Dead Island 2's zombies have individually modelled skin, fat, muscles, bones, and more
The FLESH system is so detailed that players don't need a HUD to get an idea of how they're doing.
Dead Island 2 has officially been revealed, following a slip from Amazon a few days before Gamescom Opening Night Live, which spoiled the surprise for fans. But, now that the game (and its release date) is out in the open, we've had the chance to catch up with developer Dambuster Studios at Gamescom, where we played 20 minutes of the title and chatted with creative director James Worrall.
While you can watch our full interview with Worrall below, as part of it, we asked about the new FLESH system that sits at Dead Island 2's core, which makes zombies feel even more real with individually rendered anatomies, and how that affects gameplay.
"This is the first thing we did, and was part of why we started from scratch, because we wanted to keep the visceral combat right at the heart of the game. Our heroes are thrivers not survivors. They rush into combat," said Worrall.
"We modelled the skin, the fat, the muscles, the bones, the organs, plus some special organs that might not be in a normal human, let's say. And it's fully procedural, where you hit there will be a reaction, and that's kind of one side of the coin. The other side of the coin, we've got proper hit reactions and animations, and AI as well. So you're really able to batter them around, and they'll react to it, and that is the core of the gameplay because when you build something that granular, that specific, you can base and evolve all the rest of the game design around that, and all the moves."
As for how detailed and deep this system is, Worrall gave us an idea of that as well. "So that's allowed us to create this really, really immersive experience, to the point where you can actually turn off all of the HUD elements, and there's enough feedback, in fact more really, actually built into the kind of real world of the game that allows you to understand exactly what you're weapons are doing and why."
Dead Island 2 will be launching on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles on February 3, 2023, and you can check out the re-reveal trailer below.