Interestingly, Yager is introducing some big changes:
Dead Island 2 will be more like an MMO. There’s no “beating” the game, just a continuous stream of repeatable quests. I’ll be curious to see how this plays out. My biggest criticism was that Dead Island did not let you freely roam the island picking up repeatable quests after you beat the game, but started over at the beginning forcing you through the linear storyline path again, if you wanted to explore. I like to explore.
There’s also a change in the team/co-op gameplay mechanics, borrowing from standard MMO party or raid compositions. You’ll have your choice of a tank, melee dps, ranged dps, or a “support” (essentially healer) character, instead of the 4 dps-only characters from the previous games. So, when zombies hit the “fan”, you’d have to heal yourself and hope that one of your teammates could get to you and “save” you with a heal right before you died. Therefore, this should be an improvement in those situations. Sounds like the co-op gameplay will support up to 8 players, but I’m not sure how the PvP component will fit into all this. More importantly though, will I still have my twin to keep me company in zombie-laden Los Angeles? (@normallywho, we’re twins! Separated at birth, brought together by tragedy.)
BUT, much like in MMOs, is it going to be hard to find a healer class in Dead Island 2? Not to get all sexist, but there is a high percentage of female players (excluding myself, though) that “roll” a healer. More standard MMOs have the advantage in that they appeal to even non-gamers by being more fantasy oriented and creating a very social component to the game, whereas, a game like Dead Island appeals more to the horror genre game players. Perform tasks, loot stuff, get rewards, level up, craft/modify weapons, and kill, kill, kill zombies…not that there’s anything wrong with that, but how many zombie killers are apt to choose the support character? Where is the bone crunching satisfaction in that? And how will the support character fare in single-person gameplay (if that’s an option)?
I do love that the developers at Yager have a good sense of humor and can laugh at themselves. The zombie faces were scanned and modeled from the dev team, not that that will mean anything to us (unless photos are included).
After playing Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide, I’m much more excited for the release of Dying Light, but will definitely check this title out. So, will you join my zombie team?
Look for it in Spring 2015.