The zombie virus from “Dead Island” has spread all the way from the South Pacific to California in “Dead Island 2,” and four new heroes must bash, slash, and crash their way through the hordes. And zombies aren’t the only threat; human factions of various types are aligning against them, as well. All can be solved with a healthy application of ass-kicking, of course, in the warm California sun. The tone of the game, says developer Deep Silver, isn’t dark zombie; it isn’t silly zombie – it’s “cool zombie.”
The heroes come in four classes: Berserker, Hunter, Speeder, and Bishop (each with his or her own unique skill sets), but up to eight players can engage in a game of “Dead Island 2” at a given time. These eight can co-operate with each other, compete with each other, or ignore each other entirely, at their own discretion. Deep Silver wants to give players a living open world, complete with other players doing their own thing.
More players means more zombies, and “Dead Island 2” will have more zombies than ever before, each built from a randomized component system that means no two will look alike. To take down the hordes, players will need to rely on the huge arsenal of weapons available to them, which has been expanded to include motorized weaponry. But that’s a double-edged sword of sorts: While the motorized weapons are more powerful than their manual alternatives, they make a lot of noise, which attracts zombies. Also, they rely on fuel, a scarce commodity in a California that’s been overrun by flesh-eating undead. The good news is that dual-wielding of weapons has been confirmed for “Dead Island 2,” so manual or motorized, players will be able to do twice the damage as they were able to in previous games.
The visuals Deep Silver showed us via video from a new build of the game were nothing less than astonishing, exploiting the power of the Xbox One to truly capture the sun-drenched dread of a zombified California. We look forward to bashing some skulls in those rarefied environs in spring of 2015.