Dead Island 2 was announced almost a decade ago, but it’s finally out this week, with reviews coming in giving us an idea of what the game is like. The verdict? Depends on who you ask.
Gameplay-wise, it seems that across the board the opinion is that the game isn’t doing anything unique or even necessarily better than other, similar games, though it has a bit more to offer as you progress through it. Story-wise opinions are split, with some outlets highlighting the writing, while others finding it a bit lacking, and occasionally finding the character irritating. Another issue is that when it comes to crossplay, you won’t be able to play with someone on a different platform than you, so make sure you plan to pick the game up on the appropriate console.
“Exploration, combat, and upgrades all shine, which is helpful when the story is so forgettable,” wrote Mark Delayney in GameSpot’s Dead Island 2 review. “Though the sequel is written by a different team than the original, Dead Island 2’s writing suffers from problems that tie them together like a familiar bouquet of unexplained motivations, grating dialogue, and a bad final act that races past a would-be charming level of campiness and crashes into groan-inducing territory.
You can check out more critics reviews once they’ve appeared on our sister site Metacritic for a broader picture.
- Game: Dead Island 2
- Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
- Developer: Dambuster Studios
- Release Date: April 21
- Price: $70
GameSpot — 7/10
“For a game in development for more than a decade, it’s a minor miracle for Dead Island 2 to come out at all. The fact that it’s arrived in such a state that players can have fun with it for the duration of its story and beyond–even as that story itself is an afterthought–is a testament to the team that got it to a once-unlikely finish line.” — Mark Delaney [Full review]
IGN — 7/10
“Dead Island 2 is a hysterical Los Angeles-infused satire that does most things well enough, but feels like a stroll down the Walk of Fame of celebrated zombie games I’ve already played without adding many new ideas of its own.” — Travis Northup [Full review]
VGC — 4/5
“Dead Island 2 is an extremely silly, comically violent, and consistently enjoyable experience. It’s almost impossible to stop smiling while playing, such are the slapstick laughs of limbs flying off in every direction.” — Jordan Middler [Full review]
Eurogamer — Unscored
“If you’ve somehow yet to play an undead-themed action-RPG or you have an appropriately on-brand mindless hunger for the subgenre, Dead Island 2 might be worth your while. It’s certainly got the zombie disassembly part down pat. If you are neither of those things, all the sturdy design and flying organs in the world can’t hide the shortage of lingering excitement here. Dead Island 2 isn’t a bad game, but it does feel superfluous, which is a sad thing to conclude about a project that’s been in development for almost a decade.” — Edwin Evans-Thirlwell [Full review]
PC Gamer — 55/100
“Apart from the admittedly impressive technical performance, it’s hard to find much reason to recommend Dead Island 2. Although the combat feels responsive and intuitive, it sadly does little to compensate for the game’s numerous shortfalls – especially when said gameplay barely evolves throughout the game’s twenty hour campaign.” — Lewis Parker [Full review]
NME — 3/5
“Like the loading screen zombie, floating mid-death through a black background, Dead Island 2 is fully focused on the look of its detailed gore to the exclusion of the other details surrounding it. Its unabashed love for schlock horror violence gives it a gruesomely appealing edge, but, without a story capable of properly framing its often-exciting combat or making good on its premise, it’s a game that shambles more than it sprints across its runtime.” — Reid McCarter [Full review]