PREVIEW of Dead Island 2: a festival of gore still jubilant

Remember, last summer, we were able to verify that Dead Island 2 was real, and that moreover, it was not going to be a Duke Nukem Forever bis. A very exciting first grip that clearly made us want to see more. It’s done since a few days ago, we spent no less than six hours in his company. Our warm impressions under the Los Angeles sun (from Normandy). 

Despite being delayed for several weeks, the development has followed its course and at the time of writing these lines, the game has already passed Gold. Good news that even allows Dead Island 2 to come out early . And before our full test, here is a fresh review. 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air without Will Smith 

Unlike our previous preview of Dead Island 2, which was a well-advanced game with plenty of gear at our disposal to have a blast and immediately test out the gameplay, this new session started at the very start of the game. A legitimate choice because this time- here, it was more a question of evaluating the narration or the structure of the title. And then starting from scratch, we were also able to compare and measure the rise in power of the characters – where we had only met one protagonist previously. 

No hero or heroine assigned, it’s up to us to select the survivor that best suits our style of play among Amy, Ryan, Bruno, Carla, Dani and Jacob. Besides physical appearance, personality, and looks, all of them are distinguished from each other by their stats and innate abilities. Being very agile, Amy is for example rather mobility oriented while Bruno, with his brute force, is predestined to perform critical damage. We gave a chance to the very enduring pin-up Dani and her natural skills which allow her to trigger a strong explosion on impact during a charged attack, or recover health by killing zombies in a chain.

During our previous experience with Dead Island 2, we were confined to the Santa Monica pier at night with its luminous attractions and its very creepy clown, which will give cold sweats to those who hate these acrobats. A walk with a horrifying atmosphere very successful in its genre. Change of setting here since we surveyed the very exclusive districts of Bel-Air and Beverly Hills, a hotel and a production studio with several film sets. As for Santa Monica, we were absolutely not disappointed by the atmosphere of the different places. The game displays very clean and sparkling decorations which are faithful to the image sent back by a city such as Los Angeles, LA for the intimates – fame Hell-A here. Despite a linear side, which may or may not be lacking, it was a real pleasure to explore all these environments. Because yes, unlike aDying Light 2 is not an open world. The software is divided into zones (Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, etc.) accessible via teleportation, which induces loading times – which are short. A little regret, as we wouldn’t have been against doing the road ourselves, but if we can avoid the pitfalls of open worlds with lots of useless things, we won’t be offended either. 

Strategy has its place in Dead Island 2

During our wanderings, we crossed paths with colorful characters, from the well-to-do cliché couple with their governess, whose house will apparently serve as their headquarters (at least for the first few hours), to an old actor who was surrounded by the dead- living in her home, up to an Instagrammer who gave us our moment of glory by making us shoot action scenes in which we had to throw Zs from the roof, burn them or even mutilate them to get the most likes and paid partnerships possible. Even if there is sometimes a serious tone that is a little disturbing in our opinion, the second degree and the fun should dominate in this adventure. Witness this totally offbeat scene, in the ballroom of a hotel, where we had to face a well-built zombi dressed in a candy-pink wedding dress of the most beautiful effect, while listening to occasional music. When fun dominates, that’s where Dead Island 2 is at its best. 

To hope to survive in this Hollywood hell, we can rely on an innovative card system that replaces the classic skill trees. Cards that are obtained by leveling up, by searching the city or the (really) inanimate bodies of zombies. There are different types: “Skill Cards” which cover the most common moves, “Survivor Cards” for staying alive longer, and “Killer Cards” for exterminating revenants for good. If the majority of them are common to all characters, and therefore usable by them, some will remain exclusive to so and so. They can do various things like restore health by dodging or blocking an attack at the right time, allocate a minor damage bonus, but most importantly,

By combining a “Rush Blow” and the ability “Hammer Fist” (a Killer card), you make an enemy fly through the air without getting exhausted. And to give even more meaning to this system, the developers leave complete freedom and allow us to change the deck as we see fit, all the time and even during a face-to-face. No counterpart of money or experience points, once the cards in hand, any modification is free in an unlimited way. We still want to see, because the zombies weren’t super aggressive yet, but it’s clearly promising, if only to vary the style of gameplay over the hours without having to start an entire game over. But survival also requires having good cardio and choosing the right equipment. 

Weapons are for hunting, not zombie killing

Like the previous installment, Dead Island 2 will have firearms – which we haven’t seen on this preview – but the real joy will be slashing and slicing zombies with melee weapons. Machete, pole, pipe or katana, a whole panoply of deadly toys that make the game salt in their classic or improved version. By rummaging through drawers, garages, car trunks or turning over villas, you can find scrap parts to create the equipment you want. To do this, you can craft “Modifications” that increase weapon damage and add status effects such as fire or electricity, or “Advantages” to again maximize damage while increasing the durability of the weapon. arsenal. Upgrades that require resources and blueprints to craft. 

Although some shots would benefit from being even more impactful, mutilating zombies in Dead Island 2 is simply enjoyable thanks to a process devised by Dambuster Studios. The FLESH stands for F ully L ocational E visceration S ystem for H umanoids , or in French, fully localized evisceration system for humanoids. The result is a festival of gorevery crappy where you can go through the skin, fat, muscle and bone of the infected. An invisible marketing argument at stake? Absolutely not. We managed to see an organ move inside the chest of an undead, to misalign his jaw or even to carefully dismember part of his leg by harassing us on it. It’s deliciously filthy but we came for that and we weren’t disappointed. Finally, we must not neglect the environment and decorative objects either, which are precious allies. A battery in a car? It becomes an electrifying projectile that could be even more devastating with a water source nearby…

We are waiting for it… still impatiently 

Our first good impressions were confirmed with this new and long session on Dead Island 2. It will neither reinvent the genre nor the franchise, but offer a very applied copy of a formula that always works if you are sensitive to it. . With its exhilarating, violent and very bloody fights, its skill system via a deck of cards, the atmosphere of Hell-A or even its lighter tone, the game from Dambuster Studios could steal the star of the disappointing Dying Light 2. lights are green and we can’t wait to play it again to give our final verdict before the release next month. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here