It’s been approaching a decade since the reveal of Dead Island 2, the highly sequel to the 2011 zombie survival game Dead Island. Since its unveiling, the game has undergone multiple changes in development, with different 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 separated ways with the franchise and was working on Dying Light. In 2016, publisher Deep Silver transferred the reins over to LittleBigPlanet 3 developer Sumo Digital, but then in 2019, Deep Silver revealed 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 blank canvas.
Despite the changes in development and the opportunity 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 that 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 also stated that the team is not looking too closely at the past or other games, but rather focusing on how to make Dead Island 2 «absolutely phenomenal» and bring it up to date for fans to enjoy.
It’s worth pointing out that while the team may have a firm belief in LA as the perfect setting for Dead Island 2, it’s also possible they chose to stick with the location that fans have been waiting for the sequel for almost a decade. The original logo for the game, unveiled 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 prolonged development process and the changes in development studios, Dead Island 2 is finally 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 devoted fan of the first Dead Island, I’m thrilled to see what Dambuster Studios brings to the table with Dead Island 2. While it’s been a long for the sequel, it’s reassuring to see the team starting with a clean and focusing on providing a game that they believe will be «absolutely phenomenal». I’m curious to see how the development team utilizes the setting of LA and if they are able to bring something new 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 getting my hopes up on that front. Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic Dead Island 2 and am looking forward to diving into the game when it releases in April.