Dead Island 2's all-new skill deck is the "most exciting addition to the game"

Dead Island 2
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Dambuster Studios has opened up on one of the "most exciting" new features coming to Dead Island 2: the skill deck.

Talking to Game Informer (opens in new tab) (thanks, NME (opens in new tab)), creative director James Worrall and lead narrative designer Khan confirmed that the long-awaited - and often postponed - sequel will take place in Los Angeles a full decade after the original game.

The team said that LA will almost be a character itself due to "the amazing eccentrics and self-confidence of the city", and believes that the skill tree will be "one of - if not the most - exciting addition to the game".

The admission came when Khan was asked if there was a skill tree and instead replied with: "There's a skill deck… which is even better.

"The art is amazing, and they're fun to look at and all of that, but they're just really fun to play with. [You can] change skills mid-air; you can take off, change a skill, and land with a different loadout, and that's just amazing."

"And you can take some real risks with your loadout as well," Worrall added. "It really pays off… and sometimes, goes horribly wrong."

"After eight years and three studios, Dead Island 2 is pretty much what you get if you Google 'development hell'," we wrote on our Dead Island 2 hands-on preview (opens in new tab). "It's been fully restarted by the current custodian Dambuster Studios, and it seems to be doing a great job. 

"[The development team] could not be drawn to talk much about the missing years or other studios [b]ut, from what I've played of Dead Island 2, the work seems to have paid off. My brief time smacking undead on the beach suggested a stylish and surprisingly fun zombie apocalypse. One that's more a comedy adventure than the grim 'is man is the real monster?' stuff we've had recently. Which, after a real pandemic and just the general state of the world right now, is probably what we need."

We found out late last year that Dead Island 2 had once again been delayed (opens in new tab) and will now release 12 weeks later than planned on April 28, 2023 (opens in new tab)

Here are all the new games of 2023 (opens in new tab) (and beyond).

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.