When it comes to movies, sequels can be a hit or miss. But when it comes to video games, it’s often a different story. The eagerly anticipated Dead Island 2, developed by Dambuster Studios, is finally here, and it’s time to dust off your favorite zombie-slaying weapons, gather your pals, and head to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles for a thrilling 30-hour adventure that’s equal parts laughter and gore. This review will delve into the nooks and crannies of this apocalyptic sequel to the 2011 original, examining its gameplay, story, characters, and what sets it apart (or doesn’t) from its competition.
Welcome to “Hell-A”
As a player, you get to choose from six virus-resistant characters and then dive headfirst into the zombie-infested streets of Southern California. The game’s setting is nothing short of absurd, with the population seemingly unfazed by the apocalypse. Along the way, you’ll meet a colorful cast of characters, including a drug-addled rockstar and a geriatric former movie star who seems to be inspired by Hugh Hefner.
The story, which could easily be mistaken for a cheesy B-movie plot, doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a perfect fit for the absurdist tone of the game. The developers have expertly poked fun at the stereotypes of Los Angeles, resulting in a game that’s reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto 5’s Los Santos in the best possible way. Your protagonist is a walking comedic goldmine, delivering hilarious one-liners throughout the game, making it an incredibly fun and entertaining experience.
Stellar Comedy, Familiar Gameplay
Without a doubt, the strongest aspect of Dead Island 2 is its fantastic comedic writing and memorable characters. While the story itself is not groundbreaking, the humorous dialogue and high-quality voice performances keep you engaged and laughing as you tackle the game’s ridiculous missions.
However, the gameplay might feel familiar to seasoned zombie slayers. Dead Island 2 sticks to the tried-and-tested combat formula of its predecessors and competitors, offering players an array of melee weapons and gadgets to dismember the undead. While the more eccentric melee options have interesting designs, they don’t feel significantly different from their unmodded peers in practice. The lack of variety in combat can lead to the novelty wearing thin quite quickly, though multiplayer does offer some relief from repetition.
Unfortunately, Dead Island 2’s combat doesn’t pose much of a challenge, which might disappoint some players. With the availability of generous dodge and parry mechanics, you’ll rarely feel threatened by the hordes of undead. The introduction of ranged weapons, such as guns, doesn’t do much to improve the combat experience. The firearms feel sloppy and inaccurate, and their use is often limited by scarce ammunition and constant interruptions from zombies.
On the bright side, the game offers a fantastic array of passive perks and active abilities that unlock as you progress through the story and side quests. These options help to keep combat fresh and allow you to customize your character to fit your preferred playstyle.
A Few Technical Hiccups
Dead Island 2, like its zombie enemies, isn’t immune to a few technical bugs. While none of these issues are game-breaking, they can occasionally detract from the overall experience. Multiplayer can also introduce a host of other problems, such as lag and disappearing characters, but these issues rarely get in the way of having a good time.
One minor gripe is the game’s rule that prevents players from joining your session unless they’re at the same point or further along in the campaign. This restriction can make it difficult to play with friends unless everyone is committed to advancing at the same pace.
Graphics and Sound: Beauty in the Apocalypse
Dead Island 2 is visually stunning, with a vibrant color palette and detailed environments that provide an interesting contrast to the blood-soaked streets and gore-splattered zombies. The game’s graphics are a significant step up from the original, taking full advantage of current-generation consoles and high-end PCs.
The sound design is equally impressive, with a fantastic soundtrack that complements the chaotic action and the serene moments of exploration in equal measure. The voice acting is top-notch, with characters delivering their lines with perfect comedic timing and nuance. It’s clear that a great deal of effort was put into making the game’s sound design as immersive and enjoyable as possible.
One of the biggest selling points of Dead Island 2 is the four-player cooperative multiplayer. Teaming up with friends to take on the hordes of undead is undoubtedly an enjoyable experience, and the game shines brightest when you’re mowing down zombies with your buddies by your side.
The multiplayer aspect also adds a much-needed layer of strategy to the otherwise straightforward combat, as players must coordinate their efforts and make full use of their unique abilities to survive the onslaught. This feature ensures that even when the gameplay starts to feel repetitive, the experience of playing with friends keeps things fresh and entertaining.
Conclusion: A Bloody, Hilarious Romp Through Tinseltown
Dead Island 2 offers an engaging and absurd adventure filled with humor, gore, and memorable characters. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of gameplay, it more than makes up for it with its fantastic comedic writing and polished presentation.
The game’s few shortcomings, such as repetitive combat and occasional technical issues, are easily overlooked in favor of the sheer fun and entertainment provided by its absurd story, memorable characters, and cooperative multiplayer. Dead Island 2 is not a game to be taken seriously, and as long as you approach it with that mindset, it’s a hilarious and enjoyable way to spend 30+ hours hacking and slashing through the zombie-infested streets of Los Angeles.
In conclusion, Dead Island 2 delivers on its promise of a hysterical, gore-filled romp through Tinseltown. Whether you’re a fan of the original game or simply looking for a lighthearted and entertaining zombie-slaying adventure, this game is definitely worth your time and money. Just remember, if you’re searching for a deep and thought-provoking narrative, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you’re all about having a good laugh while dismembering hordes of undead, Dead Island 2 has you covered.
Joe, a computer science graduate and PC hardware expert, boasts a decade of experience in the field. His lifelong passion for gaming drives him to excel as a prominent figure in the gaming community, consistently pushing boundaries with cutting-edge technology.