Of all the conspicuous absences from the list of E3 2018 games (opens in new tab) seen at this year's expo, Dead Island 2 was the least surprising no-show. The game's been caught up in its own development apocalypse ever since it was announced in 2014, after switching developers and getting delayed several times, before being put on promotional lockdown by publisher Deep Silver, which has provided very little in the way of updates over the last few years.
Instead, fans of Techland's open world zombie series have been treated to something a little... different this week, as Deep Silver announced that Dead Island: Survivors (opens in new tab) - a tower defense mobile spin-off set in the same universe as the mainline games - is now available on Android and iOS devices for free.
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This full, worldwide release was something of a stealth launch for the title, though Dead Island: Survivors has been available in one form or another to various regions over the past two years, and the game's actually pretty good, too.
Surprisingly so, in fact. The more stylised visuals are a nice fit for mobile, and there's a lot to dig into, with loot, boss fights, base building, and multiplayer components, none of which is compromised by the fairly measured microtransaction economy.
You can download the game for either Android (opens in new tab) or iOS (opens in new tab) on their respective store pages, which also provide a better look at what Survivors entails. As for that other Dead Island game we're all so eager hear about, Deep Silver provided a reluctant update on its progress, though it's about as non-informational as you'd expect.
In response to the inevitable flood of questions about Dead Island 2 after the Survivors announcement, the franchise's official Twitter page had this to say:
Dead Island 2 is still in development and we will share more on this at a later stage.July 4, 2018
So... yeah. Looks like we won't be hearing much more about Dead Island 2, now being worked on by British developer Sumo Digital, anytime soon. With Dying Light 2 (opens in new tab) now a thing (and being made by Dead Island's original developer Techland no less) I'm even wondering whether there's a spot for this game in the marketplace anymore.
Deep Silver clearly thinks so, as Dead Island 2 has now spent over half a decade in development... ouch.