Dead Island 2: Everything to know before the game’s release

Dead Island 2 was unveiled at E3 2014 with a trailer that was very well received. That, coupled with the success of Dead Island 1, resulted in the game having enormous hype around it. It soon became one of the most anticipated games of the last decade.

Yes, decade because it’s been that long since the game was announced. While we cannot say how successful it will be when it finally releases on April 21, 2023, what we do know are some of the features that will be in the game. 

Setting and gameplay

Dead Island 2 is set in a fictionalized version of L.A. which has been quarantined after a zombie outbreak. Unlike Dead Island 1 where you could explore the map freely, Dead Island 2’s world is divided into different zones, inside which you can roam freely.

These zones will have hordes of zombies to kill, items to find and collect, and some will even have side quests. Players can also choose from 6 playable characters, all with different attributes, and skills. They also have distinct personalities and dialogues. 


Much like Dead Island 1 and Dying Light, Dead Island 2 is full of visceral melee combat where you shoot, whack, hack, and slash through hordes of zombies in a spectacle of blood and gore.

The F.L.E.S.H. system (Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids) is a system that procedurally generates damage on the zombies which enhances the bloody and gory spirit of the game.

According to the creative director, James Worrall, “It’s fully anatomical” and the zombies apparently have layers of skin, fat, and muscle. 

There are multiple types of zombies for players to mow down, ranging from big and heavy ones to ones that explode and vomit. There are also elemental zombies some of which can electrocute the player. 

Players will have a wide variety of weapons that range from katanas and claws to revolvers and assault rifles. They can be attached with elemental mods that will allow to player to inflict elemental damage like fire, acid, or electricity. 

The environment will also have things like gas canisters and traps which the player can use to their advantage. 

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Skill cards

Skill cards allow the player to customize and create unique builds to suit their play style. These cards can be obtained by leveling up, picked up as loot from slain zombies, or found around the map. 

These cards can make players faster, or stronger or grant some kind of buff for performing a certain action, like setting fire to zombies if the player drop-kicks them. 

To say Dead Island 2’s development was rocky and unpleasant would be an understatement. The game has been shifted between four different developers. It was apparently in development since 2012 with Techland leading the project, but they dropped it as they wanted to focus on Dying Light.

Deep Silver then got hold of Yager Development, the developers of Spec Ops: The Line, who worked on it for a few years during which the game was shown off at a few conventions.

However, Deep Silver later dropped Yager in 2015 for having conflicting ideas about the game which left the game unattended until 2016. This is when Sumo Digital took up the project only for it to be shifted, one last time, to another developer, Dambuster Studios. 

Dambuster Studios, the creators of Homefront: The Revolution has been working on Dead Island 2 since 2019 and the game is finally going to be released on April 21 of this year. It will be coming to the Epic Games Store, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

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