After spending considerable time with Dead Island 2, it’s safe to say that the combat is shaping up to be some of the most fun gore-filled action you’re likely to see in 2023.
Dead Island 2’s zombies are not only varied in their outfits and physical size but with little clues as to what they might have been doing before the world went post-apocalyptic. Exploring an LA hotel with signs of a wedding is fun in battling staff and formally-attired guests. Of course, you’ll want to make short work of their shambling and running (Dead Island 2 features both kinds), and how each hit registers is next level. In a nod to the B-Movie vibe of the game’s HELL-A setting, Dambuster dubs the underlying system FLESH, and it’s not hard to see why.
Our Full Dead Island 2 Hands-On Preview
Armed with a high-damage golf club rewarded after completing an early side-quest, this resulted in a finishing move that knocked a zombie onto its knees. A well-placed whack on the top of its head made its eyeballs fall and dangle from its eye sockets. Finding a simple garden rake and upgrading it at a crafting table for improved damage led to several swipes that ultimately removed its face. It went flying, leaving behind muscle and bone.
And it’s not just a string of scripted and violent death animations - the system is procedural to the point where cuts and chunks represent the damage and overall “health” of a zombie. From skin to flesh, fat, and bone, it’s all here and reacts to where you hit or cut.