team that took over and restarted the project in 2018. We’ve been playing for a few six hours for a preview since the beginning of the adventure, and everything indicates that Dead Island 2 is one of the exceptions to the rule: We had a lot of fun crushing zombies and laughing at its many satirical situations.
The zombie virus has spread all over Los Angeles, a town turned quarantine zone now called Los Diablos. The first-person action RPG starts big, introducing us to the six possible protagonists on his way to reach the evacuation plane which, of course, ends up crashing. At that moment we can choose between one of the six characters, each with their own background, your personality (something that affects your comments and it seems like some conversations) and your unique skills. They’re all quite colorful, except for one firefighter who, at first glance, looks like the prototypical protagonist of an action adventure; we opted for Dani, a girl with the appearance punk with a very dark sense of humor.
Detailed apocalyptic levels
The objective of the adventure is to go through Los Angeles (sorry, Los Diablos) until reaching an extraction point controlled by the military, who are waiting for us with open arms because we are immune to the virus. Along the way, thousands of undead will have to be blown up, more and more efficiently. we level up and customize skills and our degradable weapons; help other survivors in both main and side quests; and explore vast and diverse environments that are not connected. All of this wrapped in a satirical tone, sometimes a little silly, which It reminded us a lot of Zombieland..
What Dead Island 2 not being an open world probably helped each of the levels we explore is packed with detail: the luxurious homes of Bel-Air, the even more luxurious mansions of former Beverly Hills stars, a huge and swanky hotel and some spectacular movie studios filled with sets, dressing rooms, nooks and interactive elements. Each area has its own personality, and all are loaded with environmental narrative and documents They mostly tell funny stories.
And, of course, there’s that humor we were talking about: the Serve to explore residences of dead rich men in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, but also the ridicule of the characters we meet. The worthless assistant to a movie star, the guy hoping to cash in on the apocalypse, the old glory of rock that we know very old or the influencer more concerned with likes than with its survival (and ours). Makes you want to keep playing just to see the next crazy situation and meet other hot guys. And it helps a well-measured progress. Despite abusing common situations such as activate generators, find keys, solve simple puzzles and resist waves of zombies, the adventure, for now, has good rhythmjust overwhelmed with how cumbersome it can be to search the scenes thoroughly to find the necessary materials.
A systemic fight with a lot of potential
What surprised us the most, Dead Island 2 It’s the combat system. focused on melee weapons, although we also find firearms. We have a good number of options in the clashes: blocks, dodges, throwing weapons, flying kicks and many other actions that must be taken into account when there are more than three or four zombies on the screen, moments in which it is easy to get surrounded and have to use the first aid kits, which are not plentiful.
While we don’t like the fact that one of the most frequent powerful enemies is an attacking sponge with predictable blunt attacks, we saw one wide variety of enemies: there are the slowest and most resistant, and the fastest and weakest, fat others who explode, those who protect parts of their bodies with armor, those who use vests loaded with grenades and those affected by elements like fire and electricity.
This tinkering with elemental damage is what we think is brilliant. O levels are laden with puddles of water or gasoline, toxic areas, bare wiresof explosive barrels and also of interactive elementssuch as pipes and fireworks machines. It is essential to take advantage of it. and also a lot creative and fun. We can lure zombies into a pool full of toxic material so that they break down as they approach us. Or push an exploding enemy into a gas tank to trigger a chain reaction. Or stalk a group of undead to take down one water trail to them, back away and hit the puddle with an electrified knife.
Weapon customization has a lot of impact on the combat system. all of them spend with use, but they can be repaired at the workbenches found throughout the scenarios, where they can also be improved. Each weapon can be placed multiple stat modifiers, for example, to make them do less damage but be faster, just like elemental modifiers. So we can have flaming katanas or toxic claws they play a lot.
And to all this we must add the card system. There are several types, such as those that give new skills or those that add effects to our character (for example, more damage when quickly killing several zombies). As we level up, we unlock more slots for each type of card, and we unlock new cards by completing main and secondary missions; Also, there are some exclusives for some protagonists. In these first hours we already realized that the play style varies a lot when choosing one or the other, and the best thing is that we can change our ramp up at any time. There are synergies between the cards, but also the cards of other survivors, although we were not able to test the three player co-op.
A colorful and bloody world
There is another very rewarding thing about combat: the break-ups. They affect the playable level (nothing more satisfying than throwing three shuriken and leave the zombies in front of us without legs) and they are very spectacular. It goes beyond making heads pop like champagne corks when using the katana. A comically claw punch drenches the undead’s face with blood, a the right hand can drop your jaw, your skin gradually disintegrating bathe them in acid and a mighty hammer blow causes their eyeballs to hang down.
It gets really good beyond the visceral funny. AND surprisingly colorful for a zombie game, the settings are full of details (mainly some of the mansions we visited, and especially the stage of the film studio), the lighting is good and everything is very clear, although it is also true that the characters and their facial animations look state-of-the-art. In addition, the performance is very stable even in the preview version we tested. There are no graphics modes, by the way: it runs at 60 FPS and appears to be dynamic 4K. He English dubbing is great (with texts in Spanish) and although the music almost always goes unnoticed, there are some moments when it packs the situation too much.
Dead Island returns on April 21
It probably won’t end up on almost anyone’s game of the year list, but we had a fantastic time with Dead Island 2. Us love the plot premise which takes us through an apocalyptic Los Angeles where we explore rich homes, movie studios and other locations full of details. And we like your system even more. combat, very systemic and therefore very creative and satisfyingAlthough this is also influenced by the fact that we find it quite amusing how the undead melt before our crazy weapons. In short, that these first six hours of Dead Island 2 They took away all our fears What could we have faced with a game whose development has gone through so many twists and turns and left us eager to return to Los Diablos on April 21 to slay zombies, discover quirky characters, and see where Dambuster Studios’ satire goes.
We made these impressions after accessing a preview version of the game on Xbox Series X, thanks to a code offered by Plaion.