Fresh out of development hell, the Dead Island 2 game has sadly dropped into an abyss of boredom and repetition. It stays true to the previous game by giving you a golf club or a wrench to slap the fleshy insides out of undead civilians but just 4 hours into the game, you’ll inevitably catch a snooze.
Dead Island 2 review
Bored to death
There are six playable characters to pick and each of them has different stats and perks that can alter the way you play the game. We picked Dani, an Aussie that enjoys and adapts to a zombie apocalypse at an unhealthy rate. Your character is also immune to whatever disease is making the boujee folks of LA get the munchies. That means, landing the hard end of a hammer on anyone that moves with a gaping mouth is the only way to survive in LA (or, Hell-A as the game likes to call it).
Missions will inevitably send you doing tasks for survivors in the game. In a ‘I got this and you can sit back and relax’ sort of way. The main plot is fairly decent with good voice acting but cliched story writing. However, the overarching plot is that Dani (or whoever you pick) wants to reach the far side of the map where the good folks can evacuate them for vaccine reasons.
There’s not enough reason to pick one character over the other for a second playthrough. We picked Jacob for a second serving of zombie killing and it was almost identical. Only a few dialogues were different but the overall gameplay is pretty much the same. Your stamina, attack rate, damage and health among a few other things will feel different but it doesn’t change the fact that you’ll be sticking metal pipes on undead noggins and will be doing the same missions.
The weapon variety is essential to making things exciting but almost all of them are melee weapons. Even if you stop complaining about how swinging a wooden stick or katana will feel any different even after 5 odd hours of playing. The game doesn’t get too creative. Adding mods to your weapons for elemental damage and mixing things up is encouraged.
See a puddle? Strike it with an electrified blade to zap any and all sorry sobs that walk over it. You can even make your own pool of death by throwing water canisters on the ground and striking it with electro-modded weapons. Wet zombies will take more damage from an electrified blade and flaming hot zombies can be baptized with water before introducing a zap stick to their gooey bodies. Creativity is encouraged, and in the second half of the campaign enemies with resistance to certain elements will show up to throw a curveball at your mundane hackathon.
Speaking of which, Curveball is actually the term for tactical equipment in this game. Electrified shurikens, pipe bombs, chem bombs, etc can be used to get an advantage on the meat munchers.
Dead Island 2 gives you everything you need to break bones, melt flesh and slice limbs. The visuals are instantly lovable. It’s gory, theatrical and quite eye-popping. Literally so. Smashing zombie skulls with weapons will offer you an eyeball and a gruesome look inside the soft anatomy of the human body. After a point, you’ll revel in its carnage. We enjoyed hacking zombies limb to limb just to see how far they would chase us before dropping a consumable or a weapon on its eventual demise.
Visually, LA is built with impeccable attention and beauty. You will enjoy looking at every lavish house in LA. Extravagant estates of celebs will wow you with modern architecture and you’ll even find some really creative level design in a few missions. If you have a 4K telly, this game is absolutely worth playing on the big screen. We played the game on our PS5 and it worked without any hiccups. Even the PC version is working perfectly. The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT runs the game at Ultra settings on our 2K 165Hz monitor without needing any help from super sampling methods. We got consistent frame rates locked at 150+ even in heavy action sequences.
It’s colourful, gory, fun and well-paced but only for a few hours before it becomes repetitive when you keep doing the same things over and over again. Dead Island 2 puts a fresh paint coat on an old formula. We wish there was more variety in the weapons and a bit more creativity in its combat. It plays it safe but dropping ₹3.3K might seem steep. If you’re on the fence about playing this one, wait for a discount and then pick it up. It’s actually brainless fun (no pun intended) but not ₹3.3K fun.
Play it if you’re hungry for zombie games but the fun stops after a while