Dead Island 2 Preview: He Ate My Heart in San Francisco

By: Louis Edwards

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Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide were both contained on a small island chain somewhere in the South Pacific. What would happen if some of these zombies made it to the Golden Gate Bridge and into the City by the Bay? Dead Island 2 wants to show us.

With both of the previous titles being contained to a small island nation in the South Pacific, there was a finite number of  zombies (actually you could bash millions and they would keep coming) as well as a small area to travel around. While that didn’t take away from the game’s overall playability, it did leave the game in a tough spot in the sequel area. With Dead Island 2, the game leaves the shores of Banoi and heads to the wonderful coast of California.

Sung to the tune of Tony Bennett’s “I Left my Heart in San Francisco”

(Rewrite by me)

The ugliness of Banoi seems somehow far away
The glory that was escape is of another day
Now I’m terribly alone and forgotten in the Castro
Why’d I come home to my city by the bay?

They ate my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, they munched on me
To see where their hands left the scars, chest opened like a jar
Blood and guts all in my hair, it’s not fair

My undeath was here in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
Why’d I come home to you, San Francisco?
My zombie life has now begun.

From the Golden Gate to the beaches of Malibu and beyond, the zombie apocalypse has arrived on the shores of the United States and it couldn’t happen to a nicer state. Sunshine and surf, mixed in with blood and gore? Who could ask for anything more?

Dead Island 2- Official E3 Announce Trailer

The first two games in the series was developed by Techland but this go round Developer Yager has taken over the reigns. Their previous work includes Spec Ops: The Line and flight sim called Yager. Having a new developer step in with an established franchise could work for or against the series, but from what we’ve seen so far, it hasn’t hindered the fun and head smashing fun that is the Dead Island franchise.

With the game coming to the next gen consoles, both the PS4 and the Xbox One, developer Yager is talking about each zombie being unique to itself. No more taking down the same Thug a thousand times, as each one will look different. While we haven’t seen this aspect in action yet, it is something we look forward to enjoying.

Dead Island 2 centers around a new non-playable character named Max and his cat Rick Furry. Yager somehow managed to get a cat to succumb to motion capturing. How in the hell did they get a cat to cooperate for motion capturing? It’s a cat and cat’s are never cooperative. Regardless of how they did it, this is the first game to use motion capturing of a cat so maybe they’ll give him some kind of awesome cat weapon to assist in the taking out of zombies. Whatever they do with the cat, it should be entertaining. Max is in search of anyone that is immune to the zombie virus because he isn’t, and really wants to be.

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Dead Island 2 takes the social aspect of previous titles and doubles the fun by giving us eight player co-op instead of just four, and gives you the option of maybe not working together. Does that mean you cane take another player out and steal some of their finely crafted weapons of death? That we aren’t sure of, but it may make you question the validity of someone’s friendship before joining in with them.

In both previous titles, the weapon crafting system was so robust that you could create so many unique weapons that choosing which ones to carry around became a chore in itself. With the latest installment of the series, we are sure that same problem will arise, and now that you’ll be able to craft and repair without needing to find a work bench, you’ll end up in that predicament quicker than before.

These games have always been more about melee attacks and less about gun play, and Dead Island 2 seems to carry on that tradition. Ammo will always be scarce, and firing a weapon can do more harm than good since you’ll instantly announce your location when pulling that trigger. A new Backstab attack sounds like a nice stealthy way to dispatch an unaware zombie, just remember that getting up close and personal puts you in range of those nasty teeth that all zombies seem to have.

We have been big fans of the Dead Island series, and this next installment seems to take the series to the next level. We can’t wait to do our own zombie bashing at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 in the Spring of next year.

You can pre-order the game now.

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