Publisher Deep Silver has removed the development team from Dead Island 2. In an email sent to press representatives, Deep Silver announced that Yager will no longer be working on the zombie survival sequel to Dead Island. Although no further details were given regarding the development change, the publisher promised to continue working on the game. While there haven’t been any stories of development issues, Dead Island 2 was delayed in April when the launch date was pushed back from Spring of this year to sometime in 2016. It was also a no-show at this year’s E3.
Publisher Deep Silver is polling the community to determine what keepsakes they’d like to see in a Dead Island 2 Collector’s Edition. A beach towel? Beer cooler case? A zombie arm back scratcher? There doesn’t seem to be a choice that includes a bloody dismembered bikini-clad torso like they originally planned to ship with Dead Rising: Riptide. A golden zombie “Oscar” statue just doesn’t have the same impact.
Dead Island’s original announcement trailer turned heads for its touching portrayal of a family in the midst of a crisis. Dead Island: Riptide’s trailer was less lauded, but still maintained the bittersweet gravitas. Both trailers were a lie, of course. Despite odd moments of seriousness, players of the games learned they were really about hacking limbs, giggling with co-op buddies, backpedaling from boss monsters, and laughing like lunatics as things blew up. The weird times when Dead Island tried to get serious were kind of a bummer. You may have noticed the E3 reveal trailer for Dead Island 2 matches your recollection of that gameplay more than the maudlin tone of the previous trailers. Check out those guys at the end. They’re not sad. They love the zombie apocalypse. That’s intentional according to the developer, Yager. In fact, unlike Techland’s Dead Island games, Yager’s sequel is embracing the gonzo world of killing zombies, destruction, and setting up delightfully creative traps. All of quarantined California is the playground, and you’re encouraged to smile.
From sending zombies flying into the air via well-aimed sledgehammer strikes to crushing these walkers beneath a busted chandelier, Dead Island 2 is purely focused on the joys of wanton gore. If you stumble across a lawn full of zombies, you could waste precious moments dispatching each one, or you could simply shoot a propane tank, igniting the lawn, while you sit back and watch the flames gradually consume the grass and its undead occupants.
Less piano plinking and tears. More explosions and smiling. Dead Island 2 launches in Spring 2015.