Dying Light Will Be the Game Dead Island Fans Want

Dying Light, the long-anticipated followup from the developer of Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide, is seeing its fair share of comparisons to its original series, many of which are warranted. Techland has made no claim to complete difference from its early foray into the zombie-killing genre, but it obviously claims Dying Light to be different enough from Dead Island to be its own franchise. What isn’t warranted are the slew of comparisons the game will get to Dead Island 2.

When Techland broke off to develop its own game, Deep Silver grabbed whatever developer they could muster to continue the franchise – Yager Development, in this case. Although there have been reports that Dying Light was originally intended as a Dead Island sequel, a member of the Techland team confirmed for Hardcore Gamer that this isn’t the case, and Dying Light was “an original title from its very beginning.” Now that Deep Silver has finally unveiled gameplay for Dead Island 2, it’s easy to see why Techland broke away from the series.

Both games are slated for an early 2015 release, so the comparisons are inevitable. My prediction: Dying Light will be better than Dead Island 2 in every conceivable way. Let’s compare the first looks and examine a few of the areas in which Dying Light already has the edge.



Some have dismissed Dying Light as “just” Dead Island with free running. Even if that were true, that is a big addition to the game, especially given the depth of execution Techland has displayed with the mechanic thus far. Anything that looks climbable is. Add that to Techland developer Maciej Binkowski’s claim that one out of four areas in Dying Light is bigger than Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide combined, and that’s a lot of climb-ability.

Dead Island 2 is the same old dance. See some easily traversable debris blocking your way? Well you’ll have to walk around the entire city, because even the most basic climbing can only be done by jumping from platform to platform.

Enemy Difficulty:

In all fairness, Dead Island 2 doesn’t seem to be to concerned with fleeing, because its zombies don’t seem half as hard as Dying Light’s, or even Dead Island’s. Dead Island 2’first gameplay footage is a compilation of funny ways to kill a zomibe. How about freezing its head and shattering it? What about cutting all its limbs off one by one? What’s missing is the sense of danger that zombies posed in Dead Island and will undoubtedly pose in Dying Light. In the Gamescom footage, zombies in Dead Island 2 stood around like morons, showing no response as the player wildly swung an axe in their general vicinity

Screenshot 2014-08-18 12.29.11

Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide were all about finding the quickest and most effective way to kill the zombies in your way, because any one of them could be a threat. Sure, you could do that with a bomb made out of deoderant and duct tape, but humor and creativity wasn’t the goal. Whether Dead Island 2’s weaker enemies were simply used to demonstrate weapon crafting remains to be seen, but Dying Light put their best foot forward, showcasing the depth and difficulty at the first reveal. Dead Island 2 followed up its traditional misleading cinematic with disappointing gameplay mechanics.

The threats are everywhere in Dying Light, especially in the game’s new day/night cycle, which causes zombies to change into deadly, free-running nightmares. Try freezing one of their heads, Deep Silver.

Campaign and Multiplayer:

This is where Dead Island 2 is the most lacking. As the folks at Yager Development revealed to IGN at Gamescom, there is no way to beat Dead Island 2 – in other words, the campaign has no meaningful closure. In place of a solid campaign are endless fetch quests – which can be done with up to eight people. Calling it “the world’s smallest MMO,” Yager Development confirmed that Dead Island 2 will appeal to players who just want to kill zombies without having to worry about anything like story or character progression, and it facilitates that with seamless drop-in multiplayer.


Dying Light on the other hand promises an in-depth story with four player co-op, more than 100 side-quests (the variety of which is to be determined) and special challenges on top of that. It also sports a Dark Souls-style invasion system, where players can become a zombie and terrorize strangers online. The charm of Dead Island was replayability; play through the campaign as one character and one play style, then try it again with a different one. It didn’t doom you to run around California endlessly, fetching gas for anyone who begs for it.


Honestly, I was surprised that Dead Island 2 was even being made, and now it’s being made into a shadow of the original while Techland is off creating the successor we all wanted. Who’s to blame? My money is on Deep Silver, a publisher with an established record of rushing games at the expense of gameplay. It will surprise me more if Deep Silver, Dead Island 2 and Yager Development can manage to turn out a solid, challenging sequel.

  • IH8YH

    Zombies in Dead Island 1 and Riptide were a threat?! really?! for the first ten minutes maybe but once you got a hang of the controls and all they did pose no threat at all. DI2 looks to be the same as DI1 and DI:R which is not necessarily bad.
    I will get BOTH games though.

    • Jason Mounce

      If anything, Dead Island, beyond the bugs, bad AI and horrible story – the attacks that thugs have were just annoying rather than proving to be a challenge, you get punched and fall on your ass repeatedly? Zombies don’t attack you when you’re down and wait for you to get up.

      And this begs the question, if Dying Light is what Dead Island fans want, what’s that mean for Dead Island 2? That it’s the same but not – that it’s more serious? Less customizations? The workbench and creations are all there still and it uses the same engine I think. So, unsure how they can tell us that it’s different beyond maybe a visual artstyle-standpoint if they go a bit more cartoony-L4D’ish.


    Well, only time will tell for Dead Island 2. The only footage out right now is PRE-ALPHA footage. Also, their aim isn’t particularly designed for a serious dark gritty horror game, but a more laidback, over-the-top action, with scenic landscapes setting the mood.

    I haven’t taken too much of a look into Dying Light, but from the looks, it’s supposed to be more serious. So I guess really the targeted audience is gonna to be different for both games: whether you’d like a more serious zombie game, or a more comical zombie game.
    Dead Island 1 really tries hard (and seems to fail) at both by mixing it, so the game is either hated or loved.

  • Agent HUNK

    one problem I have is that Dying Light is a cross-gen game and Dead Island 2 is only focusing on ps4/one/pc ….I feel dying light will be held back cause of this

    • jdwii

      I was thinking that actually that is how i made my choice on what i think will be better sick of these old console games on a PC.

  • Agent HUNK

    What it comes down to is this will be a call of duty vs battlefield kind of fan war when they release …. the final reviews and your own opinion will win over your own decision of which is right for you ?? I will get both If they both get decent reviews

  • James

    Dead Island 2 is by the Spec Ops: The Line people, and they’ve looked at how players wanted to screw around in Dead Island rather than how the game wanted them to. The lighter tone and greater degree of insanity makes me far more interested than another serious take on a genre that’s devolved into self-parody.

  • Neil Riley

    I loved the Dead Island games, forgave the bugs as I saw it as a flawed gem. Co-op was excellent too. Dying Light and Dead Island 2 cannot come soon enough for me.

    Saying that, I tend to love the unloved games. The Saboteur ( a brilliant buggy mess), Kane and Lynch 2 (loved the style). I don’t follow the crowd too often although Destiny is a must !

  • jdwii

    This article is kinda ridiculous i like the comparison but the author makes quick assumptions for one he acts like he knows what dead island fans want? If someone is a fan of dead island 1 and riptide like myself why would we want it to be different? Its like saying i’m a fan of mario games but i want it to be more like zelda. I can gather this information before i read anything besides the title

    The second assumption he made in his article is about gameplay maybe people would rather have zombies be more well like zombies? A zombie technically won’t be a chuck norries its going to be weak and i doubt they could run either actually that was the most annoying thing about dead island was the infected.

    Now i do agree with the storyline part i wish dead island had a better story line i actually thought riptides was slightly better then the first one.

    What i want from dead island 2 is this

    Gameplay- The same as the first one and riptide with lots of customization and melee weapons- Also never have it where the character falls its so annoying

    AI – I want it the same as riptide and the first one with no infected ones maybe some other tough guys

    Engine – Stop making some crappy engine and just use the Cryengine which was made for these types of environments or the Unreal Engine 4 which looks great please this was my number 1 issue along with locking the game to 30FPS internally with next gen you should be able to do 60FPS even more so when you are only making the game for next gen.

    Storyline – why would i just want to slash things for no reason those games get bored after awhile try and make a storyline worth playing and get rid of the dumb side-quests like the champagne one.