The first Dead Island game was loved by many and the fans had to wait for 12 years for its sequel to release, and the game is finally here. But with such a long wait comes a lot of expectations from both new and returning players. Be it in terms of story, gameplay, or features, there are so many things that the developers can hit or miss on. So here is my review for Dead Island 2 and if you should buy it.
Dead Island 2 Review
Without getting too much into the spoilers. The story starts with you boarding a plane and trying to get out of LA. But an infected gets on board and the panic leads to the plane crashing. You survive the crash only to get bitten by one of the zombies. As you progress, you learn that you are immune, and your blood can help make a cure.
So for the rest of the game, you are trying to get to Santa Monica while you help the various survivors you meet along the way. That is the very basic synopsis of the plot. I will not discuss more about the story as that would lead to spoiling the game for you. Let us instead talk about its gameplay.
But before checking that, if you are wondering whether you should play the first game before playing this then No you don’t exactly have to and can start with this game. There is a returning character but you won’t be missing out much even if this is your first game.
A very core and major part of this game is its weapons. This is to be expected since when you are surrounded by a horde of zombies, you will want to use anything at your disposal to survive. And for this reason, the game gives you plenty of weapons to choose from. Not only do these weapons have rarities that determine how long you can use them before they break. But you also can decide which weapons to keep based on their damage and range. The best part is instead of discarding the weapons you can scrap them at your workbench to get spare parts or sell them to the trader.
The weapon system in this game is very good as it helps you work with your playstyle. You could play as a tank and use heavy weapons. These hit slowly but deal a lot of damage to the zombies. Or maybe use something like a Katana, which lets you slash away enemy limbs easily. Or you could use a Slaughtering Claws. This is excellent in fights when your enemies are vulnerable and you can attack them with successive hits. No matter the situation there will always be some weapon that can help you survive.
And to further improve on them the game allows you to use mods. This lets you add status effects like burn or shock your enemies. Or you could also just increase your weapon’s current physical damage. Weapons also have perk slots that give you various passive abilities, like increasing critical damage, getting a chance to heal after damaging enemies, and more.
But to keep the players on their toes and to add a sense of having to survive the fights, the weapons in this game break. This is not a bad feature as you can easily repair them at your workbench using some money and scrap parts. It is good because it lets you get creative with the weapons you have on you and even try out some new ones when you acquire them.
For players that are concerned about guns, don’t worry this game has those as well. But you will still be using melee more instead of relying much on them.
Lastly, there are also consumable items known as Curveball items. They have a cooldown, so you cannot spam them. But the good news is you don’t have to go around crafting each one separately and can use them as soon as they become available. These are weapons like Shurikens which you can directly attack your enemies with. Or Meat Bait to lure the zombies away from you, then attack them while they are distracted. The above two items were just to name a few, there are more for you to experiment with.
Combat & Gameplay
Even though we have discussed the game’s weapons in quite some detail, there are a few more things that you should know about the game’s combat. You can use your weapons effectively by pairing up the skills you learn as you progress. Simple things like kicking a zombie when they are about to attack. Drop-kicking them or using your special attack like the dash strike can let you momentarily stun them and use your weapons better. These skills are decided by the Ability skill cards. So for example for your basic defensive ability skill, you can also choose to dodge or block your enemies but not both.
Then you also have your Survivor skill cards which work as passives for your abilities. So a well-timed dodge or a block can let you regain health. There are also slayer cards which work on giving you boosts to your damage, agility, attack speed, and more. And lastly, there are Numen cards which I won’t be spoiling.
One thing I wish this game added was letting the player drive cars. Not only would it make getting from one place to another faster. But killing zombies would also be better and easier in some situations. Especially since there are plenty of cars available, but sadly you cannot use any of them.
Level Design & Boss Fights
When it comes to the game’s world, Dead Island 2 is not an open-world game. Rather it has areas where you complete missions to progress the story. So this game has taken a linear approach when it comes to its level design. This is not exactly bad, as there are still side missions that you can do in these areas to meet new characters, level up, or get better weapons.
And speaking of leveling up, this is something that you might want to invest your time on. So while you can ignore all the side quests and just progress the main story. The game might feel slightly harder in some sections, this is because your character might be a little under-leveled. And while the boss fights in this game aren’t exactly hard. The hard part comes when you have to kill all zombies and you don’t have much space to run around. It does get frustrating at times, but you can win these fights by upgrading your weapons and strategizing on how to kill the zombies by using your surroundings or setting traps. And in a way, this makes the game a bit challenging and adds a fun aspect to the fights.
The game has 6 different slayers and each has plenty of skills to choose from. And that is what adds to its replayability. You could play as Amy and speedrun your way from one checkpoint to another thanks to her maxed-out Agility. Or you could play as Jacob who has the highest health compared to other slayers. Or choose from any of the other slayers in your next gameplay to see how it affects your playstyle with them.
And to spice up things further you can even play this game in co-op. So with 3 players trying out different slayers for each run, the game is sure to keep you entertained.
Yes, you should buy Dead Island 2. It is a fun game that you will definitely enjoy especially if you love games that let you kill your enemies in the flashiest and goriest ways possible. The game has a decent story but its true charm lies in its gameplay. Players that are a fan of finishers and brutal kill animations will love it thanks to the variety of weapons you get to use on your enemies. From beheading the zombies using a Katana to thrusting your Hunter’s Knife in their heads. Or simply stomping their heads flat, this game has plenty of different ways to kill. And when your pair it with its gorgeous graphics, it becomes a visual treat.
If you are into zombie games then also check out our review for the Resident Evil 4 Remake. And for our thoughts on other games check out our Game Reviews section.
A Trip To Hell-A-Would Visit Again!
Dead Island 2 is an amazing game that you can enjoy both alone or when playing with friends. So if you are looking for a game where you can kill some zombies and have a good time then this game might just be for you.
- Story 7
- Visuals 9
- Combat 8