Let's get together, murder some zombies...
Dead Island 2 is in pre-alpha form (which means ‘still in early development’), but already playable in 4-player co-op. That means four players all stamping on zombie heads, turning single zombies into two half-zombies and basically making lots of very dead things even deader, all at the same time. It’s a massacre.
It’s hard not to draw parallels with Left 4 Dead when you’re playing 4-player zombie-smashing co-op, but the action here is different. It’s more about the gore than the survival and success is therefore less reliant on teamwork, at least in the 12-minute demo I played. You can run off and do your own thing most of the time, though it certainly helps to stick together.
Two of the missions in the 12-minute-long Gamescom demo require you to upgrade weapons with elemental powers. Heading to the gas station that’s on fire at the end of the road allows you to fill up on gasoline direct from the pump, in order to give your weapon a firey slant. Likewise, the electrical store can turn your shots into electrocuting attacks. Lots of fun.
Only problem with draining gasoline in full view of everyone is that it attracts the attention of special zombies. ‘Runner’ zombies have only recently transformed so they still have decent muscles and are much more mobile. And thugs are hulking great beasts, reminiscent of L4D’s Tanks. Then there’s the Suicider, a huge enemy full of explosive pus, which you can kick back into a crowd and watch the whole thing go up. Boom.
There will be more zombie types in the finished game, but also more humans too. Ex-military men and escaped prisoners will be present in the game world to fight. Whether you’ll be able to slice the humans in half like you can the zombies remains to be seen. But it’ll be fun finding out. Well, maybe not for you, Germany.
And the best part? The finished article will actually feature 8-player action, split into two teams, allowing you to work together or even play PvP in special events (triggered by helicopter arrivals). With areas like the Santa Monica pier, Venice beach, the LA river and San Franciso to explore (and cover with gore), your bloodlust should be sated for a good while when the game releases on PS4, Xbox One and PC in 2015.