Dead Island 2 was always going to be a gory game. The first Dead Island, released in 2011, played like a schlocky, uninhibited horror B-movie, and Dead Island 2 developer Deep Silver made butchery a priority soon after it began working on the sequel in 2019. Blood and brains are also usually a given where zombies are involved, but none of that numbed players to Dead Island 2’s truly nasty, high fidelity carnage.
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If anything, pre-existing expectations only helped heighten players’ satisfaction—like seeing a photo of a luxuriously swirled ice cream, ordering it, and realizing it tastes even better than you hoped. So, less sweetly, but with as much triumph, Dead Island 2 players are capturing and sharing the best gore the game has to offer.
Some of Dead Island 2’s gore, including most of what you see in the below images, is already thoughtfully smeared into its environment. While you explore the game’s besieged version of L.A., you might walk into something unassuming, like a bathroom or living room, and find that, while it is a typical bathroom or living room, it’s also submerged in wine-red, congealed blood, entrails, and stained tail bones.
You can interact with environmental gore, too. This mutilated carcass trailed blood; it flowed all over someone’s nice stone steps, so the player used a jerrycan filled with water to rinse it away. Perfect. That’s one less house chore to worry about.
But, though Dead Island 2’s environmental gore is grossly impressive, its true shining star is its combat, made magnificently sickening by its proprietary, procedural “flesh system.”
According to its developers, Dead Island 2 has an “anatomically correct” F.L.E.S.H. (“Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids,” game director David Stenton told IGN in 2022) system for combat, which realistically sloughs off zombie layers in response to successive hits, even after they’ve died for good.
When a zombie gets in your face with its hot breath, you can kick it off and start slicing with your blade, pulling off skin, muscle, and fat until blood surges and splotches on the wall.
You can sledgehammer heads until they pop like pinched grapes, with the juice oozing out. You can keep going, pounding a limp zombie body with your fists until its rib cage whirls around and snaps off. The flesh system will allow it to reveal to you its stringy intestines and smashed gallbladder, like the paper shreds at the bottom of an Easter basket.
Yeah, that’s disgusting.