When you jump into the hellscape that is Hell-A, one of the first things you’ll notice is that there are a lot more tanky bosses in Dead Island 2 than there were in previous games. These apex variants, which are essentially heavily-mutated zombies, appear once in a while to disrupt the flow of your game – and tackling them feels like an action packed adventure that almost feels fit for the silver screen.
That’s something that’s been done intentionally, according to James Worrall, the game’s creative director. In our time with the game during our Dead Island 2 preview, we tackled a zombie bride and an acid-spitting actor that really tap into the psyche of Los Angeles as we know it, while putting a Hollywood twist on it all.
“We wanted to reflect Los Angeles in our approach to zombie design,” Worral tells The Loadout. “It’s also through the Hollywood lens; we’re going back to much of our inspiration, which was sci fi horror of the 80s and 90s and that big set piece with the final monster [in the preview] is part of that.”
The final boss that Worrall mentions looks and feels like a schlocky B movie fight. The film set you’re fighting in has a giant tarantula hanging over a petrol station and as you dance left, right, and centre around the actor’s bile, you can use the film’s special effects to help you in your fight – and trust me, things get hairy pretty quickly indeed. All of this is intended, though.
“All of these fights are archetype reveals,” Worrall says. “The first time you meet a butcher is The Butcher, the first time you meet a crusher is the zombie bride. And we wanted each of those to be a special occasion – a sort of B-movie level occasion.”
So there you have it, while Dead Island 2 might be full of regular zombies to whack, bash, and yeet, the apex variants that await you will each get their own, memorable boss battles.
Keep your eyes peeled for more insight into the making of Dead Island 2 in our longer interview posted later on this week. In the meantime, take a look at all the playable Dead Island 2 characters you can choose for your Hell-A adventure.