Dead Island 2 Review – A Return to Chaos


It all started on a little island named Banoi. A deadly outbreak caused most island’s inhabitants to turn into zombies. Now the chaos on the island has made its way to Los Angeles, referred to Hell-A in-game. It is up to you to figure out how to stop the nightmare. Be careful that this action-RPG experience from Deep Silver doesn’t become the end of you, as you are sucked into the story and experience.

All those years ago, the trailer looked great when this game was initially teased. It looked like it had added Dead Island’s best parts into a new area.

It never came out until now.

Dead Island 2 Is Worth The Wait

After a lengthy delay and a facelift, the result is a refreshingly clean experience. Unfortunately, many AAA games come out without any polish and plenty of bugs. This one crashed on me once, but that was it. Having a title that is completely done is a rarity these days, so I take this as a win for gamers everywhere.

Much like its predecessor, Dead Island 2 brings back everything I love about a title like this: First-person combat and zombie-smashing goodness. Armed with a large array of new weapons with modifications, our slayer runs through Hell-A, trying to figure out what is going on. At one point, early on, you discover a hint that you might be able to save everyone if you get to a certain area. It is a message that will run you from Bel-Air to boardwalks and even a movie studio. On top of all this, multiple different colorful characters are available to choose from. Six. Each has its own unique stats and slapstick humor.

The humor comes out in the storytelling and even during fights. These characters have good stats in key categories for their build. Unfortunately, this leaves the position of giving some bad stats in other slots. I chose a middle-of-the-road class and seemed to benefit from having the most consistent stats.

Photo Credit: Deep Silver

Hell-A is a fairly large area with secrets all over the place. I quickly learned how to move around from area to area, whether I took on mobs or avoided them. At lower levels, the zombie hordes are easy to take out. Hit the higher levels, and you must change your tactics with them. The simplest way to take out a walker, runner, or otherwise is to hack off their legs and stomp on their heads. Not only does this gain you experience, but it also earns you maims for some in-game achievements.

In Dead Island, taking off zombies’ heads was the optimal way to take them down. It seems that these body parts are much stronger this time around in the sequel. The blood splatter, and maiming, are very satisfying. Watching body parts fly is the best part of a zombie action-adventure game. So take your swings, or even gunshots, at whatever you can earn as much experience as possible to level up your slayer.

Leveling up in Dead Island 2 is as simple as killing zombies. For every kill, you earn experience. For every maim kill or skull crush, you get more experience. As you progress in levels, skill boxes will be opened up in which you can place skill cards. These skills are some of the greatest things in a zombie game. Four sets of cards will help you truly evolve as a player. The areas in which cards can be placed include abilities, survivor, slayer, and numen. The best cards are the ones that help you with attacking zombies while also healing you or your stamina. Having certain mods on your weapons also help to increase your survivability levels.

Customize Your Zombie Killing Adventure

Regarding weapon mods, the one thing I loved the most about Dead Island was the ability to create new types of weapons. My favorite one was always a machete with a fire attachment. I was not as satisfied with the machete and fire combo in Dead Island 2. However, with electrical modifications attached, the captain’s sword was the way to go and made a nice dent in most of the dead. There are different mod types to be on the lookout for. The mod types are Cremator, Electrocutor, Impactor, Liquidator, Mutilator, and Puncturator. While each weapon mod has its own merits, certain weapons become unusable against zombies that have protection. For example, firefighters are immune to the flame mods, and electricians are resistant to the electrical mods. Learning and remembering these immunities can differentiate between life and death in tight situations.

Photo Credit: Deep Silver

One of the most challenging tasks to pick up on is learning the movement and attack patterns of the larger enemies. Big brutes, for better or worse, are bodybuilders who skipped leg day. You will get the joke later on. Brutes and big bosses have their immunities and strengths against your weapons. Steroid-filled bodybuilders should not be trifled with in the apocalypse and should be cautiously approached. Half of the time, it is better to run away from them and continue. There are also times when you’ll need to kill objective-specific enemies to complete a story mission. This provides you the opportunity to take it slow with the larger targets. That first time you come across these brutes, they aren’t even bodybuilders. It comes in the form of a military member responsible for blockading the streets surrounding the outbreak areas. The rarity of loot obtained from these brutes is higher than that found on lesser zombies.

In Dead Island 2, quests are what you are there for. The story is fairly long, even if you don’t complete any side tasks. However, there are only about two story quests per area. There are still more side tasks that will leave you running around the countryside to find hidden weapon mods and obtain trophies by completing all tasks. Opening rooms with battery cells is another good way to unlock chests that bare more rare loot for your journey. The stronger the weapons you obtain, the better your chances of surviving. Once you find rifles and machine guns, things get different for you. These quests become much easier when you start shooting out their legs. Zombies will crawl around on the ground, and you can kick them just before smashing their heads into the ground. Everything in this game leads to a sense of satisfaction in the end.

Wrapping Up

My overall feelings about the game are simple. I love absolutely everything about this title. Dead Island is my favorite zombie game, but Dead Island 2 quickly became my new favorite. I didn’t want to put it down as I played through the story, leading to late nights. The story leads smoothly from one area to another and keeps you involved and ready to throw down with the next horde as soon as you move into a new area. Everything will have you wanting more. So for the completionist in you, do yourself a favor and look for everything. I will play this again, trying not to miss anything the second time.

Dead Island 2 Review – A Return to Chaos
The wait was worth it. Dead Island 2 is a worthy sequel that expand on everything I loved from the original game and is a must own title.
Better than the original
Gore galore
Weapons mods and character skills work well in this genre
Some tasks aren't defined enough to find even with hints
Crashed a couple of times, nothing huge though


  • Chris Bowman

    RPG/Shooter/Platform Lover, who writes about anything and everything especially when it relates to Final Fantasy, Star Wars, or Star Trek. Also a streamer who plays some of these games online.

Chris Bowman

Written by Chris Bowman

RPG/Shooter/Platform Lover, who writes about anything and everything especially when it relates to Final Fantasy, Star Wars, or Star Trek. Also a streamer who plays some of these games online.

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