The preview build of Dead Island 2 was something I was looking forward to playing. Having been a fan from the original game I wanted to see for myself the differences between Dead Island/Riptide and the upcoming sequel. The build available for play at this year’s EuroGamer Expo was the 4 players cooperative mode with the task of seeing who can kill the most zombies. As much as I enjoyed fighting the other 3 players for the getting the kills on the undead I personally know that this won’t be my primary game mode on release. I can understand that for expos this is a fun way of bringing players together competitively but what I liked about the original games, and what’ll be in this full title, is the immersive campaign mode where adapting and survival trumps over the competitive sports-like game mode.
Even though the game was in the alpha stage I did however still enjoy coming back to this world where there’s more zombies than sense and the brutal ways of dispatching them is still the drive behind this game. The demo was set in a suburban part of Hollywood with the famous Hollywood sign in the not too distant background upon the over looking hill. Wading between houses and a couple of petrol garages I was armed with the bare minimum and was set out to cause zombie genocide. I naturally went for the thing that made the biggest mess, gas canisters, and started the party off with explosions and flying limbs. I felt right at home with the controls as I remembered how to play from the titles.
As I began to progress through the stage waypoint markers appeared telling everyone where the next horde was causing an issue. I particularly liked these bits as I’m familiar with Dead Island throwing dozens of zombies at me and only at these waypoints I got my undead fix. Everywhere else wasn’t really populated with things to kill but I saw that as a reason to go exploring. I visited the interiors of a couple of houses where running zombies cornered me unsuspectingly in people’s kitchens, to finding myself kicking them into garden hedges just to clear a path. I have to admit that the game looked graphically better on the Playstation 4s we played it on in comparison to the previous gen, something that we all expected. It was nice to not be thrown by a completely different interface on top of this too.
Other than a few glitches I look forward to playing more of Dead Island 2 when something other than this non-scary zombie skirmish mode. I’m excited for the panic and running for safety, thrilling and unique variants of enemies and the ridiculous custom weapons I know Dead Island 2 has up its sleeve. I may have not won with the most kills in this the hands on but I can assure you if I was awarded points for creative kills and feral-like back stabs with my machete I’d have walked away a champ.