Dead Island 2 Devs Explain Why The Game Is Set In LA

In a recent interview with Game Informer, the heads of Dambuster Studios, the team making the upcoming Dead Island 2, explained why the game is set in Los Angeles, and why that adds to the game's themes, visuals, and world-building. They were first asked the more technical question though, why is Dead Island 2 in LA if LA is not an island?

Perhaps that's not the fairest question to ask Dambuster Studios, as it is the third team that's been charged with this developing this title. Dead Island 2 has had a particularly troubled development cycle, having first been revealed all the way back in 2014. Its LA setting was confirmed back then, meanwhile, Dambuster Studios only took over the project in 2018. Despite that, the team had a respectable answer.

Dead Island 2's story is set following an evacuation that saw Los Angeles citizens attempt to escape the city after the outbreak began. Once the evacuation was no longer feasible, the entire city was quarantined by the government, as it hoped to let the infection run out. No one can leave or enter the city, so it is, in a metaphorical sense, an island. With that logic, virtually any location could be an 'island', so if Dead Island gets another sequel, it could theoretically be set in any city in the world.

Despite not having chosen the setting of LA, Dambuster seemingly has a lot of passion for it. "It's super diverse," said design director Adam Duckett. "There’s tons of opportunities and potential, both in terms of environments, but also in terms of characters, the personnel, and the zombies themselves that we can put into the game." Indeed, purely with their clothing, zombies can have a lot of diversity based on real-life occupations or styles that could look out of place in a remote island resort.

"There’s that vibrancy," Duckett continued. "The sun-drenched locations, the beaches, the exotic mansions of Bel-Air, and beyond. It’s a great environment for us to have that combat experience.” Furthermore, the setting allows for eccentric characters that fit the Hollywood lifestyle most people are familiar with through popular media. Creative director James Worrall explained that LA is known for its eccentric culture, and the team thought this culture "would be a great way to entertain while you’re running around punching zombies."

According to Game Informer, the developers often described the setting as "postcard" LA, seemingly wanting to make the visuals as picturesque as possible while contrasting them with blood, gore, and zombies. What Art director Adam Olsson wants more than anything though, is for the game to be fun. He acknowledges the numerous zombie games that have been released in the past 10 years but notes that "so many of them are just that dark mirror held up to show the deepest depth of man. And I just kind of want people to come out and think, 'That was fun. Zombies are fun again.’”

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Ah yes... Dead Island 2, set on continental America...


very good explanation, and yes, any city or town can turn into an "Island"


Yeah it's definitely weird it's in LA but the band is called dead island


Doesn't fit the name but its nice


I'm sure it will be fun but not like the first one

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