Dead Island 2: Gameplay Mechanics & everything you should know

Dead Island 2 is set to release on 21.04.2023 after a really long wait of a decade since the launch of the first game Dead Island. In this article, we’ve tried to sum up everything we know about the game till now through previews, news, trailers, and leaks. Here are a few things you need to know before buying the game.

Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2 Platforms and Dead Island 2 Release Date

Dead Island 2 will be launching on different platforms including PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox series X and PC. The confirmed release date of Dead Island 2 is 21.04.2023 (if the game isn’t delayed)

Dead Island 2 Development and History

Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2 for the basics is a first-person zombie fighting action game that can be played solo or with up to three friends cooperatively. Dead Island 2 is developed by Deep Silver Dambuster Studios and is published by Deep Silver. Dambuster Studios are the same guys who made Homefront: The Revolution game. Dead Island 2 was initially announced in 2014 and since then there have been various changes in the developer. Yager was initially attached to the development of Dead Island 2 but I guess things didn’t work out as planned. It is likely that the development of the game was completely reset in around 2018 and the current version of the game is of the Dambuster studios

Dead Island 2 is not an Open World Game

Well as per the recent news, it is confirmed that Dead Island 2 is not an open-world game like GTA or Dying Light. As for zombie survival games, an open world doesn’t make that much sense if there isn’t any mission attached to it. But it’s all up to the player and individual choices. Dead Island 2 is a linear action game that’s split into different zones which include different districts. You start with one zone and once you’re done with an area that is all the story missions, quests, and side hustles you move to the next zone. Each zone is fairly large with a lot of stuff to do, it's not like the game is just a series of closed doors just to kill the zombies there are other things too.

Dead Island 2 Story and Gameplay

Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2

The game is set in the fictionalized version of Los Angeles, where your plane crashes and you are trying to get out of the city. There you get bitten by a zombie and then you discover that you’re immune to them. The story continues to follow the steps of the first dead island where you with the help of other survivors try to escape the zombie-infested city. The story is not that important, what is important is that you break the neck of zombies, and the graphics, the environments, and the mechanics are more important. You choose to play with one of the 6 survivors namely Jacob, Ryan, Carla, Amy, Bruno, and Dani. Each one of them has different strengths and weaknesses which will help you kill the zombies. You cannot swap the characters once you have picked them, so it is obviously recommended to choose wisely. Certain characters have low health but high damage, and some are slower and heavier. And like the original, there is a focus on exhausting weapons. Nothing lasts in the game, which means you’ll always have to look forward to new weapons as they break during the game. This game does have something from the original like the enemy health bar, and damage value. Dead Island 2 looks like an old-school game that takes you to the era of PS3 and XBOX 360 but we’ll have to see for ourselves when it actually releases.

Dead Island 2 Combat Mechanism

Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2 combat mechanism feels similar to that of Dying Light. It seems like they are really trying hard to try to take Dying Light's combat crown here. Visualizing it in motion and in gameplay trailers and leaks it looks very similar to dying light. There are strong heavy attacks, you can dodge to the left and to right, you can use throwables, and then even the classic drop kick. The game features skill cards that seem like they could modify combat significantly and can add effects to certain attacks and can also unlock new moves. You can also modify weapons with blueprints to unlock their own additional effects. Every weapon can be thrown at the zombies. You can swing around the weapons and make the zombies bleed. There are also long-range weapons in the game just like in the first dead island game. The game also adds throwables like electrical traps and explosives which can create chaos. Well, the combat looks pretty satisfying but let's see how the devs have worked on it.

Dead Island 2 Characters and Skills

Each character has a different set of skill strengths and weaknesses. The Dead Island had a skill tree in which players upgrade their skills by adding points but in Dead Island 2 these skills can be upgraded by skill cards. Some skill cards are universal and some are meant for individual characters. These cards can be obtained by completing the story, mission, and side quests. As the game starts each character has two skill cards and you earn more as you level up. These cards cover everything from stat improvements to essential moves like dodging and blocking. The character named Jacob has the frenzy card which means it gives bonus damage while attacking multiple times in a row. Another example is Danny’s Thunderstruck which generates an explosion when you connect with a heavy attack. You can play with your favorite character and upgrade them using their special skill cards, you can also use the universal card and build your character any way you like. There are five different skill categories you get cards for and there’s a limit on how many cards you can equip while completing a mission.

Dead Island 2: The FLESH System

Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2

The devs are clearly proud of the way you can smash and kill zombies into pieces depending on what weapons you’re using. FLESH stands for Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids. In simple words, it means that the game generates location-based damage. The game provides the most satisfying and disgusting way of killing zombies. It's kinda like what they did with the dead space remake but even more extreme. The FLESH system apparently has accurate skin, fat, and muscle simulation when you cut zombies. The bones break procedurally which gives the satisfaction of playing the game. The zombies are cut accordingly like where you attacked them. It sounds really gross but it's actually satisfying if it works the way they advertised and as visualized from the trailers and previews. The game features many different zombie variants with different powers like electrified zombies, acid zombies, bomb-type zombies, big ones with shock waves, and the fat guy zombies. It's interesting if they add anything extra here or if we’re mostly looking at the same things every zombie spin-off game has, it will be a little predictable. There is also an Apex zombie variant that functions as the game’s boss which I think may be a part of the story.

Things to look out for in Dead Island 2

The game features an autophage bar that is something that activates when you equip your skill card. The higher it gets the more negative effect it has on the player. It's something sort of a balancing mechanic for the skill card. The details will be known after the game launches. The blueprints in the games work differently here than in other games. In most of the games, blueprints are exhausted once they are used to craft something. But in this game once engineered the blueprints give you an unlimited supply. It feels like maintaining an inventory is not that important for a few items. We just have to wait and watch when the game arrives.

Dead Island 2 Gameplay Setting and Tone

The tone of the game is very colorful, jokey, and musical and is pretty different from other zombie games. You can see the red spilling out of the zombies which makes it satisfying as well as gross at the same time. It's not that the first game was a masterpiece, it's just that this game has a different vibe. The characters converse a lot and those dialogues are pretty funny. The gameplay is smooth and vibrant. Let's see how the devs have worked on it.


The game looks promising with all the buzz it has created we just have to wait and watch how it really turns out. The game will be available worldwide through Epic Store on 21.04.2023. Keep Playing. 


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