After a very intense introduction, I find myself on a plane heading for safety, accompanied by a diverse group of famous personalities. The zombie apocalypse has rocked Los Angeles, a city this title refers to as Los Demonios. I chose to play the stripper Ryanthe game’s tank character, as he already knew the trip wasn’t going to be as smooth as it looked.

As I already commented in my first impressions, it would have been somewhat disappointing if the game, after almost unprecedented hellish development, had been just one flight to safety and that was the end of it. adventure. Of course, the plane barely has time to take off before it crashes. Luckily, Ryan survives and meets one of Los Angeles’ surviving celebrities in Bel-Air, where the real adventure begins.

At first glance, you don’t appreciate how hard the creators worked to launch this title, which went from studio to studio like a basketball. This is Dead Island in its purest form, a game I spent a lot of time on when it came out. Many of its characteristic elements can be identified in this sequel: a vacation paradise overrun by monsters, gameplay based on collecting all sorts of tools to use as weapons, unlockable abilities, equipment upgrades, a Fury mode you can activate and a world of survivors who need your help.


At first, it seems Ryan is immune to zombie bites, so he’s confident he can help make a vaccine. This takes you on a tour of countless Los Angeles landmarks. I think Los Angeles is incredibly well represented, especially during the day, and on many occasions I’ve wanted to book a flight there after smashing a few zombie skulls on the palm-lined boulevards in the scorching sun.

From the first moment, there is something that bothers me. I find it very hard to ignore the fact that Dead Island 2 feels like an old game and runs much better on PC with a mouse and keyboard than it does with a controller. There are many reasons for this problem, but one of the most relevant is that the creators did not offer a wide variety of dynamics. You will have to search for countless objects to be able to move forward, with a controller that seems too rigid.

The types of missions that exist are very old fashioned and the puzzles are usually about clicking on something, finding what you need (a battery, a watering can, a key…) and picking it up to continue. Occasionally, more complicated challenges arise, such as using water to conduct electricity to an object. Even so, all of these actions are explained ahead of time, so they’re never overly difficult. As you search for the items, zombies appear for you to fight, and hopefully you’ll also find other materials along the way that you can use later to repair or upgrade your tools. However, I’m not entirely convinced that there are multiple items to collect in each room, as collecting the materials isn’t much fun and there isn’t a huge variety. Without the precision of the mouse, it was harder to pick up junk or electronics that I desperately needed, so I had to stop and interrupt the flow of the game.

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Fortunately, the fights are much more interesting. The game is full of different types of enemies and it is important to have the right equipment and skills to face them. The creators bragged a lot about the fact that you can literally rip your enemies to shreds, which works surprisingly well. At the beginning of the adventure, I often decided to break the legs of my opponents so that they would crawl towards me with their bones protruding from their stumps instead of attacking quickly and running in groups. This feature continues to be entertaining throughout the game (it never disappoints being able to slice a jawbone so much that it hangs off the zombie’s meaty face), but ends up becoming a bit of a trap against tougher enemies. whose body parts cannot be sliced ​​so easily.

In combat, there is also a blocking system that gives you the ability to counterattack quickly. However, it doesn’t feel foolproof, as the gameplay is somewhat crude and can’t be used with the precision I’m used to as a fighting game enthusiast.

You often come across traps that you can use to cause spectacular deaths, like pouring water near loose wires or using gasoline to turn zombies into walking bonfires. None of them are particularly innovative or amazingly good, but they still work more than well and are entertaining, with the exception of boss fights, where the traps are more obvious and can be used for an easy victory.

In general, I think weapons that break down when used in combat tend to hinder more than they add to the game. constantly requiring you to scavenge for materials to repair them, but having a giant crowbar rendered useless after destroying half-dissolved zombie skulls doesn’t make much sense. Plus, you get so much material that you never have to get rid of your favorite things, which you can repair an infinite number of times, so that wear and tear is just a nuisance. On the other hand, improving the weapons in the work tables that you find is very easy and fun. Oddly enough, adding flamboyant properties to your golf club is quite satisfying.

Replacing a level tree with a skill deck is welcome, as it’s a flexible system that lets you choose which skills you want to activate at any given time. The further you go, the more abilities you can have active at the same time, and you also have several different cards to choose from. I myself invested my resources in the crowd control features, which I found very useful.

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Dead Island 2 features a very believable world that was hastily abandoned. Everywhere there are traces of the ordinary life of many people before the start of the zombie apocalypse. It is very exciting to inspect the houses and try to guess what happened there. Many of the items you find can be collected, adding even more information to the story. It also features some great examples of social criticism that I think you should check out for yourself.

Survivors I met often gave me side quests with various rewards. I’ve done quite a few, but few of them can be called good or memorable. Many times they would try to go to a specific area and kill zombies, sometimes with a twist like killing them with fire or throwing them off a high ledge. Mission-sponsoring characters are poorly characterized, and their personalities are almost flat provocative, like the influencer you meet at the start who wants to film you killing zombies. Much better could have been done in this regard.

Overall, Dead Island 2 is a very entertaining adventure, especially if you have someone to play co-op with. It is fleshy, long and sometimes excellent. Like a weird digital vacation in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it is also so faithful to the original that it lacks surprises and its structure seems very old. On the other hand, the original was a very good game, just like this one, even if it doesn’t reach the level of its predecessor.

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