Dead Island 2 PS5 Review: FINALLY, after what seems like an eternity, we have the launch of Dead Island 2 a few days away.
Way back in 2011, Techland released Dead Island. Admittedly it was announced in 2006 and delayed for some time but it left the doors open for some serious First-Person Zombie killing. Then in 2013, Dead Island: Riptide came to our beloved consoles; a spin-off of the original and sequel to the first.
A third title and first official sequel for the series, Dead Island 2, was revealed at E3 2014. It was originally set for a 2016 release; however, the game entered development hell after the project was moved over from Yager Development to Sumo Digital in 2016. The development of Dead Island 2 changed hands again in 2019, this time to an internal studio of Deep Silver, Dambuster Studios.
I for one have been waiting patiently for this release with bated breath.
Dead Island 2 PS5 Review – Welcome to Hell-A
A deadly virus is spreading across Los Angeles, turning its inhabitants into ravenous zombies. The city is in quarantine and the military have retreated. Bitten, infected, but more than just immune, you learn to harness the zombie inside of you. Only you, and the handful of other swaggering assholes who happen to be resistant to the pathogen, hold the future of Los Angeles (and humanity), in the balance.
As you uncover the truth behind the outbreak you’ll discover the truth of who – or what – you are. Survive, evolve, save the world – just another day in LA!Deep Silver
Its great to have Dead Island back and looking truly amazing on the PS5. I have missed the twisted sense of humour these games provide combined with over-the-top Zombie Slaying; limbs flying left right, and centre are just the start!
The first thing I did notice is that when you do go head-to-head with the undead, depending on what your weapon of choice is depends on what happens to the dead. By that, I mean that if you go to battle with a bladed item the slash marks build up uniquely until they drop to the floor; however, if you decide on a trusty baseball bat, more often than not you will leave the zombie with their jaw hanging by sinew.
My husband has said in some of his previous reviews that it’s the little details that makes all the difference, and this is certainly the case as far as Dead Island 2 is concerned. The wait does seem to have been worth it for the release on this game.
Dead Island 2 PS5 Review – Modder Delight
One of the things that made the original game so much fun was being able to mod out a basic weapon to give it a better kill ability. That returns as you would expect in Dead Island 2 however it does feel limited in comparison to the original game.
Players are armed with tons of weapons, mods and crazy skills to level up. The advanced crafting system allows players to create the most stylish and deadly arsenal, and experiment with new ways to slay. This is achieved pretty easily at workbenches found around the areas. A lot of which will have blueprints on or near them when you get to them however there are also blueprints to be found in the wilds of Hell-A.
You can repair, upgrade and modify using money you collect as well as parts that you can pick up literally everywhere. If you find a weapon that suits your play style, you can upgrade it to your current level as well so that it will do more damage.
You do get the option of 6 people to take control of however compared to the original 4, each having their own strengths and weaknesses.
The well-loved Online Multiplayer of course makes a return. I haven’t had chance to run that yet. I could have asked the developers to schedule in a session for review purposes, but the truth is, I have simply been having way too much zombie slaying fun playing through solo. There will be trophies however related to the game mode if that’s what you are looking for.
Introduced into the game now is skill cards, something I feel I should touch on.
There are four main categories of skills – Abilities, Survivor, Slayer and Numen. Skill Cards are gained from levelling up, found hidden around HELL-A, scavenged from zombies and via quest rewards. You can collect the cards and equip up to three core abilities at time – Defence, Jump Kick and Special Attack – and two ability slots for Fury – Fury Skill and Fury Special Attack.
There are a total of 15 slots in the Skill Deck, plus 2 innate cards (non-customizable) per character. They grant slayers special powers and abilities to help in combat. While some cards are specific to a slayer, most are applicable to all.
The Skill Deck is where to browse Skill Cards and choose which to equip. They can be swapped out at any point to make sure the player has the right skills for the job or adjust a playstyle.
Dead Island 2 PS5 Review – Slayers
I mentioned above that this time you have 6 characters to choose from at the start of the game. Want a little background knowledge on them? Well, I decided to make notes on each one!
Dani – Hailing from the mosh pits of County Cork in Ireland, Dani is a headstrong rockabilly brawler with a foul mouth and a twisted sense of humor. She plows through zombies the way she plowed through opposing roller derby teams, pre-zompocalypse: with a grin and a yelled promise to feck you up!
Jacob – An antihero with rockstar flair, Jacob’s offbeat charm is paired with a reckless disregard for self-preservation. When his beloved mum passed, this successful London stockbroker left everything behind to follow his dream of being a Hollywood stuntman. Now his quips and Shakespearean quotes fall on undead ears as he revels in being a slayer in HELL-A. Lovely!
Ryan – There’s much more to this exotic dancer than rippling pecs. Ryan has a stubborn streak a mile wide, pessimistic sarcasm as dry as the Sahara, and an indomitable heart. He’s on a mission to get back to his little brother, left behind in Fresno before the outbreak, and nothing – alive or dead – is going to stop him getting home.
Amy – Amy is a quick-witted Paralympian who has found something even better than her runner’s high: zombie-slaying! The risks keep her wired, the success keeps her pumped, and every battle is almost a puzzle to solve on the fly – like an obstacle course to keep her mind sharp. Laid-back, focused, and calm, very little can dent her California chill.
Bruno – Bruno is a calculating hustler who always has a plan, both for pulling off heists on big-time scammers and spammers before the zompocalypse and for taking down the undead now. Born and raised on the streets of LA, he’s always hidden his lethal knife skills behind his disarming Californian charm. Those skills ensure that his targets won’t talk about Bruno – no, no (I had to get that in as my husband hates that song haha).
Carla – Carla is from the environs of LA, with family scattered all over the city and nearby. A motorcycle stunt rider unfazed by rings of fire, jumps over ravines, and mid-air flips, the zompocalypse has barely made her break a sweat. Armed with street smarts, an outgoing disposition, and boundless physical confidence, she’s embraced the challenges of slaying her way through HELL-A with enthusiasm.
A nice range to choose from but only time will tell if they live up to the original cast.
Dead Island 2 PS5 Review – Technicalities
Quite simply put, Dead Island 2 looks beautiful playing on our PS5. All the areas from LA are here in the game… Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Monarch Studios, Venice Beach, The Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Boulevard are all great to explore and detailed.
Yes, it’s true, Dead Island 2 has done away with the open world of Dead Island and given it a more linear progression, but the developers haven’t made it overly linear, and you are given the freedom to explore as much or as little as you want.
They have stayed away from a one path to victory only feel to the game. Also, considering I was playing a version of the game 2 weeks before release I didn’t encounter many glitches. Obviously, the game will come with a day 1 patch as all do, but the only real issues I encountered were random zombie spawns while running around Venice Beach. Other than that, it all ran perfectly.
Add into all of that the sound of your knife tearing through flesh and crunches of bone taking beatings from a baseball bat with some quick Whitted comedy comments from your characters and the sound of the game really does add to the overall play.
Will it be a contender for GOTY, however? Possibly not! I say that due to the fact that it isn’t really mainstream enough to be voted for going up against Santa Monica studios etc. It’s a pity, because for me it is one of the best games released so far this year. It is nowhere near as repetitive as Hogwarts became. Much more fun than God of War could ever want to be.
I would love to see Dead Island 2, Deep Silver and Dambuster Studios pick up heaps of awards for this release, it deserves it even after all of the complications and delays it faced over the years. It goes without saying that Dead Island 2 is a must buy for everyone out there.
Simply put, Dead Island 2 is a stylish and vibrant game flooded with Zombie infection wherever you look. Drenched in gore, Los Angeles never looked so good.