Dead Island 2 Review: To Live and Die in L.A.

Sometimes all you need from a video game is so you can smash zombies with a flaming shovel. That’s what dead island 2 is ready to offer you. It’s not a complicated experience.

It’s strange though. DI2 is unpolished as if thrown together from various parts, with design choices that make it seem like a lost 360/PS3 game. It must be doing something right because I was hooked on it for a good 15 hours, but I’m a sucker for zombie stories. Take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Once that’s established, there’s a lot to do dead island 2 I like that. It’s a merry blast of over-the-top, comedic violence that post-breakdown Los Angeles treats like a city-sized rage dream. I can’t fault anyone who finds it repetitive or superficial, but if you’re looking for a slapstick/splatterpunk (splatterstick?) co-op action game, dead island 2 delivers.

DI2 is set in an unbalanced version of modern LA, in the wake of an unknown, unexplained zombie plague. Attempts by the US military to contain it were complicated by a suspiciously well-timed, powerful earthquake. At the start of the game, this has pushed the army into a full retreat.

You play as one of six survivors who made it onto the final flight out of LA, which crashes minutes after takeoff. As a result, you become infected with a zombie bite, but unlike everyone else, you survive the experience. With renewed zest for life, you make your way to the newly christened “Hell-A” to contact the surviving authorities and trade your immunity for a free ride out of town.

My first impression of DI2 was that Dambuster Studios had made one deadrise game by mistake. From the beginning, DI2 is a violent comedy in stark contrast to the original That of Dead Island grim tone. If OUT OF was 28 days later, DI2 is a remake of Shaun of the Dead takes place in Southern California.

In DI2 In the wake of the LA outbreak, other survivors have doubled down on their Hollywood craziness, from actors who now refuse to break character, to struggling indie directors who use zombies as extras, to YouTube millionaires who can’t make up their minds whether they want to survive the “Zompocalypse”. or make content about it.

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The goal, accordingly DI2 Creative Director James WornallHe should keep a lot of the game light and fun when it comes to that does Try big horror moments, it’s a sucker punch. It’s a valid concept, but I would argue that DI2 only makes this swerve twice successfully.

the rest of the time dead island 2 is a surprisingly upbeat, if bloody, brawler in which most of the characters are too weird to take seriously. There are exceptions, like your accidental host Emma Jaunt, but whenever DI2 decides to get real, it’s upsetting, not effective.

This dramatic change in tone is the biggest difference between DI2 and the original dead islandbut many of DI2 Systems are taken over directly from the predecessor.

This includes an emphasis on melee combat and bizarre weapon mods. Early on, you’re forced to fight your way through LA using whatever club-shaped debris you can find. Get on a few levels and you’ll start finding more effective gear like nightsticks, sledgehammers, swords, and axes, as well as the tools and blueprints to turn each into a wacky steampunk nightmare. about in the middle, DI2 also reintroduces the Fury mechanic, where you can experience a short-lived rage-induced violence tamer and claw zombies to death with your bare hands.

The opposite, DI2 does away with the first game’s skill trees in favor of a card-based system that lets you gradually customize your character’s abilities. This includes a few new attacks, like a swishing palm smack, and a defense ability that lets you block or dodge incoming attacks. Time your dodges right, and it can prime a zombie for a devastating counterattack.

Each zombie realistically deforms, shatters and squirts when hit, and you’re encouraged to lower a zombie’s threat level with dismemberment. Breakers can knock out your lights, but not if you break both of their arms first.

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The real star of DI2 However, combat is LA itself. Every street and building in the city is littered with hazards like broken water pipes, live wires, or spilled fuel, and any of them can be used for a quick zombie kill. If you see a bunch of zombies in a flooded hole in the ground, just put in a car battery (above). It will be hilarious.

The crowded environments mean there is no such thing as a “standard” battle DI2. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen zombies explode on their own, or a misplaced shot ending in an arc that covered half the street. DI2 can quickly become repetitive if you’re simply hitting each zombie to death with a hoop iron, but a little mayhem will do the trick.

Nevertheless, I would like to state this DI2 is best as a co-op game. I went through it alone at first and had some fun with it, but it even joins another player for the ride DI2 a dramatically better experience. After a few test sessions with the pre-release game, the netcode is better than I expected; I played a long session between Seattle and Guadalajara with no problems. If you wanna play DI2be sure to bring friends.

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Whether you’re alone or not DI2 has the same problem as the original, , that it hits a wall as soon as it introduces weapons. Zombies don’t have a bullet counter and ammo is everywhere.

Once I had a decent gun, I’d go from Beverly Hills, which I’d barely survived, to murderous rampages along Ocean Avenue. If something was still alive after a few bullets, I could turn off my Fury mode and switch to color. My tricked-out melee weapons became a fallback option from all the hustle and bustle of the game, and most of my hard-earned ability cards didn’t matter anymore.

On the one hand, that fits with the story DI2 want to tell. You are not a desperate survivor among the ruins of civilization; You are a hyper caffeinated superhero in the unique position where you can see the funny side of the zombie apocalypse. You should be the most dangerous with a pulse in all of Hell-A.

On the other hand, DI2 runs out of gas as soon as it becomes a first person shooter. All it can do is throw more and bigger waves of zombies at you until it grinds to a halt 10-15 hours later. Even with my strong pro-zombie bias, it’s hard to give DI2 An unreserved recommendation, as it quickly falls apart in the back half.

Dead Island 2 Review – The Verdict

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  • Truly visceral combat, no pun intended.
  • Much better as a cooperative, zombie-busting arena game than a solo experience.
  • It captures the zombie apocalypse playground atmosphere in a way not seen since the original deadrise.
  • A mostly sympathetic cast of NPCs.
  • A smoother online multiplayer experience than I expected.


  • Getting a weapon breaks the game.
  • About halfway through he runs out of ideas and steam.
  • Maybe half his jokes land, and that’s generous.
  • It doesn’t feel unfinished, more like it was wrapped up in a hurry.

If you’re not as big a zombie horror fan as I am, there’s a lot to pick apart dead island 2. It’s dated, a little flat and practically over halfway.

It’s still a good co-op game, its story kept me interested to the end, and I can’t hate a game where I can drop a zombie into downed power lines. When you pick up dead island 2, bring some horror nerd friends to Hell-A and that’s good for some fun evenings. However, only real zombie maniacs need to apply for solo play.

[Note: Deep Silver provided the copy of Dead Island 2 used for this review. Featured image by GameSkinny.]

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