Dead Island 2 wants to be "best in class" at first-person combat

Dead Island 2 preview
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Dead Island 2 is shooting to be the "best in class" at first-person combat.

Game director of the long-awaited sequel, David Stenton, recently spoke to GamesRadar+ about Dead Island 2's ambitious and graphic dismemberment system. "It's taken a hell of a lot of development efforts," Stenton said of the 'Flesh' system, which governs how zombies are taken apart in mind-numbingly brutal fashion.

The system was "masterminded" by Dead Island 2's tech art director, Dan Evans-Lawes, Stenton reveals, and took a "couple of iterations" to get just right. The result is zombies losing skin to grenade explosions, faces being punched in, and other anatomically-accurate dismemberments.

"We knew that for Dead Island 2, we wanted to get back to zombies being at the absolute core of the game," Stenton continued. "We wanted to be absolute best in class, first-person combat. And so you know, to deliver on those goals, you really want to push the envelope, right, what else can we bring new that has never been done before?"

It sure is one gory envelope that Dead Island 2 is pushing. "If you'd have been here in the studio, while some of the artists were having to, like research, this kind of stuff, and seeing, you know, some of the horrific imagery that they had upon screen at the same time while modeling intestines and organs and all the rest of it," Stenton continued.

"Yeah, it's, it's been a journey, that's for sure," the game director concluded. We can certainly imagine the sort of journey it's been for all the poor artists researching and analyzing how a body completely falls apart, that's for sure.

Dead Island 2 finally launches, after many years in development hell and multiple iterations, in just over a month from now on April 21. 

You can read up on our Dead Island 2 preview for what we made of the zombie sequel when we played for ourselves, as well as our complete interview with Stanton. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.