Dead Island 2 Review

A Hilarious and Quirky Zombie Adventure

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General Information

In the world of zombie-filled games, Dead Island 2 stands out with its charming and hilarious take on the apocalypse. Developed by Dambuster Studios, this sequel to the original Dead Island offers a lighthearted first-person action experience set in the absurd streets of Southern California. While lacking in originality, Dead Island 2 compensates with its over-the-top humor and memorable characters. Join us as we delve into this 30-hour adventure filled with dismembered body parts, larger-than-life quest-givers, and an abundance of laughs.


A Zombie Parody Like No Other

Dead Island 2 takes place in the fictional city of "Hell-A" where the zombie apocalypse has taken hold. You play as one of six virus-resistant characters who find themselves stranded in this post-apocalyptic landscape after a failed plane evacuation. Alone or with up to two co-op pals, you'll embark on a gore-filled adventure, drop-kicking and disemboweling your way through hordes of the undead. The game's setting in Southern California adds an extra layer of absurdity, with a cast of characters that includes a drug-addled rockstar and a geriatric former movie star.

A Hilariously Incoherent Story

The story of Dead Island 2 doesn't strive for coherence, and that's part of its charm. The game's attempt at producing a serious narrative may even be sarcastic, fitting perfectly with its absurdist tone. From zombies with aggressive bees trapped in their torsos to a giant acid-spitting mechanical spider on a horror movie set, the game revels in its own ridiculousness. While the twists and turns may not be particularly surprising or interesting, the comedic writing and unhinged characters make up for the lack of storytelling substance.


Memorable Characters and Hilarious Dialogue

One of the highlights of Dead Island 2 is its cast of memorable characters and witty dialogue. Each protagonist mocks the absurdity of their surroundings, adding an extra layer of humor to the game. The writing is incredibly funny, with great one-liners and clever observations throughout. However, a downside is that NPCs often miss out on the humor, using the same dialogue regardless of the character you're playing as. Despite this minor flaw, the high-quality voice performances and comedic writing make the characters and their interactions the best part of Dead Island 2.

Combat: A Familiar Formula

In terms of combat, Dead Island 2 follows a formula that will be familiar to players of previous zombie games. Starting with basic melee weapons like baseball bats and hammers, you'll gradually craft more elaborate tools of destruction, including electric katanas and flamethrowers. However, while the melee weapons may have interesting designs, they don't offer much variety in terms of gameplay. The combat can become monotonous, especially when facing a horde of zombies that pose little challenge. Multiplayer mode adds some excitement, providing opportunities for dropkicking enemies off rooftops and enjoying a laugh riot with friends.


A Lackluster Range of Firearms

While Dead Island 2 introduces ranged weapons, they fail to deliver the same excitement as melee combat. Guns feel sloppy and inaccurate, and they don't benefit from the upgrades and skills that enhance melee attacks. Additionally, ammunition is extremely limited, making firearms an impractical choice in most situations. The constant stream of zombies attacking from all directions often interrupts any attempts to use ranged weapons effectively, resulting in a return to melee combat. Compared to the movement fluidity of similar games like Dying Light 2, the combat in Dead Island 2 feels sluggish.

Freshness in Combat: Powers and Abilities

Despite its shortcomings in combat variety, Dead Island 2 introduces some fresh elements to keep things interesting. Consumable tools like grenades, molotov cocktails, and shurikens are replenished through cooldowns, allowing players to make liberal use of these gadgets. The game also offers a wide range of passive perks and active abilities that unlock as you progress through side quests and stories. These options allow for greater customization of your character's playstyle, adding variety to combat encounters. From enhancing attack speed to gaining superhuman powers, these abilities inject excitement into otherwise repetitive encounters.


Technical Bugs and Unpolished Feel

Dead Island 2 does suffer from technical bugs and an overall unpolished feel. While these issues rarely impact gameplay, they can be noticeable. Sinkholes during cutscenes, misleading captions, and disappearing characters are among the glitches that occasionally occur. Multiplayer mode exacerbates these problems, introducing lag and other issues that can disrupt the experience. Despite these flaws, the game's rowdy and ridiculous atmosphere often makes up for its lack of polish.

A Minor Annoyance: Restrictive Multiplayer Rules

One aspect of Dead Island 2 that may frustrate players is the restrictive multiplayer rules. Players can only join a game if they are at the same part or further along in the campaign. This means that if you want to play with friends, you may have to backtrack or wait for them to catch up, disrupting the flow of gameplay. This decision seems unnecessary, as the plot developments in the game are not particularly meaningful or spoiler-worthy.



Dead Island 2 offers a hilarious and quirky take on the zombie genre. While it may lack originality and variety in combat, it makes up for it with its witty writing, memorable characters, and absurd setting. The game's comedic tone and over-the-top humor create a lighthearted experience that is sure to entertain players looking for a fun-filled zombie adventure. Despite its technical flaws and restrictive multiplayer rules, Dead Island 2 delivers a laughter-inducing romp through the streets of "Hell-A".


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