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Dead Island 2 – a boring action movie in a beautiful wrapper

Dead Island 2 - a boring action movie in a beautiful wrapper

Judging by the continued interest in zombie-themed developers, games about the destruction of hordes of the walking dead continue to appear on the market. It would seem that everything is silence, but suddenly, like a devil from a snuffbox, some studio appears, which once again offers us a story about a “survivor” in the world of the zombiecalypse that has come. 

This year, Deep Silver took on the role of the snuffbox devil with the first-person action game Dead Island 2 , which was announced already 8 years ago. Eight! The game was canceled, then revived, then postponed – in general, the game finally got to the release. 

The first part of the series turned out to be a very cheerful slasher in the open world, where the events took place on a large tropical island. Although there were complaints about it, the game coped with the main task perfectly – the player felt like the main character of a trash action movie with elements of horror and did what he wanted, letting the carrion roaming around the area onto kebabs. Did you manage to consolidate the achievements of the first part in the sequel? Let’s figure it out. 

Plot 

Dead Island 2 takes place 10 years after the first part. This time we have to survive not on a green island, but still in a warm place – the city of sin and vice, Los Angeles. And then the attentive gamer has a question: “What does the name of the game “Dead Island” have to do with the city?”. There is no answer to it, and even the developers did not comment on this logical cant. 

At the very beginning of the game, I suggest you choose one of the heroes that differ from each other not only in appearance, but also in the style of the game. Someone prefers to solve problems with the help of heavy improvised means, someone focuses on shooting, and someone is bold, daring, as sharp as a bullet. But in general, the choice of character does not affect anything: the ending is the same for everyone, as is the storyline, from which you will not deviate a single step. I chose the black guy Jacob. By the way, when I watched several cuts of DI2 gameplay, I noticed that almost all the streamers from those who caught my eye also played for him. I wonder why. 

Wealthy LA area done great

Having decided on the character, we observe a rather lengthy cut-scene in which we are shown the process of evacuating people from a city infected with a zombie virus. The last plane in a hurry closes the doors in front of the poor fellow who did not have time for it, and begins to take off. But, what a surprise, it turns out to be infected in the cabin, vanity, screams, squeals, and even someone fired from the ground from the Stinger. As a result, our plane crashes somewhere in L.E., and we come to our senses with a piece of iron in our belly. 

After going through a quick “press W to go forward” control tutorial and the like, and admiring the gorgeous sparks on all RTX 3080s, our hero gets out into the clearing, where he meets several characters, among which he absolutely does not influence anything, but survived to the very finale and the surviving B-star Hollywood actress, her assistant manager, and some guy who, as Jacob (meaning us) rightly pointed out later, “was originally in the Red Shirts squad.” Star Trek fans will understand what this means. 

In general, while the point is, the hero is bitten by a zombie, but he does not turn into a wandering rotting corpse, but survives quite well and even tries to think soberly. As a result, after wandering around the rich area, we find ourselves in the house of the actress, which will serve as a hub for some time. Actually, this is where the main game begins. 

Gameplay

Straight to the point. Now we are not offered any open world. This time we will explore several closed locations of different sizes, performing various tasks on them and clearing the streets of the dead. The hero decides to contact the authorities to offer his immune blood as a component for a vaccine. Around this goal, the first half of the plot is built. 

Otherwise, globally, nothing has changed compared to the first part. Still, you have to run from point to point, clear the area from opponents, get loot, pick up anything that can be used as a weapon, and beat zombies. 

Local heavy metal legend – walks around in women’s underpants, grunts and constantly holds his ass

There are not so many types of weapons, but it cannot be said that there is any lack of diversity. A piece of pipe, a large wrench, a knife of several types, a machete, a bat, several types of firearms will be added later – that’s the whole arsenal. Plus, all this comes in four colors (white, green, blue, purple), showing the coolness of the gun and its combat potential. Naturally, weapons can be improved by adding various effects, such as ignition or electric shock, spending resources on this matter. And this is a useful thing, since some dead people will be immune to certain damage. For example, guys in chemical protection suits wanted to sneeze at your acid, and armored policemen do not pay attention to physical damage until you break this armor. 

In addition, the infected person himself (that is, you) gains some specific skills over time, just like the rare zombies you meet in the story. First, it will be a rage mode in which the hero arranges a bloodbath with his hands, then a strong blow to the ground, causing a local earthquake, later you will start feasting on pieces of the flesh of damaged zombies, and so on towards the final animal atrocity. 

Designers decided to issue special bonuses in the form of cards, of which you can find several dozen per game. As a result, you yourself choose a deck that suits your playing style. 

Actually, that’s the whole gameplay. Yes, it is worth noting the very cool implemented mechanics of damage and related animations. The way zombie carcasses are dismembered in this game is unlikely to be found anywhere else. But in general, this does not affect the gameplay in any way and performs a purely decorative function. I don’t know what mentally healthy person would be pleased and cheerful to rip open the belly of a dead man, considering how his insides are located there … 

Graphics, sound and overall experience

Visually, the game looks very good. Designers decided to compensate for the lack of large spaces with detailing, they paid a lot of attention to this. Zombies look very cool, and in general the visual part leaves a good impression. Of course, I can’t call the picture “next-genome” right here, but the team clearly tried. 

But the music in the game is secondary. Moreover, it often distracts. You will often come across a situation where a melody frankly drowns out (with equal volume settings) dialogues or radio broadcasts. And if suddenly you find yourself in an area where there is a source of music, then a natural cacophony of sounds begins to happen in your ears. In the end, I turned off the music in the game, and I have never regretted it. 

Moreover, this time the designers decided to pay more attention to the horror elements, adding various harsh sounds to the environment, such as cod or growling zombies in the distance, in order to catch you more fear.

But here’s the problem: the game has a frankly broken zombie respawn system. Hearing a growl around the corner somewhere nearby, you are far from sure that you will find an enemy there. The same applies to all sorts of unexpected knocks and crackles: very quickly, these sounds begin to frankly annoy. Not only that, a zombie standing five steps away from you can suddenly disappear if you just turn away for a moment and turn back. Or it may appear in front of your face if you abruptly crossed some invisible line that triggers a trigger – right in the middle of the street. 

Plus, zombies are constantly appearing. They killed the group, ran a little ahead, then remembered that they forgot to pick up the first-aid kit, turn around – and here’s another respawn for you, as if you hadn’t done anything. In fact, this gameplay joint (and this is precisely the joint!) Kills all the value of your actions and battles. Very soon you will realize that there is no point in all this extermination, and it is not worth the time spent.

It's just boring to play at night

It’s just boring to play at night

Here you would, for example, want to calmly explore a piece of the location, vacuum the trophies, but no, you will be constantly distracted by zombies that have appeared, persistently seeking your attention. 

And now, after a couple of hours of gameplay, the main enemy of all video games, BOREDOM, suddenly approaches you. Do you understand the gravity of the situation? Zombie slasher begins to cause the most common boredom. And you no longer want to open rooms that require fuses (bought from merchants). Moreover, they drop weapons that are often worse than what you have in your hands. And you don’t even want to do side tasks, because you understand that once again you will be sent to chop a horde of corpses. 

And at the end of the story, the game turns into natural meat, because the designers couldn’t come up with anything more interesting than hordes of zombies rushing at you from all the cracks. Alas. 

As a result

Dead Island 2 is off to a good start. In the three days since the release, the game has already been bought by more than one million people. At the same time, these people were largely dissatisfied with what they saw, going to express their claims to the available sites. Was it a bad game? By no means! 

This is an ordinary spinal thriller, in which the designers perfectly realized the bloody mess, paying a lot of attention to the anatomical details of people’s bodies. But otherwise, Dead Island 2 is not able to surprise you or really entertain you. Over the past decade, we’ve been taking down hordes of zombies in the most sophisticated way, and another attempt to attract gamers to an already frankly disgusting setting quickly causes despondency and boredom. Run through the story in 7-8 hours and that’s it. 

All you remember from this game is “cool dismemberment”. But at least you remember this. 

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