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Dead Island 2 Review

Dead Island 2 is a highly anticipated sequel to the popular Dead Island series. With a focus on open world gameplay and an infectious zombie outbreak setting, the game promises an immersive survival experience. Let’s dive into our Dead Island 2 review.

A Familiar Path

Dead Island 2 revolves around the aftermath of a zombie outbreak in “Hell-A”. Players assume the role of a survivor, tasked with navigating the chaos and uncovering the truth behind the epidemic. While the story itself may follow familiar tropes of the genre, the characters and their interactions with others often fall short. The game features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own motivations. Yet they fail to really make you care as they don’t get the time to make a difference. These characters range from fellow survivors to potential allies or adversaries. 

While the overarching plot may not offer ground-breaking revelations, the individual stories of the characters can be compelling. Learning about their struggles, their hopes, and their fears adds emotional depth and investment to the narrative. These personal narratives help to humanize the survivors in the midst of a chaotic and brutal world. Dead Island 2 does benefit from its setting. The choice to set the game in Los Angeles allows for a vibrant and visually appealing backdrop. The sunny beaches, iconic landmarks, and diverse landscapes of Los Angeles make sense and contribute to the game’s atmosphere. The mix of a beautiful environment with the horrors of the zombie outbreak adds depth and contrast creating a more immersive experience.

Combat is at it’s heart

While the story progression may rely on completing missions and objectives, it is important to note that the primary focus of Dead Island 2 lies in its gameplay rather than an intricate and complex story. The story serves as a backdrop to drive the action. It provides a sense of purpose for the player’s survival efforts. It may not offer the depth and complexity of a narrative-driven game, but it succeeds in its role of supporting the gameplay and immersing players in the post-apocalyptic world.

Combat is at the heart of Dead Island 2, and it delivers intense and visceral action. Players can choose from a variety of character classes, each with their own unique abilities and skill trees. This choice allows players to tailor their playstyle to suit their preferences. Whether you prefer up-close and personal melee combat or long-range precision attacks, Dead Island 2 offers options to accommodate various playstyles.

Scavenge and Craft

The combat mechanics feel responsive and impactful, with each blow and attack having weight and consequence. Melee combat, in particular, is satisfying, as players can feel the impact of their strikes as they cleave through hordes of zombies. The game’s physics system adds to the immersion, allowing for realistic dismemberment and gore. This makes each encounter feel gruesome and intense. One of the standout features of Dead Island 2 is its weapon crafting system. Players can scavenge materials from the environment and create unique and devastating weapons to aid in their survival. The ability to craft and upgrade weapons adds depth and customization to the combat experience. It encourages exploration and resource management as players search for materials and experiment with different weapon combinations to find their preferred arsenal.

The RPG elements in Dead Island 2 further enhance the gameplay experience. As players progress, they earn experience points and gain access to skill slots. These skill slots allow players to slot ability cards that cater to their playstyle. Whether focusing on combat prowess, survival skills, or support abilities, the deck building system adds a sense of growth and development. Each new skill card found or earned feels meaningful. Additionally, the game’s loot system rewards players with a variety of weapons, gear, and resources as they explore the open world. This loot provides opportunities for customization and improvement, allowing players to continually enhance their character’s capabilities.

Made for cooperative gameplay

One of the highlights of Dead Island 2‘s multiplayer component is the ability to join forces with friends or other players in cooperative gameplay. This cooperative mode allows for seamless drop-in and drop-out functionality, enabling players to join ongoing sessions or invite friends to their own game. This flexibility ensures that players can easily team up with others and experience the game together, fostering a sense of camaraderie in the face of the zombie apocalypse.

Working together with other players to take down hordes of zombies adds a new level of excitement and strategic depth to the gameplay. Cooperative missions and objectives encourage teamwork and coordination, as players must rely on each other’s skills and abilities to overcome challenges and survive. The cooperative gameplay in Dead Island 2 promotes synergy and cooperation. All the while creating memorable moments of shared triumph and intense survival situations.

The seamless integration of multiplayer with the single-player experience is a commendable aspect of Dead Island 2. The transition between solo and cooperative play is smooth and intuitive, allowing players to seamlessly switch between the two modes without losing progress. This flexibility enables players to enjoy the game at their own pace, whether they prefer to tackle the challenges alone or join forces with others. Furthermore, the multiplayer experience in Dead Island 2 is enhanced by the game’s robust communication and matchmaking features. Players can easily communicate with each other through voice chat or in-game text chat, promoting effective coordination and strategizing. The matchmaking system ensures that players are connected with others of similar skill levels and preferences, optimizing the multiplayer experience.

Post-apocalyptic LA brought to life

Dead Island 2 showcases stunning visuals that bring the post-apocalyptic setting to life. The environments are meticulously crafted, capturing the beauty of the Los Angeles landscape, from sunny beaches to decaying urban areas. Each location feels distinct and realistic, with attention to detail that is truly impressive. The lighting effects, in particular, contribute to the game’s atmospheric quality, casting long shadows and creating an eerie ambiance that enhances the overall experience. Character models in Dead Island 2 are well-designed and reflect the harsh realities of the zombie apocalypse. From the survivors to the grotesque zombies, the character designs are varied and visually appealing. The attention to detail in the animation further adds to the immersion, as combat feels fluid and impactful. The gory and visceral nature of the melee attacks and the gruesome dismemberment of the undead add to the game’s intensity and create a sense of urgency.

The sound design of Dead Island 2 is exceptional, immersing players in the chaotic world of the zombie outbreak. The eerie moans and growls of the undead serve as a constant reminder of the dangers lurking around every corner. The environmental sounds, such as the distant sound of waves crashing on the beach or the creaking of abandoned buildings, further enhance the immersion and create a sense of place. The musical score in Dead Island 2 is intense and fitting, heightening the tension during combat sequences and adding emotional depth to key story moments. The score seamlessly transitions between ambient tracks that capture the desolation of the post-apocalyptic world and adrenaline-pumping tracks that accompany intense battles. The sound effects during combat are impactful and satisfying, from the crunch of bones breaking to the splatter of blood.

The combination of the visual and auditory elements in Dead Island 2 creates a cohesive and immersive experience. The graphics and sound design work in harmony to amplify the game’s atmosphere, making players feel as though they are truly in the midst of a zombie-infested world. The attention to detail in both aspects demonstrates the care and craftsmanship that went into creating this immersive experience.


Dead Island 2 offers an intense and immersive zombie survival experience set in the open world of Los Angeles. With its visceral combat, stunning visuals, and engaging cooperative multiplayer, the game delivers on the promise of intense zombie-slaying action and thrilling gameplay. The combat mechanics are satisfying and impactful, allowing players to unleash devastating attacks on hordes of zombies. The ability to craft and upgrade weapons adds depth and customization, empowering players to tailor their playstyle to suit their preferences. The open-world setting of “Hell-A” is visually impressive, with attention to detail in the environment design and atmospheric lighting. The game’s sound design further enhances the immersion, with eerie zombie noises and a fitting musical score that adds to the overall atmosphere. 

The cooperative multiplayer component adds an exciting dimension to the gameplay, allowing players to team up with friends or other survivors online. Cooperative missions and shared adventures promote teamwork and coordination, fostering a sense of camaraderie in the face of the zombie apocalypse. While the storyline may not break new ground, the personal narratives of the characters add emotional depth and investment to the narrative. The RPG elements, such as the deck building and autophagy progression, offer a sense of growth and development. However, Dead Island 2 does have its shortcomings. The repetitive gameplay loop and familiar storyline may dampen long-term engagement for some players. Technical issues and a lack of significant innovation in the genre also pose challenges.

Overall, Dead Island 2 excels in delivering an intense and immersive zombie survival experience. It captures the thrill and chaos of battling the undead, while offering customization, cooperative multiplayer, and beautiful landscapes. Despite its flaws, Dead Island 2 provides an enjoyable and engaging experience for fans of the genre, offering countless hours of zombie-slaying mayhem.


  • RPG progression and customization
  • Cooperative multiplayer
  • Intense and satisfying combat


  • Limited character development
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Lack of innovation

Grade: 7

That was it for our Dead Island 2 review. Dead Island 2 is available through GeForce Now. Be sure to follow us on Twitter right here.