Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Early Game Review: 'Dead Island 2'

Twelve years after the open-world hack-and-slasher "Dead Island" surfaced, a sequel rises from the post-apocalyptic ashes to reascend its grim throne.

Deep Silver Dambuster Studios piles on the high-performance weaponry and nonstop gore for the new effort, ironing out many of the drawbacks of the original and powering the sequel to new heights with spectacular visuals and dizzying action. 

Due out April 21, the game has you taking undead enemies apart limb by limb. Set in the terrifying streets of Hell-A -- a once proud metropolis turned dystopia after the zombie apocalypse -- you scramble to find survivors and set up a foothold of civilized resistance against the enemy. You choose from among six lead characters, each with their own hang-ups and pizzazz.

You may be surrounded by unforgiving environs and ludicrously overpowered creatures who lust after your blood, but a sizable arsenal helps even up the odds. Card-based enhancements allow you to deliver outsized damage with skill boosts.

One innovation promised this time around is voiced-based Alexa game control, which allows you to take it easy on the controller and use your virtual assistant to shout commands that pull up maps, draw weapons and distract enemies.

Zombie minions are divided into classes such as Walkers, Shamblers and Runners -- each of which have subsets that specialize in certain weapons or mutations.

Even though the tone is grim, a steady flow of gallows humor pulses beneath the subtext. The fun factor recalls the likes of the "Dawn of the Dead"-inspired "Dead Rising" series.

Appealing and feature-rich out of the gate while promising loads of coming content with a steady stream of updates, "Dead Island 2" is an appealing destination for your upcoming summer travels. So long as maiming undead villains is your preferred vacation activity.

Publisher provided review code.

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