Get a full lowdown on the exciting gameplay of Dead Island 2 as it takes you back to the classic world of Dead Island in a new location, Los Angeles. With a unique mix of celebrities and zombies, the game offers plenty of thrills and surprises. Discover and defeat new challenges by reading our comprehensive Dead Island 2 Review.
Dead Island 2 is developed by Deep Silver Dambuster Studios and published by Deep Silver and Plaion. It was released on April 21, 2023, for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
In the Story of Dead Island 2, you start off with an amazing intro that showcases the character of playable characters, something you kinda need because the character you pick brings its own take to the zombie apocalypse, and not just in their skill, their characteristics shine through in how they react to things. I personally picked Jacob because he was the most all-round of all the characters and he was also a great pick due to his funny reactions (and how he kept talking about his mom for some reason).
You will get thrown right into the action, while it seems like you just escaped the zombie craziness, you quickly find out one of the passengers on the plane got bit, so down goes the bird and all the people in it. Lucky you, because you survive along with the celebrity Emma Jaunt and her assistant Michael. She gives you the address of her house for a safe place to stay, but first, you need to help out someone stuck below a plane part. Everything goes south and you end up fighting the dead, the game will teach you the basics to become a zombie killing machine.
When push comes to shove, you get bit but you end up being lucky and don’t die for some reason. You go to Emma’s house, but you are not the only one who shows up. Emma’s ex, someone that players might know from the 1st game, Sam B shows up! Having already survived before, he gives you some tips to conquer the zombies but not only that, he knows about immune people and reassures people that the player is also immune.
During the story and side missions, you will meet some other in-game celebrities, who can be just as crazy as the zombies at times. You will also meet some more people later on, but due to the 1st few areas taking place in areas where the celebs live, you will meet them first. While you are seeking a way out of Hell-A, you find a radio broadcast of Dr. Reed, he can help you out with making a cure and leave the city with your newfound friends. Only Sam B isn’t that much a fan of the plan and decides to not go with you due to his previous experience in the 1st game.
While I would love to talk more about the story, I don’t wanna get too much into spoiler territory, so here are the general things I think about the story. It’s a lot of fun without missing any beats while bordering the line of cringe that they come pretty close to but don’t actually hit. They balance it perfectly with its “Parody” type nature that made Saints Row made as famous as it is now. The story does have a pretty big cliffhanger that I hope the DLC or next game goes more in-depth into because the game as it is now ended up feeling like a massive part 1 of a bigger picture the devs are trying to paint.
There are a few things that I noticed during the story that was kinda off, one of these things was the voice acting that felt a bit off the 1st time you get to Emma’s house, also the hair of Emma was a bit glitchy. That is not the only issue i noticed with it’s sound. While walking in air vents the sound got messed up as well, I think an effect was supposed to be there, but it just made the sound bad and pretty noticeable. The final issue I noticed was during non-cutscene parts where you talk to people the face and body are just stiff with only mouths moving, while it’s a small thing, it was a bit off-putting at times.
The side-missions are almost all pretty fun to do, personally, I liked the ones where you had to do some searching in the bigger areas’s the least fun. In 1 mission you find a message in a bottle (also the name of the mission) where you need to find a food critic and you need to search the whole pier based on some info that was on a piece of paper, took a bit of time but I rather have had some waypoints I needed to follow, the same thing came up later during a missing person mission where I needed to find a code in a pretty big area, after about 40 minutes of searching I ended up googling it only to find out you needed to look at some numbers drawn on the wall…
There was 1 mission type that I really didn’t like, and it was the Amanda missions, she was an annoying influencer on purpose, something I didn’t mind and thought was kinda funny, but her missions are annoying in a not fun way. I ended up being stuck for about 30 minutes doing jump kicks kicking people off a pier. While her final mission was not as bad, it was still frustrating due to the enemy types I needed to defeat and not having the right weapons prepared.
I like the amount of smaller easter eggs, for example, there is a mission, and the objective is “You wouldn’t steal a sword would you” as a reference to those old DVD piracy ads. In about 80% of the game, there is some sort of easter egg to find, from dialogue to mission objectives/names to random things people talk about, it’s a pretty good feeling to catch some you recognize. As a Saints Row fan, I sadly didn’t see any easter egg about Saints Row myself, but I’m sure there is an obscure one somewhere in the game.
The gameplay feels great, every attack feels smooth 95% of the time, but the time it isn’t it’s usually due to it glitching out. In 1 place during a missing person mission, I kept flying through a wall after being grabbed by the bigger zombies, but it was a pretty small area with not much space, so I think that might have been an issue. I especially LOVED the Furry skill, makes you feel so cool and OP and the card system made it even better. The cards let you do stuff like spitting green acid goo on zombies, punching the floor, and knocking back the zombies but the cards also let you boost your stats by doing certain stuff. I ended up using 2 cards that helped each other immensely, 1 card let me speed up my attack if I hit a crit and another card boosted crit damage. Knowing the hot spots to hit crits on the Apex zombies made me a zombie killer to watch out for.
The worst bit for me was the clown monster, I am scared to death of them, so that was not a nice surprise, but it did add another layer for me besides the jumpscares. Luckily the clown Apex zombie only showed up 1 time, so people with a fear of them have nothing to worry about. The game does have its more horror and scary side to it, especially during bits in the sewers or darker buildings where out of nowhere a zombie could jump you from around the corner. There is nothing bad to say about the visuals, they looked absolutely gorgeous and gory, as a zombie apocalypse should.
I expected to see the same 10 zombies over and over again and seeing a more generic look, but I was pleasantly surprised and saw probably over 150+ different looks of the zombies. Other zombie games get boring because you kill the same thing over and over again, while of course, you do kill zombies over and over again, they really made it feel fresh by having so many different types of zombies walking around, even the big apex zombies had at least 1 extra look to them and the screamer, fat goo one and body builder zombies probably had about 4+ for them as well, at least 1 for each different area I would say.
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