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Dead Island 2 release date, trailers, gameplay and news

Dead Island 2 looks as though it might finally have a final release date, though we’ve certainly been burned with this game before. After originally being slated for a 2015 release, the game disappeared. Rumors of a difficult development process had led many to think that Dead Island 2 would never see the light of day.

Thankfully, and to the delight of zombie fans everywhere, Dead Island 2 is indeed still alive and kicking, and will release next year. It was re-revealed earlier in 2022, with a full gameplay trailer showing off the new tone and visual style. It looks as though there will still be plenty of zombie-killing action, set against the backdrop of sun-bleached  LA. 

Now that a release date is finally within sight, and with a gameplay showcase on the horizon, there’s plenty to learn about Dead Island 2. Here’s everything we know about Dead Island 2, including all of the latest news and rumors. As new details are revealed, you’ll find this page updated. Check back in to find out whether the game does indeed hit its new launch date.

Dead Island 2: cut to the chase

  • What is it? The long-delayed sequel to Dead Island
  • When can I play it? April 28, 2023
  • What can I play it on? PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC 

Dead Island 2 trailers

For a very long time the only Dead Island 2 trailer we had was the original 2014 reveal cinematic. It was a tasty thing, showing a rapidly decomposing jogger running along Venice Beach in LA.

While it didn’t really reveal anything about the game, it set the tone for what we could expect from Dead Island 2’s tone.

Skip ahead eight years and we now have two new trailers for the open-world Zombie survival game. A new cinematic, in the vein of the original, giving you a tasty for this apocalyptic version of LA.

Though, after an eight year wait between cinematic trailers, you can understand that fans may want to actually see Dead Island 2 in action. Thankfully, developer Dambuster Studios was happy to cooperate and released a gameplay trailer, too, showing off just how violent this long-awaited sequel will be.

Dead Island 2 release date and platforms

A swollen zombies stands in an abandoned burger joint.

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

Dambuster Studios has once again delayed Dead Island 2. It will now release April 28, 2023. This is a 12-week delay from the former release date. In a Twitter post, which you can view below, the team states that this is now the final release date. We’ll see.

Fans will be waiting with bated breath. The development of Dead Island 2 has switched hands twice since the sequel was originally announced eight years ago, leaving players disappointed in the past. It was first under development at Yager, the same studio that created Spec Ops: The Line, and was originally scheduled to release in 2015. But it never materialized. 

In 2016, it was announced that development had passed over to Sumo Digital. Three years later, the game changed studios again, with Dambuster announcing it had taken over work on the game. Fingers crossed that it makes it past the finish line this time around.

As for platforms, Dead Island 2 will be coming to new- and old-gen consoles, with PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC all confirmed.

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Dead Island 2 gameplay and story

The player grabs a zombie by the throat in Dead Island 2.

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

Now that Dead Island has been re-revealed, we’re starting to learn a little more about it. Our first morsels of information actually came from the game’s leaky Amazon listing, which revealed that Dead Island 2 isn’t set on an island. Instead, it’s set in Los Angeles, or “HELL-A”.

The screenshots on the game’s listing page showed that the game will continue the series’ emphasis on melee fighting and its blurb promised plenty of gore, saying the game’s combat will deliver “the most intense, visceral and gory first-person experience possible”.

You’ll have a variety of weapons to choose between, the blurb says, with each offering different tactical advantages. The game will also have six playable characters to choose from, each with customizable abilities with, Dambuster says, a “brand-new skill system allowing you to re-spec instantly and try out the craziest builds.” 

In an interview with PCGamer, creative director James Worrall revealed that while the game doesn’t have a branching narrative, the six player characters offer different perspectives. 

“Each player character has their own voice and their own dialogue,” he said. “So you might get one character who’s particularly driven or energised or upbeat. You might get another character who’s a little bit more of a cynical individual. Some characters are quite low key, subtle. We’ve written those characters to reflect broad playstyles.”

As for the zombies, there’ll be variety there, too, with Dambuster confirming there’ll be “dozens of distinct zombie types, each with their own mutations, attacks and hundreds of LA-themed variants”.

Dead Island 2’s story is still a bit of a mystery, although it sounds as if you’ll play as a survivor of a deadly virus that’s wrecked Los Angeles. Banding together with other survivors, you’ll try to “uncover the truth behind the outbreak” as you “harness the zombie inside” of yourself.

As part of that banding together, Dead Island 2 will support single-player gameplay but there’ll be co-op mode, too, with up to three players able to take part. We’ve still got quite a lot to learn about just how the co-op will work, though. 

In a preview of the game, IGN touched on the game’s ‘FLESH’ system, or ‘Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids’, which “procedurally shreds zombies with each strike” and makes the game a truly gory experience. We caught a glimpse of that ourselves in the trailer. 

When it comes to combat, IGN said that the game “encourages constant movement, with dodges, kicks, and jumps all integral parts” and that while there is a stamina system, it’s not punishingly restrictive, allowing you to “experiment with a variety of different techniques”.

Dead Island 2 news and rumors

Topless muscular male zombie lunging towards player POV

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Dead Island 2 Showcase coming in December
Alongside the news of a recent delay, a gameplay showcase was revealed for Dead Island 2. It will take place December 6, 2022. You can watch it via the links in the Tweet below.

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Dead Island 2 consulted a diversity council for a more “representative” LA
During a recent interview with Dead Island 2 developer Dambuster Studios, Art director Adam Olsson told The Loadout explained how they tackled its version of Los Angeles. While there’s more comical exaggerations like Hell-A’s Muscle Beach having bodybuilder zombies, Olsson confirmed decisions were made after speaking with Dambuster’s diversity council.

“It was a really interesting exercise trying to break down what makes something LA and what stands out as a truly unique LA experience. “We were very cautious to take anything that would feel like a hurtful stereotype and that’s why, in the studio, we have a diversity council that helps us understand whether we’ve pushed something too far,” Olsson explains.

“The council has worked very closely with us to make sure we’re pushing out a good tone because we want to make sure that we bring Dead Island 2 into the 21st Century. We want to be contemporary and we want to be representative.”

Alexa Game Control integration
Dead Island 2 will come with an interesting feature: Alexa Game Control. Announced during Gamescom 2022, Alexa Game Control will give PC and console players the option of using voice commands to make things happen in the game. You don’t need an Amazon Echo device or an Amazon Prime account to use it. In fact, you don’t need to say “Alexa”, either. All you need is “any microphone or headset” connected to your PC or console and a standard Amazon account linked to the game.

According to an Amazon blog post, with Alexa Game Control, you’ll be able to say things like “where is the nearest workbench” and “swap to my best weapon” during play to do things like find the nearest workbench and, um, swap to your best weapon. The post even mentions being able to “manipulate zombie hordes” just by saying “hey zombie”.

Dead Island 2 will be the first game to support the feature and the FAQ reveals that it’ll be available in English in North America on PC and Xbox at launch, with more regions, languages and maybe even platforms to come down the line. 

Dambuster Studios takes over development
Back in 2019, the development of Dead Island 2 was moved from Sumo Digital to Dambuster Studios. No further details were provided at the time, but it did indicate that the sequel was at least still in the works.

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