Useless Island 2 gameplay preview – take me again to the Metropolis of Zombies

It’s been a very long time coming, with delays and dev adjustments interfering with the long-awaited return of the Useless Island video games, however our first style of the grotesque, anatomically right FLESH system was eight-ish hours of blood-soaked, skull-cracking, skin-shredding enjoyable, and now we’re counting down the times to the Useless Island 2 launch date.

I lead with the gore as a result of, as you will have seen from the trailers, that is the most important promoting level of the zombie recreation. Dambuster’s FLESH system – Absolutely Locational Evisceration Simulator for Humanoids, clearly – gives procedural destruction of the undead, with every layer of pores and skin, muscle, and bone in a position to be ripped aside in vibrant, animated realism. Relying in your weapon and assault of alternative, you’ll see limbs sliced off, pores and skin melted with acid, bones cracked, and virtually any grotesque loss of life you’ll be able to assume up. As gross as it would sound, it’s extremely satisfying whittling down zombies layer by layer.

There’s extra to Useless Island 2 than simply its gore system, although, so let’s get again to fundamentals. With six Useless Island 2 slayers to select from, I went by way of my first playthrough as Carla, a feisty Latina stuntwoman who’s as afraid of zombies as she is hovering by way of rings of fireside – that’s to say under no circumstances. You possibly can’t change character when you’ve began, as a consequence of their distinctive stats, ability playing cards, and innate talents, and I’ll select one other slayer on my full playthrough – however solely as a result of I don’t assume Carla matches how I wish to play the sport. It’s simple to decide on a slayer you just like the look of, however with Amy’s unbelievable agility and Ryan’s muscle, for instance, you’ll be able to see how every one fits a selected playstyle.

What I may see from my few hours with Carla although – and my couple of minutes with every of the others – is how a lot emphasis there’s on humour, relatability, and character with every of the slayers. Every character’s quirks inform you a bit bit extra about them the additional by way of the story you get, be it Carla’s overly-familiar nicknames for NPCs or Dani’s potty Irish mouth.

Dead Island 2 gameplay preview: A customised gun is held up in the LA sunlight, on the beach, in front of the pier.

As for the overall really feel of the gameplay, should you’ve performed the 2011 authentic, then you definately’re going to be in acquainted territory in Useless Island 2. Not actually, as you’re now heading off hordes of undead within the Metropolis of Angels – often known as HELL-A – however it retains loads of options the primary launched. The in-game UI could be very comparable, NPC aspect quests characteristic closely as soon as once more, and lootable suitcases are plentiful. That is in equal elements a great and dangerous factor, as a result of regardless of the brand new coat of bloody paint, at occasions I felt like traipsing by way of the streets heading off walkers wasn’t actually providing me something the unique didn’t. Whereas this might simply be as a result of limitations of the preview construct – the principle recreation has lots extra to come back within the type of extra enemy sorts, weapons, and unlockables – it does imply first impressions aren’t as robust as they may have been.

The primary few hours of the sport aren’t fairly as empty as I’ll have made them sound, as a result of two grotesque bosses present their faces earlier than lengthy, implying there are lots extra to come back, too. Even higher than early-game bosses, although, are early-game bosses that hit arduous, and these definitely present a problem. The truth is, the entire recreation up to now appears to have significantly elevated in problem because the authentic. The primary boss – a bride who received contaminated on her marriage ceremony day – acts as a tutorial of kinds, with fewer environmental instruments than the remainder of the sport, as a substitute instructing you to pay attention to your environment and study the boss’ actions. The second introduces extra of those interactable set items – and extra out-of-the-box methods to come back out victorious – and you’ll actually put what you learnt from the primary to practise, demonstrating that the whole lot in Useless Island 2 is intentional, intelligent, and effectively thought out.

Dead Island 2 gameplay preview: A female zombie in a red top stands in front of the player as they wield a customised knife, two other zombies stand nearby.

Useless Island 2 being intentional and intelligent brings us again round to how spectacular the fight is. With the FLESH system in place, it doesn’t matter to me whether or not the story is a bit lacklustre, or the voice strains considerably tacky, they’re not likely what I’m right here for. I’m right here to slice and cube, burn flesh, and crack zombie skulls. Each sort of weapon has its personal influence on a zombie’s flesh, every heavy assault, every killing animation, all are intricately thought out and crafted round how that weapon would really have an effect on a fleshy, undead human – and attempting these out is the place I had essentially the most enjoyable. It’s simple sufficient to keep away from nearly all of walkers and shamblers, however slightly than choosing stealth, take the chance to strive completely different weapons, soften them with caustic acid, electrocute them with water and a close-by uncovered wire, shoot that gasoline tank subsequent to them. Then go check out the injury you’ve completed. Sound gross? Nicely, sure, it’s. However that’s precisely what’s nice about Useless Island 2.

I’ve little question there’s much more to be uncovered after we get our palms on the total recreation, like extra Useless Island 2 blueprints for instance. Up to now, I haven’t examined sufficient weapon variants to debate the workbench absolutely or a number of the different mechanics that open themselves up as you progress additional, however what I’ve seen is sufficient to go away me wanting extra, and determined to get again to the blood-drenched streets of HELL-A.

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