Dead Island 2: Release date, gameplay, setting & more

Nathan Warby
Dead Island 2Deep Silver

Dead Island 2 has been stuck in development hell for some time now, but it finally resurfaced at Gamescom Opening Night 2022. Here’s everything we know so far about Dead Island 2, from its setting to its release date.

It’s been over a decade since the release of the original Dead Island in 2011, and fans have been hungry for another dose of zombie-slaying action ever since. Despite a relatively middling reaction from critics, it clearly made a splash as it went on to sell over five million copies.

The game was announced pretty shortly after, but slipped into an incredibly troubled development cycle that saw it hit with huge delays. Luckily, the zombie genre is still going strong, as games like Dying Light 2 and Back 4 Blood have proved recently, and Dead Island 2 still has plenty of hype behind it.

We’ve put everything we know so far about Dead Island 2 into one handy guide, including its setting, release date, and new developers.


Dead Island 2 trailer

E3 2014 reveal trailer

The first trailer for Dead Island 2 was released at E3 back in 2014, promising to take players through zombie-ridden Los Angeles.

Gamescom 2022 trailer

8 years after the first trailer for Dead Island 2 debuted at E3, a second trailer showed off even more of the gory wonder, with the tagline reading “see you in helL-A” a nod to the setting.

Dead Island 2 release date

Dead Island 2 will finally arrive on February 3, 2023, as revealed during Gamescom Opening Night 2022. The aannouncement came after years of silence on the project, but fans now have a date to look forward to.

Well-known leaker Tom Henderson claimed in a February 10 video that the game would be revealed “pretty soon,” with a release date of Q4 2022. However, this appears to have slipped into early 2023 as the devs look to release the game in a polished state.

Dead Island 2 zombieDeep Silver
Dead Island 2 will have different types of undead for players to deal with.

Dead Island 2 developers

Dead Island 2 is currently being worked on by Nottingham-based developer Dambuster Studios. But they are the fourth team to have been attached to the project, after many changes.

Developers of the first game, Techland, were originally set to return, but they opted to work on the Dying Light series instead. Yager Development were drafted in around 2012, before being replaced by Sumo Digital in 2015.

Finally, in 2019, it was announced that Dambuster, an internal studio at publisher Deep Silver, were taking the reins. The new team appears to have steadied the ship, and work on Dead Island 2 is in a good place according to reports.

Dead Island 2 setting

Moving away from the fictional Banoi island from the first game, Dead Island 2 will take place in an open-world version of California, with the bulk of the game taking place in Los Angeles.

Players can expect to visit iconic locations that have been swarmed by the undead, such as the beaches of Venice or the upper-class streets of Bel Air.

Dead Island player holding batDeep Silver
The brutal melee combat made Dead Island an instant hit.

Dead Island 2 gameplay

Dead Island 2 retains the first-person melee combat of the original, and places greater emphasis on over-the-top gore. The team revealed via the PlayStation blog that they have created their own gore tech, to make every hack and slash as satisfying as possible.

This should pair nicely with the brutal melee weapons and powerful firearms at your disposal. The devs claimed their goal was to empower the player rather than making them feel helpless, encouraging them to run into the fight instead of sneaking by.

Crafting was a huge part of Dead Island and its DLC, so expect to see even more weird and wonderful weapons to carve through hordes of undead in the sequel. The Rage Mode system is also set to return, giving players a boost in a power as a reward for racking up kills.

That was everything we know so far about Dead Island 2. 2022 could be a big year for news on the game, so be sure to check back here for the latest updates. For more on the biggest upcoming games, check out some of our other hubs:

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