Dead Island 2 will feature six survivors playable directly from the jump. You may already be familiar with one, and that’s Jacob, the Lenny Kravitz-inspired character. Reappear trailer for Dead Island 2, During my cover story trip, I played Dead Island 2 for about seven hours, but I didn’t shake hands with Jacob. However, I did play a few hours with both Dani and Ryan, two different survivors who add their own flair to this zomb-pocalypse tale.
I came out of this cover story trip feeling that Dani is the survivor for me, but Ryan is great too. And there are still other four left that I didn’t get to play. However, I want to tell you about Ryan, and so does Dambuster Studio (Read about Dani here,
what went wrong in los angeles
As you may already know, Los Angeles has gone to hell, and both Dani and Ryan in-game and the team at Dambuster Studios affectionately refer to the once beautiful and thriving city as Hell-A. Mind you, Hell-A is still beautiful and thriving, but only for a select few who, like Ryan, have chosen to stay behind.
Dead Island 2 begins in the final days of a massive evacuation effort to get the non-infected out of LA. It is set roughly a decade after the events of the first Dead Island, and while logic points to Dead Island 2’s zombie outbreak virus being similar to Banoi, this is not necessarily confirmed. The evacuation has been “surprisingly efficient,” Dead Island 2 narrative designer Khan told me. The military has locked down the city, making the decision to quarantine what remains of L.A. to allow the infection to run its course. This is where the island aspect of the game’s name comes into play, according to the studio; No one goes in, no one goes out.
You meet the survivors on each of the last planes leaving LA. Unfortunately for them, however, it turns out that someone on board is infected. As a result of protocol, the military shoots the plane down – after all no infected can leave the city – and it crashes into Hell-A. At this point, I took control of my chosen survivor, Ryan, and the game introduced me to its combat and primary antagonist: zombies! It doesn’t take long for Ryan to get bit, however, and that’s where Dead Island 2’s story begins: you’re infected, but you’re not turning, and you need to get this information and your blood to someone who is. Who can help.
Now that we know how Ryan’s story begins in Dead Island 2, let’s talk about why this character flourishes in Hell-A.
Ryan’s story starts out like the rest of the survivors, but I really started playing into his story later on during my Dead Island 2 cover story journey. I carried Dani through the first four or five hours of the game, ending my playtime with Ryan. As Ryan, I explored the Santa Monica Pier, made my way through its creepy funhouse-like vibes, and faced off against Bucho the Clown, a terrifying clown boss who moves like a spider, wielding swords Uses his sawed-down arm bones, and can regenerate health. It really was the stuff of nightmares.
But unlike me, Ryan took it all in stride. He kept it cool, calm, and collected, which was quite a contrast to Dani’s more in-your-face, I-don’t-care-who-you-think-you vibe. In talking with Khan, it sounds like this distinction was intentional and something not only applicable to these two survivors, but something players expect to notice among all survivors; They are different people after all. He also told me how Ryan ended up in LA in the first place.
“This is a guy who didn’t get very far in high school, but he was always a good-looking guy,” Khan tells me. ,[He’s] Not particularly academically inclined, not particularly diligent or detail oriented, and didn’t do particularly well. In other words, after high school, he didn’t want to go to university or anything like that.
He was going from one dead-end job to another, she says, but wasn’t necessarily worried about it. He lost his parents during this time in a “quite mundane way” and was left with a younger brother to care for.
“All of a sudden, he’s the bread earner and the parent, essentially, to this kid who’s 10 years younger than him, maybe more, where they live… Fresno’s where he’s from,” she says. “People had always joked that he was good-looking enough to be a stripper, and he’d always loved to dance and do that sort of thing. And basically, not out of desperation but just like, ‘I figure, why not? Let’s try it. Maybe that’ll work better.’ He started dancing, and found out he was really good at it, and he liked it, and eventually he started his own little company.
Ryan’s regular attribute is based on his firefighter outfit, which is fitting for the name of his company: The Big Hose. This job takes him to a bachelor party in LA before everything goes bad, which is why you control Ryan in his firefighter gear.
Khan told me, “He took advantage of that opportunity to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to be on the last plane out of here anyhow, people make way for a man in uniform.’
Dani’s goal in Hell-A is to get out alive and be back with her roller derby team for the upcoming match. Ryan’s goal is to survive and reach his brother. Luckily, his brother isn’t in L.A. it seems, nor is he in danger, but given that Ryan is his caretaker, Ryan’s survival in this situation is crucial.
Ryan’s Innate Skills
You can transform your survivor in Dead Island 2 into the kind of character you want to play in terms of skills, loadouts, and more. Each survivor begins with two innate skills that speak to their nature and guide you down that character’s possible path.
- the revenge: Ryan gets a moderate boost when he blocks or dodges to avoid an attack.
- Swing: Ryan heals every time he kills a zombie.
Khan states that because Dead Island 2 is a “gameplay first, combat first” game, the characters were portrayed as playable survivors before fully realized characters. The narrative team had to “reverse-engineer” the survivor personalities as a result. For example, Dani specializes in heavy attacks. Why? It was a question that Khan and the story team could only answer through details that shed light on who Dani is as a person. The same goes for Ryan and the other four playable survivors.
“I like to think [Ryan] In the form of stubbornness,” says Khan. “He would set his heels and block and refuse to budge. He’s an amazing tanky character if you want to imagine him that way. But he’s also a really nice slow steady Eddie – just a, ‘I won’t dodge around and I won’t yield.’ What makes someone like this?”
Khan says the team initially designed Ryan as a stock hero with a “classic joe, good looking guy” that we’ve seen in countless video games before. But Dambuster Studios wanted to turn it on its head. It started by putting him in a firefighter outfit.
“Can we make it for a funny cause?” Khan says that after putting Ryan in firefighter get up, the team asked. “Don’t get me wrong, love firefighters, no disrespect to them, but you know, [sex worker with a firefighter routine] There’s something we probably haven’t seen coming. We also needed someone who, even though they may be treated as an authority figure by NPCs or by people they meet, will not react in a way that isn’t who they really are. We needed that kind of distance and that kind of awkwardness.
“When it comes to the way he plays, again, he’s kind of sharp … He’s fed up, he’s sarcastic and pessimistic and he’s just What happened? With all this, almost from the moment it starts. He’s just like, ‘Oh my god, it’s just my luck.’
Khan says that the way he plays was deliberately reverse-engineered.
“He’s just like, ‘f— all this, [but] I’m getting through it somehow,'” Khan continues. “And, ‘I’m going to observe the things that are going wrong and be happy and amazed for the things that are going right, but I’m not expecting things to go right.’ It comes through in his style of play.'”
Is Ryan the Dead Island 2 alive for you? Let us know in the comments below!