A number of press outlets have picked up on a video that was recently posted of a 2015 build of Dead Island 2. The game has been rebooted, and probably rebooted again, since then, but this gives us a glimpse into what it looked like at that time. The key difference between the Dead Island games and the most similar zombie FPS RPG, Dying Light, is the setting. The Dead Island series has always favoured tropical locations where people have either ended up, or just been, in the days after the zombie apocalypse. While the video below doesn’t show off too much of this, you can definitely get a feel for it.
Some screenshots of the build were also shared on Twitter, which is where this story really picked up steam. Sadly no new information came out of those tweets, but it did reveal that there are still a lot of people out there who would be interested in playing it.
Some more shots because this is blowing up; and people can't seem to find it. pic.twitter.com/DfrssSeNw5
— Jason Harrdington (@JHarrdington) June 5, 2020
Even the co-op gameplay was working at this point. It’s hard to see why the game would need to be rebooted, but it probably has something to do with it being moved from studio to studio. It takes a good chunk of time for any developer to look through the code of a game to understand what it is, and how it has been made. In many cases a developer would rather choose to completely rebuild a project, in this case it’s Dead Island 2, rather than try to work with what is there.
At this point, Dead Island 2 must be slated as a next-generation game for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. There’s simply no way that what we’re seeing here will be anything like what the current project looks like, mainly because this build looks like it still uses the original Dead Island’s game engine.
I love a good zombie game, and I really enjoyed the first Dead Island game in particular. It presented something really fresh to the genre, and some of those elements have been used elsewhere. The RPG mechanics, for example, went into Dying Light, as well as that visceral melee combat. I can’t wait to see what the final version of Dead Island 2 looks like, but this is a nice reminder that even now, more than five years after we last heard something about the game, people are still rooting for it.