Dead Island 2 was first announced at E3 2014, and has had a troubled production with multiple delays and changes in development teams. But the sequel to 2011’s action role-playing hit has finally (!) seen the light of day.
The undead are back and thirstier than ever for human brains in the sequel to the 2011 hit video game, and with a new developer at the helm and promises of an open-world “zombie playground,” fans are eagerly anticipating what gruesome horrors await them in the sun-soaked streets of California.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is Dead Island 2?
Dead Island 2 is an action role-playing game and the third instalment in the Dead Island series, following Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide. It takes place several months after the events of the first Dead Island game, first released in 2011.
It is set in California after the zombie virus has spread to mainland America and infected the population, and players must fight to survive in an open-world environment against hordes of the undead while completing various objectives and quests.
Players can choose from different characters with unique abilities and skill trees, as well as craft weapons and items to help them survive.
Now developed by Nottingham-based Dambuster Studios, the studio has promised to deliver an open-world experience with improved graphics, new features and an enhanced combat system. The game also includes both single-player and multiplayer modes, allowing players to team up with friends and fight off the zombie hordes together.
Why has it taken so long?
Dead Island 2 was originally announced by Yager Development, its original developer, in 2014, but it has since gone through several development changes and delays.
In 2015, publisher Deep Silver announced that Yager Development was no longer developing the game due to creative differences, and the game’s development was put on hold. In 2016, Sumo Digital took over development of the game, but in 2019, Deep Silver announced that Sumo Digital was no longer working on the project.
In 2020, Deep Silver announced that Dambuster Studios, the developer behind Homefront: The Revolution, had taken over development of Dead Island 2. Nine years on from when it was first announced, the game is finally being released.
When can I play it?
Dead Island 2 was released on Friday 21 April 2023. It will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Where is the best place to pre-order it?
Dead Island 2 can be ordered from Game.co.uk, where the Day One edition of the game is available for £54.99.
Simply click on the relevant link below to be taken to the platform of your choice:
For PC players, the game can be purchased through Dead Island 2’s Epic Games Store page.
Note: Xbox’s ‘Smart Delivery’ feature means there is just one ‘Xbox’ version of the game to look out for if you’re looking to buy it physically - the game will automatically detect whether you’re using a current or last-gen Xbox console.
But PlayStation players will need to make sure they buy the correct physical version of Dead Island 2, and since there is no Smart Delivery feature there, if you one day wish to upgrade the PS4 version to its PS5 counterpart, you may need to buy the game all over again!
Is it any good?
Currently, the various versions of Dead Island 2 are sitting at a Metacritic score of around 75, meaning they have received “generally favourable reviews” from critics.
IGN France said the game manages to stand out in a saturated zombie game scene “by approaching the genre from an angle of pure and unadulterated fun, and succeeds at doing so,” while Twinfinite said Dead Island 2 “should serve as a shining example for both games that make it out of development hell and sequels with a huge time gap.”