Dead Island 2: Venice Beach has enough zombies - Games Weekly

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dead Island 2: Venice Beach has enough zombies

The tonal shift from Dead Island to Dead Island 2 was apparent from the first moment I saw it. The first game’s now well-known trailer featured the reversed footage of a zombie infested resort rewinding back to where it started before the first attack. It was impactful if not a little maudlin and overly sentimental. Dead Island 2 has no such pretense. The serious nature remains but the new trailer shows a more tongue-in-cheek style as we watch a Californian gym freak enjoying a leisurely jog along a zombie plagued beachfront before succumbing to the virus himself.

“[We] are not dark and depressing nor ridiculous and stupid,” said Pete Brolly, International Brand Manager at Deep Silver as the trailer ended. “We are cool and kick ass.”

Dead Island 2 takes place several months after the original outbreak from the first game. The virus is now spreading around the world and the sunny state of California has been hit hard and subsequently locked down by the US government.

“It's a bright and beautiful world of California to be explored,” said Brolly. “And we're bringing you to the most iconic locations of the golden state including the San Francisco pier, the LA beaches, the Hollywood hills and many more. We say embrace the zombie outbreak, this is the apocalypse of your dreams.”

That's the attitude of the heroes of Dead Island 2. They're not just survivors in a zombie wasteland; they're in the quarantine zone because they want to be. It's a chance for them to forge their own path with no jobs or bills to worry about. And better than that, they're immune from the virus. They can of course be mauled to death by a group of flesh eaters, but they can't become one of them, so why not rob a few mansions and make a name for yourself?

You are definitely not alone in zombie California and the biggest character to come to your aid throughout the game is a resourceful opportunist named Max.

“Max is not immune so he drives his custom tank with his beloved cat Nick Furry,” explained Brolly. “Also for him the California outbreak is a second chance for Max because he can live out his nerdy childhood dream of being the leader of a zombie task force.

“And Dead Island 2 is the first ever game to motion capture a cat.”
Realistic felines aside Dead Island 2 also boasts a wider variety of different zombies than in the previous game as well as a complex component system meaning no two zombies will look the same. But it's not just the dead you have to worry about as different human factions are out to get theirs in zombie California.

“This time around human factions play a very important role,” said Brolly, “so we ex-prisoners abandoned US forces and raiders for example that keep the world alive and thriving.

“And obviously to kill all of these bad boys we need weapons. Most of our weapons are focussed on melee combat but we now have motorised weapons as well. They are kind of a double edged sword because on the one hand [they deliver huge damage] but they also use fuel and resources that are scarce in the apocalypse. They also create noise and noise attracts zombies, but then again maybe you want that.”

From what has been shown of Dead Island 2 the real star of the game looks to be zombified recreation of California. The zombies and weapons will no doubt impress but the attention to detail in the recreation of the world looks very impressive and will hopefully be enough to set the game apart from the horde of other living dead games coming soon.

Arguably the biggest change happening in Dead Island 2 isn’t actually in the game. Yager Development, the makers of the brilliant but flawed Spec Ops: The Line, were announced as the new developers at E3. The creators of the first game Techland jumped ship during the early stages of development and joined up with Warner Bros. to make their new zombie gorefest Dying Light. So basically at worst zombie fans will be spoiled for choice in 2015.

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