Dead Island 2 is back from the grave and has a release date

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The reanimated body of Dead Island 2 has appeared after years of silence, and looks set to shamble onto shelves early next year.

Hints that the elusive zombie-basher is still in development have appeared sporadically in the eight years since it was first announced, but a fresh Amazon listing (opens in new tab) suggests the game will finally release on February 23 next year. As spotted by Twitter sleuth Wario64 (opens in new tab), the listing’s accompanying description (which has since been removed) also confirms a handful of old and new details.

Dead Island 2 will be set in Los Angeles and include six playable characters. You’ll be able to customize the abilities of each, using a skill system to create different builds. There’ll also be several varieties of zombies to bash through, spanning “dozens of distinct zombie types, each with their own mutations, attacks and hundreds of LA-themed variants”.

As for the plot, the Amazon blurb says you’ll play as a survivor of the zombie apocalypse whose natural immunity has let you “harness the zombie inside”. You and a crew of other survivors will “uncover the truth behind the outbreak” in what’s described as a pulp adventure. The description emphasizes the game’s violence, too, promising combat will deliver “the most intense, visceral and gory first-person experience possible”.

Mutations galore

The Dead Island 2 that releases next year might look very different from what we’ve seen before. The much-anticipated and long-delayed title has switched hands three times since it first reared its head in a 2014 announcement trailer (opens in new tab).

Dead Island 2 was originally under development at Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager, before Sumo Digital – the studio behind Sackbody: A Big Adventure – announced it had taken ownership of the project in 2016. Come 2019, however, publisher THQ Nordic revealed Homefront: The Revolution developer Dambuster Studios was developing the game.

We expect some hefty changes have been made since Dambuster took over the project. For starters, Dead Island 2’s roster of playable characters has been expanded to six, from the four initially announced back in 2014. Screenshots in the Amazon listing suggest the sequel will focus on melee combat, just like the first game.

According to the listing, the Day One edition of Dead Island 2 will include the Memories of Banoi DLC pack, netting you an in-game baseball bat, club, weapon perk, and character skill card.

Given the sudden appearance of this Amazon listing and the proximity of the game’s release date, we wouldn’t be surprised if Dead Island 2 made an appearance at Gamescom 2022. Although there’ll probably be no goats this time around, as memorable as the Goat Simulator 3 announcement was with its riff on Dead Island 2.  

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