Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

The first five hours of Dead Island 2 are a bloody good time

Gore blimey!

So here's a funny story. Thanks to YouTube's recent tightening of restrictions, the last time I previewed Dead Island 2 the video that I made was age-gated as soon as it was published thanks to the extreme gore on show. OK, so maybe its not that funny because I worked super late into the night to get the video ready for a crazy embargo and in the end it was a huge waste of time because hardly anyone watched it.

Which is why, my lovely friends, you will see a lot of pictures of my cats edited into my brand new preview video above. What better way to censor a video than by filling it with cats, eh?

Seriously though, the gore in Dead Island 2 is on another level to anything else I’ve seen in a video game. The procedural way that the zombies fall apart as you hit, melt, shock and burn them really has to be seen to be believed as it’s both gruesome and glorious at the same time. It’s like an early Peter Jackson movie come to life and honestly, if you’re a horror movie gore-hound, the visuals in this game are going to leave you whooping your beautiful little head off because there are some spectacular displays of dismemberment and destruction here.

Dead Island 2 has some of the best and goriest kills I’ve seen since DOOM 2016’s glory kills and you should be able to see them in action without cat pictures (but why would you want to do that?) in this recent promotional video .Watch on YouTube

For this preview, I was allowed to play through the first five hours of Dead Island 2 on Xbox Series X and, considering the troubled production process this game has gone through, I had a bloody good time! It feels much more like a successor to the original Dead Island games than Techland's Dying Light series, and crucially it also feels way more polished and it looks gorgeous.

The mini-open world areas of 'Hell-A' that I got to explore included small sections of Bel Air and Beverly Hills, a luxurious hotel and even a multi-studio movie lot that came with multiple film sets to fight my way through. Each area was chock full of environmental story-telling and these wonderful little details made exploration a joy and I had a great time nosing through people's possessions that had been left behind in the aftermath of an apocalypse.

It wasn't all roses though and you can find out exactly what I liked and what I didn't like about the game in my preview video, which also features a bunch of brand new 4K gameplay footage. When it's not being covered by cats that is.