Dead Island 2 (PS5) Review
One of the games that drew a lot of attention two generations of consoles ago was the zombie FPS, Dead Island of Techland (Yes, the ones from Dying Light). One of the reasons was that great trailer in which we could see in a rewound way, how a family vacation turned hell when witnessing the spread of a zombie outbreak. However, the game received somewhat lukewarm reviews in which it was felt that, despite the atmosphere and its gameplay, it fell short in some areas.
Still, it sold enough to nab a few sequels and spin-offs, but a numbered sequel was a long time coming. In 2014, it was announced through another trailer almost following the same theme of the first trailer, Dead Island 2. After a series of delays in which development even changed hands, the game is finally among us. An advance, it surpasses its predecessors in everything.
Welcome to HELL-A
At the narrative level, the game is located 10 years after the events of the first title. Basically, the virus is a reality to live with, just like in real life with COVID-19. It can be seen how society has designed methods to avoid an outbreak, whether in public transport, squares and wherever people have contact.
However, as something has to go wrong, the virus got out of control in Los Angeles, now called Los Diablos or Hell-A, a very Anglo-Saxon play on words. Now the city is a large quarantine zone where evacuation points are set up for survivors. This is how we are introduced to the six protagonists on their way to the evacuation plane, which, how could it be otherwise, a zombie sneaked among the passengers.
The plot is loaded with countless references to popular culture, including the use of social networks, influencers, blockbuster movies and all the glamor that Los Diablos offers but gone down. In fact, the missions are based on what you might expect from a real-life place like Los Angeles: rescuing artists, visiting film sets, and witnessing how the rich live.
Speaking of characters, we will meet all kinds of figures, be it meetings with Hollywood stars, producers, agents, etc. The playable characters each have their own personality and we will even see others that come from the first game. However, many of the interactions are limited to conversations before a mission.
What happens in Los Diablos, that nobody finds out
First of all, we must choose one among the six playable characters, each with their unique characteristics, stats and abilities. We will have two types of players, the skilled and the strong; while the former can perform a dodge move and better avoid damage, the latter can block attacks and can engage enemies head-on.
- Daniel: A punk style girl with a lot of stamina but minimal health. Agile character.
- Jacob: A Hollywood stuntman who has maximum health and minimum Resilience. strong character.
- Ryan: He is a firefighter with all the style of being the default protagonist (My chosen character.) who has maximum Robuztes and minimum agility. strong character.
- Amy: Amy is a Paralympian who has maximum Agility and minimum Sturdiness. Agile character.
- Bruno: The typical character with a plan and something to say. This one has maximum Critical Damage and minimum Health. Agile character.
- Carla: The city girl with maximum Resilience and minimum Critical Damage. strong character.
As we have seen, each character has seven attributes in which their statistics are distributed. Stamina, Stamina, Health Recovery, Critical Damage, Agility, Max Health, Resilience. The characters have a maximum and a minimum attribute to balance the balance, it is up to us to choose the one that best suits our style of play. In addition, we will level up by gaining experience through different methods.
Unlike other action games with RPG touches, here we don’t have a skill tree as such. Rather, we have a card system in which we will get different decks that have different attributes such as better resistance, timely blocks, better critical damage and temporary increase in states. The system lends itself to the creation of very varied character Builds and for different play styles. In my case, I was driving a character capable of resisting damage and making counterattacks.
The use of melee weapons with degradation returns. We have a fairly wide variety of weapons ranging from blunt, cutting, heavy, etc. In addition, they have a rarity system in which we will find from common to legendary. This implies having more spaces or not to incorporate improvements and be able to create the ultimate weapon.
one with the elements
Continuing with the weapons, we will have workshops where, in addition to repairing broken weapons, we can improve them. In turn, the weapons have their own attributes such as Modifications, Modifiable Advantages and Fixed Advantages. To have any advantage, we need to find the corresponding blueprints, which encourages exploration. Weapons can have status ailments taunts applied like Electricity, Bleeding, Chemical Damage, etc.
Regarding altered states, the game offers interesting forms of combat for both enemies and ourselves. For example, we can create a path with water in an electrical cable with electricity to serve as a conductor and cause an electrified state that will gradually reduce health. Another state is chemical damage that causes corrosion and is much more lethal. The game allows you to have different options on how to kill zombies, in the most creative ways possible.
Regarding the enemies, we will meet different types as we advance in the adventure. We have the walkers that are the slowest and most numerous, the runners that are quite agile and can dodge attacks. The stocky, burly ones whose strength surpasses us, and other spitting types.
The game puts creativity to the test again to kill each zombie, it is not the same to face a walker than a runner, where the latter must disable his legs so that they do not pose a considerable threat. The enemies also have levels, and this implies knowing whether or not we can face a zombie with a higher level than ours.
this is hollywood
The technical section of Dead Island 2 faithfully recreates post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, although with some clarifications. First of all, the game is semi open world which implies that it is not a wide map, but rather wide divided areas which gives a corridor feeling. On the other hand, the game enjoys a more than remarkable performance even though it only has a default graphics mode. Both the performance in terms of frames and texture loads is impressive, not to mention the reduced load times.
However, the most notable are the designs of the zombies. To begin with, they have a technology implemented by the developer studio that is very similar to the Dead Space remake Peeling System. Each zombie has several layers of tissue between flesh, muscle, and bone. Each blow to any extremity has both a visual and a physical repercussion. We can see dismemberments, broken bones, dislocated jaws, and a long etcetera, which makes it very fun to kill zombies. It’s great to see how we disintegrate a zombie by bathing it in acid and it is losing each layer of tissue.
The sound section complies perfectly at the level of immersion. The sound effects will make us stand on edge when we hear the moans of the zombies. It comes dubbed in several languages, including English with texts in Spanish.
Dead Island 2 is how the franchise was conceived 12 years ago, both in terms of setting and gameplay. With a plot worthy of George A. Romero movies in which it is built through documents and interactions with other characters. At the gameplay level, the title allows the elimination of enemies in the most creative ways possible, with the use of weapons and their improvements. Graphically, it has a solid section and implements the use of technology in the bodies of the enemies.
Note: This review was made on PS5 and the copy was transferred thanks to Deep Silver.