As dubious as we were about this hack-and-slash FPS before, Dambuster Studios’ Dead Island 2 is almost here. Also, when the Dead Island 2 release date comes around, we’re eager to explore an undead-filled Los Angeles. Why? Dead Island 2 may very well be the most lifelike zombies in video games to date. We definitely don’t say that lightly. The Last of Us, Dying Light 2, and Back 4 Blood should all be put to one side. Due in large part to the “FLESH technology” at work, Dead Island 2 is going to set a new bar for virtual zombies.

Dead Island 2 and its zombies look really awesome

We are all curious about the FLESH method Dambuster Studios uses to improve the quality of zombies in video games. Fortunately, a few Dead Island 2 developers took the time to explain how it functions in an interesting Game Informer interview. Many games feature gore, and they all function differently. But senior render programmer Aaron Ridge says that the FLESH technology really advances the genre because of its progressive effect.

What does this mean, though, exactly? In Dead Island 2, the zombies will respond to being beaten up far more realistically than in previous games. Which, in Ridge’s words, should give players a “genuine feeling that the zombies are formed of stuff and they’ve got bits inside.” Dead Island 2’s zombies are best understood as a “volume of mass” as opposed to “simply a shell” that may be destroyed with a sledgehammer or baseball bat, as both words are used by Ridge. Dan Evans-Lawes, the game’s technical art director, goes into further depth about the FLESH system in Dead Island 2 and why it will stand out.

Evans-Lawes says, “It’s essentially simply a procedural technique to kill characters in Dead Island 2.” The design of each form of zombie is the same. It allows damage to be applied anywhere on the victim and passing through layers of skin, fat, and muscle before reaching the bones and internal organs. This results in some of the most intricate dismemberment and realistic-yet-chaotic gore we’ve ever seen in a video game.

Let’s wait and see the zombies in Dead Island 2

We’re not sure how relevant Evans-Lawes’ frequent references to the sensation he had while watching Robocop are to Dead Island 2, but he does go into more detail about how the FLESH system in this game will give players an accurate response to their attacks and even go so far as to include things like “bruising around the wound.” We recognize that using so many words to describe something so visual. Therefore, it might be best if you listen to the conversation with Ridge and Evans-Lawes for yourself.

The undead in this game appear to be the best we’ve ever seen; we can’t remember of another zombie slasher where this much effort has gone into the realism of bringing them down. We know the new Dead Island 2 zombie kinds resemble popular Left 4 Dead 2 adversaries. So it appears that the wait was worthwhile. Besides Dead Island 2 and the zombies in the game, we have more articles on our website.

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