It’s been almost a decade since the reveal of Dead Island 2, the much-awaited sequel to the 2011 zombie survival game Dead Island. Since its unveiling, the game has undergone various changes in development, with multiple studios taking over the project. The first iteration of Dead Island 2 was being developed by Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager, but Techland, the developer behind the original, had parted ways with the franchise and was working on Dying Light. In 2016, publisher Deep Silver handed the reins over to LittleBigPlanet 3 developer Sumo Digital, but then in 2019, Deep Silver made known that Homefront: The Revolution developer Dambuster Studios would be assuming over the project. Dambuster Studios has been working on Dead Island 2 since 2018, starting off with a clean slate.
Despite the changes in development and the possibility to create a new setting, Dambuster Studios has decided to stick with the location revealed in the game’s 2014 reveal trailer: Los Angeles, California. In-game and at the studio, this location is referred to as «Hell-A». Game director David Stenton mentioned there was never much debate about setting the game in a new location, as LA offered such a great opportunity for the game they wanted to make. Stenton added that the team is not looking too closely at the past or other games, but rather focusing on making Dead Island 2 «absolutely phenomenal» and bring it up to date for fans to enjoy.
It’s worth noting that while the team may have a firm belief in LA as the ideal setting for Dead Island 2, it’s also likely that they chose to stick with the location that fans have been expecting the sequel for nearly a decade. The original logo for the game, announced in 2014, featured the Golden Gate Bridge, an iconic landmark of San Francisco. However, Dambuster Studios has verified Dead Island 2 will take place only in LA and will not include any other California locations in the main campaign.
Despite the extensive development process and the changes in development studios, Dead Island 2 is scheduled to release in April of this year. The game promises to bring a fresh on the zombie survival genre, with a focus on combat and the iconic setting of LA.
As a dedicated fan of the original Dead Island, I’m ecstatic to see what Dambuster Studios brings to the table with Dead Island 2. While it’s been a tiring wait for the sequel, it’s encouraging to see the team beginning with a clean and focusing on delivering a game that they believe will be «absolutely phenomenal». I’m interested to see how the team utilizes the setting of LA and if they are able to bring something new to the zombie survival genre. I’m also hoping that the game will offer a rewarding continuation of the story from the first Dead Island, although I’m not keeping my expectations high on that front. Overall, I’m cautiously positive about Dead Island 2 and am eager to diving into the game when it releases in April.