What Dead Island 2 needs to fix
With the news that Techland have filled a trademark for Dead World, it looks like Dead Island 2 is on the way. While there are plenty of questions for the zombie sequel – will it have a 2012 release date? Or use another emotional trailer? – the real issue is whether it will fix all the problems the first one had?
And the first one had plenty wrong with it. But, despite all it’s glitches and shoddy, raw edges, the original had an odd allure. People knew it was rubbish and played it anyway, skirting around obvious issues because they wanted an open world zombie adventure so badly. I should know, I was one of those people. I’ve finished it. I’ve seen it’s clunky RPG action through to the bitter, poorly constructed end. Based on that, this is what I think the sequel has got to sort out.
All four characters had a huge skill tree to open up. Trouble is, most of it had no tangible effect – a +3% critical here, increased bleeding damage there. Changes were small and unsatisfying, especially as enemies levelled up with you and rendered stat boosts pointless. Dead Island 2 needs to see your character evolve, to become something else as you define them with new moves and powers. Think Deus Ex only with hatchets instead of augs.
Defined character classes
Each of Dead Island’s cast had one ‘thing’ – a boosted skill with guns, blades, blunt instruments and ‘throwing’. Throwing. Other than these narrow tweaks they were basically all the same. It made for weak co-op because there was no interplay between you and your friends. The sequel needs things like tank classes, medics and better ranged attacks to create a stronger sense of teamwork and reliance on your allies.
Almost everything you did in Dead Island involved going somewhere and then coming back. Whether you killed a specific enemy, pressed a button or fetched medication, that was pretty much your lot. It needs more variety second time around. Some stealth, more guns, anything that will break up the ‘A’ to ‘B’ to ‘A’ pace of the original.