Hoboy are we ever a long, long way from the reverse-time harrowfest that was our first glimpse of Dead Island. Nevermind the tonal shift, this is a franchise now, with sequels and spin-offs. Dead Island 2 got its first showing during E3 with a cinematic trailer that didn't quite have the same impact as the original. Now Yager (yeah, those guys) have shown off what their California-based undead-destructinator is like to play.
Spoiler warning: graphic mutilation of reanimated corpses.
It was nice of George Romero to invent the modern zombie so that some cosmetics or textures make it A-ok to slaughter groups of humans in the most horrific ways possible. What Bad Company 2 did to buildings, such Dead Island 2 will do to skulls. Bloody murder aside, this doesn't look like much we haven't seen before. Back in 2011 the co-operative or survival elements were still under-represented but post-Kickstarter/Early Access that just isn't unique any more. But I do enjoy a good splattering, and this seems playful with its RPG elements and environment interaction. Colourful too.
Hopefully the new development team can bring a bit more
life death to it than the first game's okishness or Riptide's continued drudgery. There's guaranteed to be some fun to be gleaned from co-op, but that's basically true of anything you can play with friends. The dream, of course, is that they'll evoke some of Spec Ops' soul and mix it in with the lost promise of THAT trailer for something a little deeper. Sadly, that's not the way things are looking.