PAX East 2023 is here, the Lords from the Iron Lords Podcast and LOGNET are live on the show floor. One of the many games being previewed on the show floor this year is Dead Island 2. What we encountered was actually pretty shocking.
Nearly a decade after it was announced at the 2014 PlayStation E3 Showcase, Dead Island 2 is finally coming out. On April 21st it will release as a cross-gen game on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. I have to admit, our expectations were low for this game coming into the demo. It has been through development hell and back. Most notably it has been helmed by at least three different studios. There were no developers assigned to meet us at the demo, we were not given access to direct capture, only off-screen. So with that, we were sure that this was something that would not stand out within our schedule.
We were wrong. During the very brief demo, what we played was actually pretty amazing. We can not speak to the game as a whole but mechanically, technically, and visually Dead Island 2 is nothing like a game that came from development hell. Starting with the mechanics, when the zombies lunge at you and miss, they fall over in a way that feels strangely accurate.
The zombies move and behave in a way that does not feel bogus or rag doll-like. Hitting them with weapons can often create these rewarding moments where something explodes or falls off. Our demo was packed with so many different weapons, there was a pistol, electric claws, and a handful of melee weapons. Everything felt solid, and all of the weapons felt incredibly unique.
Our final thoughts on Dead Island 2
We were playing a small slice of the game on a high-end gaming PC but visually Dead Island 2 is very impressive. There is a high level of detail and lighting within every aspect of what we saw. There was no developer there to tell us what the framerate target is but it ran smoothly on the high-end PC.
If you are looking past Dead Island 2, our recommendation is to give it another glance. From our demo, it feels like a mix of a modern game, blended with something from a time when zombies were embedded in pop culture.