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'Dead Island 2' preview: A bloody, sunny apocalypse has never been so much fun

Excited for Dead Island 2?
Excited for Dead Island 2?
Permission to use photo given by Deep Silver

We recently all received our first gameplay trailer for the upcoming open-world game Dead Island 2. From the preview we saw in-person and the aforementioned trailer, it's clear that Dead Island 2 has its sights set on delivering a thunderous, gory and smashing good time to players.

The build we saw was pre-alpha footage and even for gameplay that early in development, Dead Island 2 is looking very good. The game will be set in California and provides a gorgeous canvas for you to wreck havoc upon.

It's actually quite a nice contrast from the usual setting we typically see zombie games set in. The sunshine and green colors I think will add pleasant diversity to the overall feel of Dead Island 2. Mood and tone are so important to set in games like these, and California seems to deliver a nice, lighthearted aura.

Much like we have seen with other open-world zombie games, Dead Island 2 is going to be featuring a fairly deep crafting system. While developer Yager didn't go into details on how in-depth the crafting system will be, it's fair to say players will have plenty of options at their disposal.

Speaking of Yager, what a shift this is from their previous AAA venture, Spec Ops: The Line. Moving from that world to the world of Dead Island is quite the jump from a lot of perspectives. Color me intrigued to find out more information on the narrative of the game, and the type of tone Yager is going to take with it.

There were not many narrative details shared with us during the preview, so it's difficult to convey a strong sense of what Yager is aiming for. That said, from the trailers we've seen, we expect a lighter plot to be implemented, which is funny to say when talking about a post apocalyptic scenario.

Moving on, Dead Island 2's world will have plenty of environmental effects you can use to your advantage. One of the examples we saw was fire and how it spreads. When something like grass or the inside of a building ignites, fire will spread, as it should. This is a nice touch of realism because we too often see fire depicted as if it's a stationary element, which it's not at all. Certain parts of the environment are also going to be destructible, though we were not given an end degree for how destructible the world will be.

Enemies in Dead Island 2 are not just zombies, but also other humans. Staying with the theme of being resourceful and using the world around you, players can create a strategy to unleash hordes of zombies on enemy players. It's very Far Cry-esque with how Yager is implementing this feature.

Following a trend we continue to see with open-world games, Dead Island 2 will feature an experience points system that allows players to level-up and embellish their character's skills. Improving your character will allow you to fight off hordes more effectively and open up new avenues for gameplay.

One of the weapons we were show was something called a "Zombie Launcher," which does exactly what you would think it does. This was a rather hilarious weapon to see in action. We were also given a glimpse of the Machete players will be able to use. This weapon can be thrown at zombies and then picked back up afterward for additional use.

Yager briefly spoke about the zombies and said they will be randomly generated; making it so no zombie is the same as another in Dead Island 2. Co-op multiplayer is coming to Dead Island 2, but if you want to play by yourself, you can do so in this seamless online world.

Deep Silver has stated that Dead Island 2 will be launching sometime during the spring of next year, and one can only hope it avoids February. That month is filling up with releases in a hurry. Perhaps we'll see this beast in March? There haven't been any game announcements for then, so we'll see what Deep Silver has in mind. Dead Island 2 is being made on Unreal Engine 4 and will only be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Dead Island 2 is looking like loads of fun and we cannot wait to get our hands on this baby soon. You can pre-order the game now for new-gen platforms only.

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