Yeah, but, Who Do YOU Voodoo? Why we’re excited for Dead Island 2

Koch Media
Koch Media /

Anyone who has talked to me for five minutes will quickly realize my love for zombie games. All of them are pretty rad but there are a few that hold a special place in my heart like Resident Evil, Dying Light and Dead Island. Dead Island was the origin story for the Dying Light franchise but they are two different animals. Dead Island is Dying Light’s cousin that is always getting a little too drunk at parties and making jokes all the time. You either love him or you hate him and there is no in-between.

I LOVE Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide. I spent the majority of last summer poolside reading the novelization of the game. And, after 11 years, we are finally getting Dead Island 2. My body is ready.

Let us dig into the lore that is the Dead Island franchise. Stepping into the “way back when” machine, we see a beautiful marriage of Deep Silver and Techland. They wanted to create a beautiful zombie baby and they did with the fun little romp that is Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide. After the game was released though, Techland wanted to create a zombie game that was more serious with faster gameplay and more parkour. Deep Silver liked the camp of zombie games like Dead Rising and so the pairing broke apart and Techland created Dying Light.

While Dying Light is truly an incredible franchise, there is something special about Dead Island. The gameplay isn’t as smooth and the glitches in Riptide were hilarious at best and infuriating at worst, they are still some of the best zombie games with a beautiful tropical environment and all the rotting flesh you could ever want. The story was interesting with moments of silliness and multiple characters to play. Fans of the game have been waiting a decade for a new one and with the release of Dead Island 2 just around the corner and the first 11 minutes of gameplay releases, I wanted to talk about the things we are excited about.

When I first saw just the opening 11 minutes, I was super excited with a tinge of concern. We get a little peek at the gameplay but I my hopes had a tinge of fear that this wouldn’t live up to the years of anticipation. Then, I saw the gameplay where some of the areas and mechanics were really broken down and all of the fears melted away under the hot LA sun. There is nothing but pure, unadulterated hype for Dead Island 2.

Many zombie games of yore will find us in a fabricated city with sectioned areas for the rich and the poor or you will be in a beautiful, tropical paradise with sights that juxtapose death and decay around you. But with Dead Island 2, we’re in LA baby. It’s 10 years after the outbreak in Banoi and Palanai, there’s an even worse outbreak in America 10 years after the first game and California is quarantined and that’s about what we know.

The Dead Island franchise is king when it comes to eye-catching trailers and the trailers for Dead Island 2 are no exception. The trailers make the game look amazing, so when the first 11 minutes were released, I was a bit worried that the gameplay wouldn’t look as good as the cinematic trailers. While it can seem a tad jerky at times during combat, this game looks AMAZING. The feeling and charm of the original games show through with a shiny new outfit. The zombies are way more diverse than because and the fighting mechanics look fun as hell. The game starts off with an intense plane crash and it all goes downhill from there.

One of the best and most notable things from the originals was the soundtrack and just in that handful of minutes we got with the new gameplay, I can already tell the soundtrack and sound mixing for the game is going to be insane. I loved it immediately. The gameplay looks just as fast-paced and erratic as the originals and I am so excited to see how they bring in the goofs and the camp while balancing the draw for an audience new and old.

I would like to take a second to specifically talk about the gore factor. Sure, there was a splash of blood and guts in the original games. There was a hint of vomit and a few bodies exploded into red mist and goo. But Dead Island 2 looks like a pure gore playground. The character models for the zombies are disgusting and varied. There are standard shooty kills, slicey kills and smacky kills, but then there are the special ones with QTEs that will depend on your weapon. It really makes surviving the end of the world a ton of fun.  Add in some weapon creativity and you have a party.

Dead Island 2 releases on April 21st and it can’t come soon enough. The graphics look stunning with buckets of gore, the voice acting is solid and here is hoping there are nods back to all the lore from before. If Dying Light can include Easter eggs like Sam B’s album (which it is said he may return!), I certainly hope Dead Island 2 has its fair share. GRAB YOUR KIDS, GRAB YOUR WIFE, AND GET OUTTA SIGHT. WHO DO YOU VOODOO, B****?!