‘Dead Island 2’ developer teases “exciting” new addition, the skill deck

“The game is different for each player. It really is about what you’re equipping and what you’re doing with it”

Dambuster Studios has teased one of the “most exciting” new additions to Dead Island 2, the skill deck.

Set for release April 28, Dead Island 2 is the long-awaited follow-up to 2011’s action role-playing game Dead Island. The sequel was originally announced in 2014, with Dambuster taking over development in 2019.

In a new interview with Game Informer, creative director James Worrall and lead narrative designer Khan revealed that Dead Island 2 is set ten years after the original and takes place in Los Angeles because “of the amazing eccentrics and self-confidence of the city.”


The pair went on to tease the skill tree, which is “one of, if not the most exciting addition to the game.”

According to Worrall, Dead Island 2’s skill deck is a “collection of slots that represent all kinds of different abilities, and you swap the cards in and out, on the fly, however and whenever you want”.

“You can take some real risks with your loadout [because of it]. It sometimes pays off, it sometimes goes horribly wrong,” he added.

Khan went on to explain how the skill deck is fun to play with. “You can take off, change your skill mid-air, and land with a different loadout, which is amazing.” She went on to explain how this customisation makes “the game different for each player. It really is about what you’re equipping, and what you’re doing with it. Every dev I’ve met plays [Dead Island 2] differently,” she added.

Described as a “zombie gore fest”, Dead Island 2 is due out April 28 after being delayed by three months last year. It’ll be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and the Epic Games Store.


Speaking about the level of gore, Khan explained that it gets too much “when it stops being funny and starts being disturbing.”

“We’ve worked really hard on making our gore hilariously over the top, so it stays funny,” she added.

Dead Island 2 is a unique formula of horror, dark humor and over-the-top zombie-slaying, spanning an epic pulp adventure,” reads the official description.

“This thrilling first-person, action RPG takes players across a brand-new playground – a hellish vision of LA (or HELL-A, as we like to call it). Dead Island 2 is stylish, vibrant and flooded with zombie infection. Explore iconic, gore-drenched Los Angeles. Meet larger-than-life characters. Slay countless foes in exquisitely bloody detail. And evolve to become the ultimate Zombie Slayer!”

In other news, Redfall and Hogwarts Legacy co-developer Studio Gobo has joined work on Sony’s Horizon to expand the franchise.

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