Pub­lisher Deep Sil­ver De­vel­oper Yager For­mat PC, PS4, Xbox One Re­lease Spring 2015


Loved by some, de­tested by many, Dead Is­land was an un­holy union of good ideas and janky ex­e­cu­tion. De­vel­oper Tech­land has since joined forces with Warner Bros to make Dy­ing Light, leav­ing the rights to the se­ries with Koch Me­dia, and se­quel de­vel­op­ment in the hands of Spec Ops: The Line cre­ator Yager.

Built on Un­real 4, Dead Is­land 2 is an­other chance for the team to flex its Un­real En­gine skills, this time build­ing an open­world Cal­i­for­nia for four classes (Bez­erker, Hunter, Bishop, and Speeder) to run amok in. Yager has kept all the el­e­ments that worked for Dead Is­land – the trop­i­cal set­ting, the melee weapons – but ex­e­cuted them with greater pro­fi­ciency. Also greater is the ar­se­nal, fea­tur­ing hun­dreds of com­bi­na­tion weapons, and the po­ten­tial for clever mob in­ter­ac­tions. Zom­bies are at­tracted to sounds, so set­ting off a car alarm can be used to turn the un­dead hordes on your hu­man ag­gres­sors.

The on­line in­te­gra­tion will en­sure a steady stream of those; Yager pitched for the se­quel af­ter the orig­i­nal be­came an of­fice LAN favourite, so per­haps it’s no sur­prise that for Dead Is­land 2, mul­ti­player is on by de­fault. Un­less you opt out, you’ll know there are up to seven oth­ers oc­cu­py­ing your game, slay­ing zom­bies on their own time, com­plet­ing their own ob­jec­tives, and pos­si­bly go­ing to homi­ci­dal lengths to sur­vive.

The trailer was all CGI, but be­hind closed doors Yager team showed off its work in Un­real En­gine 4, re­veal­ing sun­drenched Californian vis­tas in a painterly style not un­like SpecOps

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