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Dead Island 2

Yager Shows Off The Gory, Gun-Filled Improvements

Dead Island 2 is still over half a year away, but the team at Yager brought a brief playable demo to Gamescom to show off the improvements to core systems, including combat and crafting. We went through the experience twice, once with the Berserker and once with the Speedster.

The two play very differently, with foot speed making a big difference. The Berserker trends toward heavy weapons, with slower, movement and heavier swings. The Speedster is notably faster (as you might expect), preferring bladed weapons and sneaking up behind zombies for an instant backstab kill.

The crafting system has been completely revamped. You won't need to seek out a workbench anymore. Anything can be built on the fly (if you have the blueprint). You also won't need to worry as much about the oppressive weapon deterioration of past entries.

This element is still present, but it's toned down. You'll be able to repair on the fly, also. More importantly, cash isn't the resource used to craft or repair, as members of the Yager team pointed out that didn't make sense. Instead, you'll have to use resources that are tailored to the weapon type in order to improve efficacy.

Modifications are now supported by more streamlined elements. In the demo, we were able to find resources to enable fire and electric mods. Finding cell phones, batteries, and other items in a hardware store contributed to our electronics pool. Pumping gas at a station filled our flammables resource. This is a much more enjoyable (if less realistic) approach, as you won't need to find rubber hoses or specific blades in order to fulfill blueprint requirements.

The weaponry in Dead Island 2 remains just as crazy, and we were directed toward the Home Strike, a combination baseball bat and bowling ball. Swinging once brings the enormous mallet down over your head, but if you time it correctly and connect with a zombie on the upswing, you'll send it flying. I don't mean it gets knocked back. I mean, you should look up, because it's going, going, gone.

You can keep swinging as much as you want, as the stamina meter has been restricted to sprinting only. You won't get tired out by kicking enemies away (useful since looking for cues can help you boot a larger enemy to the ground, making them vulnerable). This means you also won't be vulnerable to a knockdown because of drained stamina.

The gunplay feels tight, even at this early stage. Yager has experience with gunplay, as the excellent Spec Ops: The Line evidences. The increase in firearms creates more options in combat and will likely help players find varied roles within the four classes.

Part of the demo was reserved to a world event. The four of us were tasked with defending a specific location. These will happen throughout the game, and are the source of some competitive play.

Dead Island 2 can support up to eight players in the same world, and two teams can compete for some of the secondary objectives. For instance, should a helicopter crash, it may be a race to the site.

Yager definitely has more work to do, as the pre-alpha code was unsurprisingly imperfect. I'm excited to see more from the game though, as the changes to the crafting system and the increased focus on ranged weapons make for a tighter experience in the same comedic, gory world.

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  • "More importantly, cash isn't the resource used to craft or repair, as members of the Yager team pointed out that didn't make sense." Considering a lot of things in this game won't be realistic or "make sense," that reasoning is pretty funny.
  • Dying Light > Dead Island 1.8
  • As long as it's drastically different this could turn out good. Dead Island and Riptide were too similar with no real notable differences. If this is just a new locale, a couple new weapons, and revamped crafting, count me out.
  • I loved Dead Island, but DI: Riptide felt like such a rip off and it was so boring I don't know if I can ever go back to this franchise. I hated how pretty much every freaking mission in Riptide was the same, not enough fast travel and the fact the enemies spawned at the same exact place every time. It was fun at first, but not after the 50th time you walked by a shed and the same zombie came out...zzzzzz

  • Can we expect new gamescon footage, Futter? This and Dying Light are my top 2 titles of 2015. The comment about code being pre-alpha with release half a year away makes me think this will be delayed in to 2016.
  • I watched a game play segment on another site a bit ago and the devs were talking about not having a huge story arc or any kind of game ending. Not sure how I feel about that to be honest. I'm all for long winded games with alot of replayability but i'm curious about how they will keep me engaged.
  • Stoked. I love the concept of ridiculous amount of carnage. People are comparing it to dying light but, the two games are drastically different. It's like comparing grand theft auto V to saints row 4
  • As a huge fan of Yager I'm absolutely psyched for this.. I love the art tone they are using for DI:2. I'm a huge fan of the original but couldn't stand Riptide and it left me sour. I wouldn't be playing this if it wasn't for Yager so I'm extremely looking forward to it.

  • If they have made it to where there is more amounts of guns/ammo and making weapons last longer I would be fine with it.

    If they tone down the difficulty to where I can play it alone without tearing my hair out from frustration I will buy it.

  • Yeah, the gunplay should be great since Spec Ops was handled well by Yager too.

  • Spec Ops had some great gunplay so I'm sure this will as well.

  • It sounds like they have made inprovements. But I am still cautious the last games where a trainwreck although they were worth a few laughs with friends.
  • Dead Island was one of my favorite co-op experiences last gen, and now they're talking 8-player co-op?!? Sign me up!

  • I want to be excited for this, but I cannot help but be apprehensive about it due to the flaws in past entries. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what comes of this.

  • definitely getting this and dying light

  • Awesome. I like the improvements that they are making, but it seems a lot less realistic; even though it'll make the game more fun.