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Dead Island 2 Cranks Up The Gore With Wild New System

"Dead Island 2" has been a long time coming. The original zombie-slaying entry was released way back in 2011, and fans of the open-world survival game have been clamoring for a sequel ever since. The new game's trailer only got gamers even more excited for what's in store on April 28, but despite what the name "Dead Island" implies, the sequel will take place in sunny Los Angeles — or "Hell-A," as the game calls it. And now, the developers have revealed just how wild the combat is really going to get in the highly anticipated sequel. Needless to say, Hell-A lives up to its name.

Melee combat was famously a big part of the original "Dead Island" experience. Ammo was precious, so players were encouraged to slash and bash zombies with an assortment of different weapons. The sequel brings even more weapons to the table, including swords and hammers. Not only that, but a new system created just for the game is going to up the ante when it comes to the gore seen during combat.

Introducing Dead Island 2's FLESH system

During a recent "Dead Island 2" Game Informer interview with Senior Redner Programmer Aaron Ridge and Technical Art Director Dan Evans-Lawes, the duo revealed the new FLESH system, which procedurally generates the damage inflicted on each zombie opponent. This proprietary development tool makes it so players can damage a zombie in the same spot, and more of their flesh and body parts will come off with each hit. The system gives the player a "real feeling that the zombies are made of something, they've got bits inside of them and that they're sort of a volume of mass," Ridge explained.

The developers showcase this new system in the video by cutting up a lifeless zombie on the ground. Instead of generic cuts appearing on the character model, the zombie gets more and more of their hide peeled off, including their legs. The system will allow players to "go through the layers of skin, fat, muscle, break through to bones, and internal organs," Evan-Lawes explained. Good news for horror fans who love their gore!

The developers explained that the system works not only on the regular zombies, but on all enemies in the game. It looks like different weapons will also have different results, so a hammer smash won't look like a sword slash, etc. The developers also stated that this system is one of the ways in which the team is taking the violence in "Dead Island 2" to over-the-top cinematic levels. Interestingly, this is almost exactly the opposite to the approach taken by the developers of the "Dead Space" remake.