Dead Island 2 Review: A Zombie-Slaying Adventure That’s Not Dead on Arrival
The long-awaited, oft-delayed Dead Island 2 has finally clawed out of development purgatory to infect our consoles. After years of anticipation and turmoil, does this sequel rise above its challenges like a triumphant survivor, or does it stumble like a shuffling zombie? Let’s dive into the sun-soaked, blood-soaked streets of “HELL-A” to find out.
Dead Island 2 thrusts players into the zombie-infested ruins of Los Angeles, where they’ll control one of six unique survivors in their quest to escape the city. Packed with amusing, if somewhat shallow, story missions and humorous side quests, players will find themselves in the thick of the action, battling a variety of undead monstrosities while customizing their characters and weaponry.
A standout feature of Dead Island 2 is the innovative FLESH system, which adds an extra layer of gruesome realism to the game. This dynamic gore system ensures that every slash, stab, and gunshot leaves a lasting mark on the undead hordes. Limbs can be severed, and blood splatters with visceral detail, adding to the immersive, brutal atmosphere of the game.
The game truly shines in its gameplay, offering an extensive array of weapons and upgrades to suit any playstyle. The skill card system and zombie powers add depth to character customization, keeping the combat fresh and engaging. The diverse types of zombies keep players on their toes, providing challenging adversaries that demand strategic thinking.
Dead Island 2 has transitioned to a more linear, area-based system without the open-world structure. Players navigate between several disjointed areas accessible through specific points on the map. While this simplifies the gameplay and focuses on the story and action, it takes away some of the exploration freedom that open-world games offer. The game’s main story consists of over 20 missions and a variety of side missions that present their own quirky, often humorous narratives. These side missions include helping famous British actresses, off-the-wall Tiktokers, and other stand-out tonally-on-brand characters.
Although the side missions add some diversity and extra hours to the gameplay, Dead Island 2 doesn’t offer many activities beyond these main and side missions. This lack of extra content, such as collectibles, hidden areas, or mini-games, limits the game’s overall replayability. As a result, some players may find the experience less fulfilling than the original Dead Island, which boasts a more expansive, open-world setting with numerous activities to engage in. The focus on character customization and unique weaponry sets it apart, but the lack of extra content may leave fans of the original wanting more.
In the end, Dead Island 2 is a thrilling, gory romp through the zombie-infested streets of Los Angeles. Despite its flaws and deviations from the original, it offers a gratifying experience, especially for fans of the Dead Island series and zombie games. So, grab your weapons, gather your friends, and prepare to kick some zombie butt in this hellish LA playground, where the FLESH system adds a gruesome touch to every encounter.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5.
Dead Island 2 is available April 21st for Windows PC, Sony PlayStation 4 and 5 and Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X.