For a while, it was a sure bet that Dead Island 2, the sequel to Techland’s zombie-bashing first-person open world action RPG, was going to be lost in development hell. After Yager Development dropped a very intriguing trailer featuring Pigeon John’s “The Bomb” and a progressively more infested Los Angeles, there was radio silence. Then, just over a year later, publisher Deep Silver made the jarring announcement that Yager had been dropped and an unnamed team, later revealed to be Sumo Digital, had taken over.
Everything seemed to be shambling along smoothly until 2019 when THQ Nordic revealed the game made another shift to Deep Silver’s Dambuster Studios, where the current and previous generation zombie FPS made its greatest strides. With the April 21, 2023, release date approaching, we’re left with two questions: Will Dead Island 2 emerge from its grave far less rotten than its development process, and will it do so onto Xbox Game Pass?
While the undead action RPG will have a home on Xbox One and Xbox Series X & S (along with PS4, PS5, and PC), Dead Island 2 isn’t currently slated for a Game Pass release. That’s not to say it never will shuffle its way onto the platform. In 2022, Dead Island was very briefly available for a weekend in September. It’s not much, especially for a game as large as Dead Island 2 proposes to be, but as many use Game Pass as a testing ground for new games, it certainly would be welcomed.
About Dead Island 2
Ten years after the events of Dead Island, the Banoi Island incident is a distant memory. Unfortunately, the virus that ravaged the resort has evolved and made it to the mainland, ravaging sunny California. With the state under full quarantine, the remaining residents are on their own—especially you, a freshly bitten survivor who finds they may be immune to the infection.
The game follows in the original’s footsteps, blending elements of an open-world first-person shooter with an action RPG. Utilizing customizable melee weapons and a newfound ability to tap into your zombified feral side, you’ll navigate the once-pristine streets of California in search of survivors in need of help and your escape from the undead hell.
Though Dead Island 2 shares similarities with Dead Island, one of its shining features is brand new. Dambuster Studios created “gore tech,” which turns anatomically correct zombies into squishy meat puppets. The FLESH system offers procedurally generated damage, where attacks can dismember, break, and flay zombies until there’s literally nothing but bone and sinew left. It’s grizzly and gruesome, and a welcomed addition to the zombie-smashing series.
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