Dead Island 2 launched in April this year and is a bloody great game, and well worth the 10-year wait after the first game’s success. It took the best bits of Dead Island and enhanced them without changing the winning formula too much, as a good sequel should do. There was amazing graphics, superb voice acting, hilarious characters, and an engaging story with heaps of side quests. Now we have the game’s first DLC, Dead Island 2 Haus, that adds a few of hours of gory gameplay but ramps up the weird factor as we do quests for decapitated heads.
Dead Island 2 Haus gives us a completely new story quest line to go down where a secret billionaire’s techno-death cult fights for survival amidst the Zompocalypse. Haus is a paragon of a new future, as prophesied by their enigmatic leader Konstantin. Set in a stylish villa in Malibu where the base game’s graphics are shown in full tilt, we take orders from a decapitated head as we take it back to its body where it reconnects in a hideous way. I don’t get grossed about by video games often but this was getting up there, particularly as the eyes rolled around until they settled – yuck.
If you have finshed the base game or at least progressed through to gaining the fury ability, you can go straight into the DLC by going back to Emma’s mansion in Bel Air and you will see an orange icon indicating an invitiation on a table. Picking up the invitation will teleport you out the front of a Malibu villa. If you’re starting a fresh character or are only a couple of hours into the base game, you will need to progress the story up to the quest ‘The Chosen One’. Head back to Emma’s mansion and the quest will be there that will give you access to the first of two acts in the Dead Island 2 Haus DLC.
As I started the first quest of completing three rites, it felt very similar to playing through the Far Cry 6 DLC packs where you were in the mind of one of the Far Cry villains. There is a lot of standard Dead Island 2 hunting for copious amounts of resources lying around for crafting/upgrades, and good old-fashioned zombie bashing with glorious slow-motion finishing moves that I loved from the base game. Limbs are flying left, right and centre, only this time there’s a lot of creepy latex on the habitants of this cult group. There’s an interesting twist as a seemingly small house contains this deep dark rabbit hole that you must navigate and then escape, with multiple ways to traverse and take out zombies with electricity, fire and other traps. There’s nothing better than setting up an inadvertent kill zone right as you use your last medkit, and watching them all burn in front of you.
Eventually we come across a new K-rossbow weapon that can explode zombified brains that have locked access to certain areas with its veiny tendrils. Sometimes it’s easy to find the brain, while others will need some puzzle solving to get to the source. There are also eight new skill cards to unlock as you level up and complete challenges and will enhance your chosen character’s zombie slaying abilities. My character Ryan took cards that added enhancements to blocking which would do an aoe damage and a self-heal on a successful block. The other locations we get to play through are a creepy moss-filled forest and a gory pig-themed diner. More grossness abounds here but it certainly instils a sense of dread and intensity as more zombies come charging at you.
If you are a fan of the base game, the Dead Island 2 Haus DLC is more zombie bashing fun with a cult twist. The gore is turned up to 11 but it’s the storytelling that I found very engaging, and this kept me pushing forward past the gruesome figureheads. It is short at just a few hours but it’s a good enough excuse to jump back into Dead Island 2 if you haven’t played for a while.