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Feb 10, 2015

Dead Island 2 Preview (PC and PS4)

The previous Dead Island games may have had more than a few warts, but they were still great fun to play. And they proved to be popular enough for publisher Deep Silver to throw their hat in the ring with a sequel. It’s pretty interesting, actually, because original developer Techland has moved onto a new IP – the equally undead Dying Light – leaving Deep Silver to turn to Yager for the development of this sequel. In other words, we should soon have two first-person brawler, zombie bashing games to choose from. The rivalry might just hit Battlefield vs CoD levels…

What will be truly interesting will be to see if the aforementioned warts stay with the Dead Island franchise, or whether they migrate over to Dying Light. That would be telling, now wouldn’t it?
Whatever the case may be, you really can’t get enough of bashing shambling dead, so Dead Island 2 is a welcome addition to the year’s release schedule. The game will be set several months after the events of the first two titles, which saw the island paradise of Banoi become a zombie-infested wasteland. And although the word “island” is still in the name, Dead Island 2 will leave fictional tropical islands behind and head towards the very real mainland. This game will be set in California.

In the game, the US military has turned California into a quarantine zone, due to a zombie outbreak. The result is that those who refuse to leave their homes, and those who are looking for extremely dangerous adventure, rub shoulders with zombies. And that, of course, mean lots of hand-to-hand action, complete with a whole bunch of new weapon modifications and tense action.

As before, Dead Island 2 will allow for four player co-op to take place… arguably the best way to survive the dangers that the Sunny State will throw at the player. There will be dedicated player classes to choose from, and a skill system to reward progress. In short, a lot like what we had before, just presumably bigger.

How big, exactly, is unclear. We’re not sure how much of California will be accessible within this open world game, but with the power of the latest hardware, we’re assuming that the game will be pretty huge. All the press release tells us is that it will include areas like Golden Gate and Venice Beach… a real world distance of more than 500 kilometers. But we don’t know if the game will allow that much freedom, will make use of a rescaled environment, or will provide the setting in chunks.

And good looking, of course (if you can use that terms for a game full of rotting corpses.) Yager is making use of the Unreal 4 engine to power physics and graphics in Dead Island 2, so we’re pretty certain it’s going to look as good as a battered zombie can. And you should be able to play it within the next few months.

ETA Q2 2015


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