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Dead Island 2: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more

Believe it or not, Dead Island 2 is not only still real, but it’s actually coming out. For those who’ve been following the troubled trajectory this title has had, you know this is a story almost 10 years in the making. Originally revealed in 2014, Dead Island 2 has died and been resurrected no less than twice, with a new development team taking up the project each time. The average person probably assumed the game was scrapped years ago, but for those who never gave up hope, your faith has been rewarded.

Leaks did take some of the excitement out of Dead Island 2‘s big re-reveal during Gamescom 2022, but it couldn’t stifle what looks to be a game far better than its beleaguered history would lead you to believe. Since so much has changed over the course of development, let alone with the entire gaming landscape, plenty of people may be wondering what all the excitement over this zombie game is all about. Grab yourself a blunt object and get ready to smash some zombie skulls as we run through everything we know about Dead Island 2.

Release date

A screamer yells on a beach in Dead Island 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dead Island 2 is set to launch on April 21, 2023. After several delays, we expect this to be its legitimate and final release date.


Dead Island 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dead Island 2 isn’t skipping out on any platform it can reasonably fit itself on. You can look forward to this game on your PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC when it arrives next year. Sorry Switch fans.


Dead Island 2 - Gamescom Reveal Trailer [4K Official]

We’ll skip talking about the old 2014 reveal trailer since, aside from being just a cinematic, was made for a game being worked on by a completely different team. The real trailer we want to look at is the announcement trailer from Gamescom Opening Night Live 2022.

We start off with some pre-rendered shots of a completely trashed living room overlooking a pool. Wine bottles, beer glasses, cigarettes, crushed cans, and other remains of a good night litter the floor. A hand stretches out, and a man wakes up on the couch. He searches around, grabs a drink, and checks himself in the mirror. Either he’s quite tired or his bloodshot eyes imply he’s infected.

The man grabs a gun by the door, looks back at a scene of bloody corpses we weren’t shown before, and heads out onto the street. Zombies immediately are attracted to him, which he engages by smashing his liquor bottle into the first’s head before clubbing and using his makeshift bayonet to cut down the following mob.

The background location changes as the man fights off more approaching zombies, first to a beach and then to a downtown area where he lights a group on fire by flicking his cigarette at a pool of spilled gas.

In the next scene, we’re in a convenience store, grabbing some snacks, pills, and more alcohol. A legless zombie makes a futile attempt to attack, but our “hero” simply squishes it into a mess of blood by pulling a shelf down on it.

Back in the original room, our protagonist relaxes on the couch only to find a single zombie stumbling in. Sighing, he reaches into his pocket to see what he’s got. He takes his single rifle round, loads it into his gun, and shoots. This isn’t a normal bullet, it seems, since the zombie completely explodes upon being hit. Realizing the remote has no batteries, the man reluctantly gets up to go on another run, this time stopping by the closet to grab a katana.

Out on the street, he waves a neighborly hello to a pair of other survivors before we cut to the title.

As far as the story is concerned, we simply know the basic setup for the moment.

In Dead Island 2, you will play as one of six characters in Los Angeles (make your joke about L.A not being an island here), where the same zombie virus from the first game has ravaged most of the population. The military has given up trying to eliminate the infection and has resorted to simply quarantining the entire city. Your character, however, is also infected, though for whatever reason, you’re able to resist turning into a zombie.

The game will focus on trying to survive, discovering what caused the outbreak and why you are somehow resistant to it, and figuring out if you can help cure the outbreak. Pretty bare-bones and uninspired for a zombie game, but hopefully, the actual plot itself gets more interesting.


Dead Island 2 Official Gameplay Trailer | gamescom ONL 2022

Not satisfied with bringing Dead Island 2 back with simply a cinematic trailer, we got a full gameplay trailer during Gamescom as well to prove this game is, in fact, real.

After getting a look at the beautiful yet desolate locales of the game, including collapsed streets and graffiti-covered tunnels, we jump into the first-person perspective to watch a man get his head popped through a boarded-up window.

After a few odd cuts that appear to be from story beats, we get some montages of jamming objects into zombies’ heads, plus bashing, kicking, stabbing, and slicing others. Weapons are seen being thrown, there are environmental hazards like electric boxes and gas trucks being used, and there are also your traditional firearms and hand-to-hand combat.

For guns, we see some pistols, shotguns, SMGs, and assault rifles. The amount of melee weapons looks much more expansive here, though it is hard to tell exactly what each of them is due to being swung so quickly and burying themselves into zombie skulls.

According to Deep Silver, Dead Island 2 is “the most intense, visceral, and gory first-person experience possible,” and that certainly shows in the trailer, where every bloody detail is on display.

Upping the count from the original game’s four, Dead Island 2 will let you select from one of six characters. Just like that first game, each character is essentially their own class with their own ability and skills in addition to voice lines and personalities. None of the characters, or what makes them unique, have been detailed yet.


A zombe in a driveway.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s almost mandatory that your zombie game, no matter what type it is, has co-op. The first game had online-only co-op with up to four players, but Dead Island 2 seems to be scaling it back a bit to a party of three. Being mostly an RPG at heart, where there are tons of quests, loot, and just pure exploration to do, having friends along will no doubt be a primary incentive to play. However, plenty of important questions still need to be answered.

First, Dead Island forced players to wait until they completed a few hours of the game solo before opening up co-op as an option, and we don’t know if that will again be the case here. The first game also let co-op players play as the same characters. But the real questions are related to cross-play and progression. We don’t know if you will be able to play with friends on different platforms yet or how progress made in co-op will, or won’t, carry over to and from your single-player game.


A hoard of bloody zombies.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You can already pre-order any of the three editions of Dead Island 2 right from the game’s official site! You can pick from the Standard, Deluxe, or Gold editions for digital versions or the Day one, Pulp, and Hell-A Edition as physical releases for different bonus content and collectibles.

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Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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