I really wanted to have fun In Dead Island 2 but a ton of issues kept me from truly enjoying myself. Full disclosure, I never played the first game but I do know people who’ve spent at least 50 hours in the game so there must be something there, right? Armed with that knowledge, I jumped into the world of HELL-A to see if smashing, crushing and brutalizing zombie skulls was as fun as the trailers looked. I mean, we all watched that trailer, right? The one that generated all kinds of hype around the game? Well, be prepared to be disappointed once again as Dead Island 2 is pretty much a dud. Nothing about the game really stands out as a AAA experience. Read on to find out why the game just does not make the cut.
Dead Island 2 Graphics and Gameplay
The game looks pretty good. There is no doubt that in terms of pure graphical fidelity, Dead Island 2 looks damn good. LA is suitably sunny and really gives off that Hollywood vibe with the right amount of snootiness. Character models also look great with the gore turned up to 11! Every time you hit a zombie, you unleash a barrage of viscera that will have you squirming in delight. All the weapons look good with special mention to the rusty cleaver. It’s gritty, deadly and looks great on screen. As far as main character models go, I was a little disappointed the developers went with the whole Zoomer cringe-core design. The characters look so out of place and I didn’t want to play using any of them. I finally settled on Jacob as I found his voice actor the least grating among the 5 protagonists. The one issue with overdesigning these characters is that you never really see them in the game. One of the few issues I noticed was that there are literally no reflections in the game. Maybe the developers used a shadow map or something but real-time reflections are not present in the game.
Another issue with the game is the lack of enemy variety. How many times can you fight the same enemies, over and over and over again? By the time I hit the 5 to 6-hour map, I was already exhausted from fighting the same 3 to 4 zombie types. I played about 10 hours of the game and I did not see any other enemies that deserve a mention. Again, sure the models look good but with so much going on during gameplay, you can barely tell what the hell is going on.
If you’ve seen the Dead Island 2 launch trailer, be prepared to be disappointed. The game just does not look as good as the trailer. Not even close. And I played the game on a PS5 so there’s no excuse for the downgrade.
As far as gameplay is concerned, it’s something that you will get tired of real quick. There is no variety to combat as literally all you can do is bonk a zombie using melee weapons. Sure that was the selling point of the first game but that formula wears thin real quick. Again, there are a few different ways you can approach a scenario such as shocking zombies with a spare battery etc but the easiest way to deal with them is to smash them all. You also get modifiers that add buffs to each character but the UI in the game is just not there yet so you’re basically fumbling through the various pages trying to figure out what exactly to do. It’s a bit of a mess but then again, I honestly think we’ve been spoilt by some of the best UI in the business in the RE4 remake and even God of War: Ragnarok. But here. It’s just tedious.
The mission structure also adds to the general level of boredom. You have your basic fetch quests and that’s about it. There’s barely anything to really hang your hat on. It’s so repetitive that about 4 hours in, I was already looking for the quickest way to complete said missions. If you like repetitive quests and straightforward paths, then you might like Dead Island 2. But, if you’re a gamer who enjoys a meaty tale and a wide variety of missions, then you should skip this game.
Dead Island 2 Story:
If you’re playing Dead Island 2 and expecting a deep, complicated tale of the human condition, you’ve loaded up the wrong game. The story is shallow and campy with none of the characters standing out. The game starts off with you and your fellow Slayers boarding a plane to get away from the chaos but end up crashing when a zombie sneaks on board. From there, you get to pick your characters and you’re dropped right into the mayhem. You have to fight off a horde of zombies right off the bat and are promptly bitten. You then find out that you’re immune to the zombie virus and now you must defend the people you care about as well as try and save humanity using your immunity. This is basically the Zoomer version of The Last of Us.
Choosing a different character will give you different audio lines and cues but all of these characters are so abrasive and annoying that I wanted to shut off the audio entirely. Maybe you’ll like the dialogue but as far as my ears are concerned, it was like having a cheese grater jammed into my skull. Who even wrote these lines? Again, this is not some deep exploration of the human psyche. It’s more like a terrible CW show that’s trying way too hard to be edgy and failing miserably.
Dead Island 2 Verdict:
Look, if you’re into boring, tedious, annoying games, then maybe you should pick this ₹5000 game up. But if you like good stories, tight gameplay and rewarding mission structure, you’d best be served shoving that cash back into your wallet.
The developers really did not need a sequel but well, here we are and if the first game was anything like this one, then I pity the dude who spent 50 hours in the game. The world of Dead Island 2 is lifeless, lacks any sort of thrill and is just plain dull. The gameplay is also repetitive and just doesn’t feel right. I’ve always said that melee in first-person is garbage and Dead Island 2 just strengthed my opinion.
The fact that this game costs ₹5000 is a travesty. If it was a budget game that cost like ₹2000, I’d maybe feel a bit more confident in recommending it to you but as it stands, Dead Island 2 is a waste of everyone’s time, including the people who worked on it.
SKOAR!: 4 Out Of 10
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Dambuster Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC
Platform Tested on: PS5
We played a review copy of Dead Island 2 on the PS5