DEAD ISLAND 2
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