Dead Island 2 – Flesh Mangling Combat Guide

Dead Island 2 comes with an extensive new way to fight the undead shuffling around Hell-A. In this sequel, the developers created a procedurally generated flesh system that is allegedly “anatomically correct.” So, in other words, the real-time damage on the zombie’s person will react according to where you hit and with what. Cracking a zombie on the head with a pipe will deal the type of damage that you would expect. Thus, slicing a shambler horizontally with a sword will indeed cut it in half. Everyday physics rules the day when it comes to this game’s combat. Hence, players can use this system to their advantage in a number of ways.

With this established, there is also a combat system in place that allows avatars to dodge, trade blows and interact with the environment. There is a lot that a player can do. This is especially true when it comes to experimentation. Crafting plays a big part in this game’s mayhem, as well. There is a laundry list of things players can do in terms of slaying zombies in all kinds of artistic ways. However, there can be elite types of zombies and even hordes that can really overwhelm players who aren’t prepared for the sultry streets of Hell-A.

So, it is important to have opened eyes to everything that is happening around you. It is possible to funnel zombies into a trap or just trick them into killing each other. Instinctively, players would want to go hog wild with their weapons and reduce the undead into crimson jelly. It’s best to frugal with your resources and reserve them for a last-chance scenario. Instead, try luring them with this game’s voice feature or baiting them all into globs within a single room for a one-hit kill.

Watch Your Surroundings

As mentioned before, players can use the environment as a weapon. The map is littered with opportunities to eliminate zombie hordes en mass. Try luring them into a swimming pool, then tossing in an electrified weapon to fry them, for instance. Car batteries are a good alternative to electrocute groups. Thus, there is also a healthy amount of gas containers throughout the city that players can use to; blow up, make a trail of ignitable fuel, and even as a detonable projectile. Lastly, upgrade your character to use the drop kick. This is a good way to launch enemies off higher ledges and let gravity help you out. Also, look for zombies that have a “Caution Signal” above their heads. This usually means they’re walking bombs and using them to your advantage for reducing numbers is also recommended.

Stick With Your Character’s Skills

There are varying Skill Cards in Dead Island 2 which players can switch out and experiment with on the fly. Every character is associated with certain abilities. Amy has a high ranking in agility, while Ryan is super-tough with his resistance to damage, for example. So, try and use cards that compliment your character’s build. Explore Hell-A and find as many cards as you can. Plus, players will receive some by default just by playing the Main and Side Quests. They are essentially the “Skill Tree” of this game. They are separated into; Survivor, Slayer, Numen, and Abilities categories. They all range from; dashing attacks, ground attacks, parrying, dodging, speed increase, and more. Be sure to switch out these cards on a regular basis and find a combination that suits your play style.

Use Different Weapons for Other Enemies

Hand-held weapons in Dead Island 2 come in four distinct flavors; Headhunter, Frenzy, Bulldozer and Maiming. Headhunter focuses on head-shots, which do extra damage. Frenzy is all about smaller weapons, like knives, having faster attacks speed. Bulldozer have a greater emphasis with brute weapons and Maiming excels in dismembering zombies. So, using a maiming weapon can help with removing legs with charging undead to slow them down. Thus, bulldozer weapons can really help with crowd control. Try and choose weapons that blend well with your chosen character.

Don’t Forget About Firearms

With all the melee carnage Dead Island 2 brings, players tend to overlook the fact that there are guns to use, too. Just like with the melee items, there are four different classes of guns; Demolisher, Sharpshooter, Rapid Fire and Tactical. Demolisher is heavy guns, like shotguns, doing more damage. Sharpshooter helps with head shots. Rapid Fire are magazine-fed auto weapons and Tactical increases reload speed. Just like with melee, fire power can strategically dismember zombies via the procedurally generated flesh system. Blowing off arms, legs and chunks of cranium can help with handicapping enemies and making them less of a threat. Also, be sure to utilize Skill Cards to add perks to ranged weapons.

Look For Signals

Dead Island 2 come with little tidbits that players should look for. Just like the zombies with the “Caution Signal”, Crushers will also release a number of ground pound attacks in a row, which also comes with a visual clue. Look for a “Red Signal” above its head. This is a tell that its about to do this type of attack. To avoid it, simply jump over its shockwaves and wait for an opening. One way to prevent this attack, is to use a maiming melee attack to severe its legs or arms. Lastly, charge attacks can be a one-hit kill, if players look at the cursor. Hold down the attack button, line up the cursor onto your target, and wait for it to turn red. Once it does, this is your chance to release your attack button and dish out a takedown move.


There is a lot of little things to look out for in Dead Island 2. This game offers much more than just mindless zombie-slaying mayhem. There is actually a smart combat system installed in this game that gives every encounter a little nuance. With all these aforementioned tips to consider, there is not only a better chance of survival, but also having more fun. Dead Island 2 is now available for PlayStation, Xbox and PC.

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