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Who has the Most “Guts”, Dead Island 2 or Dying Light 2 Stay Human?

Who has the Most “Guts”, Dead Island 2 or Dying Light 2 Stay Human?

There’s no doubt that anyone with a slight interest in zombie games is playing Dead Island 2 right now. With the selling point for Dead Island 2 being the F.L.E.S.H (Fully Locational Evisceration System for Humanoids) system — lets the player perform involuntary reconstructive surgery on the undead —, who wouldn't be playing. But did you know Dying Light 2 Stay Human released an update around the time of release that turned the decapitations and dismemberments up to what it was back in Dying Light?

As both games are filled with zombies, ‘bloody’ good to play, and franchises at one point were developed by Techland, there’s enough to compare the two. However, in light of the upgrade and release of the long awaited Dead Island 2, it would be fair to compare the gore in both titles. You might need to wear a poncho to read this, hombre.

Look who’s walking dead, now?!

You can’t talk about zombie gore from both contenders without mentioning how they look in general. Modern day depictions of the shambling undead are corroded beings with pale skin, bloodshot eyes and part of their bodies missing. The zombies from both titles take inspiration from the current concepts and have led them in different directions.

de 1 art

Dead Island 2’s zombies — with a vast range of types — are bloody and grotesque. As the game’s story begins weeks after the L.A. outbreak, the undead vary between the virality and length of the infection. Those newly bitten — called Runners — look livelier, though the animalistic growls, hunched backs, and blood dripping from their mouths removes the element of surprise. Walkers and Shamblers look more like the generic zombie archetype; slow moving, half-eaten, and constantly trying to bite you. Though the same handful of zombie designs are used, you’ll come across some that are worse for wear. Between ‘normal’ looking ones, there'll be some missing arms or crawling on the ground.  And for the first time — that I know of — most zombies have visible bite marks if you look close enough, but not too close.

In Dying Light 2 on the other hand, based 15 years after the outbreak, the undead’s bodies (both normal and special) are worn down but don’t seem to be decomposing anytime soon. In the day, slow moving walkers take to the streets. Weathered from the elements, they look gaunt and flaky under loose fitting clothing, but all the zombies in the game have the appropriate amount of appendages. At night, the special infection comes out to hunt, showing off the rarity of themselves.

dy 1 art

Both game’s special infected vary in their mutilation both done to them and to others, but are mostly the same. There are: the overgrown muscle men (Dead Island 2’s Crushers, Dying Light 2’s Demolishers and Goons), those whose organs have expanded outside of their cavities (Dead Island 2’s Slobbers and Bursters, Dying Light 2’s Spitters); I could go on however, we’re talking about their goriness than gallery. Overall, Dying Light 2 favours a grittier array of foes that each have their own abilities like the ever-vigilant Volatiles, while Dead Island 2 has the same thing, but include sub-types that correspond to elemental damage, shown in their specific injuries and cosmetics like the always stabbing Butchers.

A Time To Dismember!

Starting with Dying Light 2, on release, the violence was brutal but held-back. Hitting the necrotic meatbags had a bit of weight, but didn’t begin to break skin until you have a bladed weapon. And even then, dismemberments were few and far between. The violence came from the bloodletting you’d deal out to both alive and dead.  With a weighty two-handed weapon, you could paint the city of Villedor red. With the new update “Gut Feeling”, the term rip and tear are definitely represented here as your attacks seem to pull apart the zombies rather than damaging parts like in Dead Island 2. Both blunt and bladed weapons carve open your foes, letting you see what they had for lunch. The update has brought a fresher look to bashing and slashing while still keeping to the gore of Dying Light, which at the time was one of the aspects players enjoyed; and I believe still do.

dy 2 art

In Dead Island 2 (and in the previous Dead Island titles), the combat has always been to incapacitate or out-right kill zombies. If you don’t want to get grabbed, compound fracture their arms. If they’re walking faster than you like, cut off their legs and watch them helplessly grasp in your direction, or simply introduce a baseball bat to the skulls of anything shambling towards you. Now with the F.L.E.S.H system, you can do that as well as take a chunk of them with you. If Dying Light’s gore is rip and tear, Dead Island 2’s is to dissect and collect.

From the very beginning, your attacks can absolutely ruin the bodies of the dead. From busting open their guts to caving in their faces, the game lets you maim (an effect in the game which works like a critical strike) any enemy that unfortunately comes across you. For example, you get to perform special attacks on stunned zombies depending on the weapon where you: slam a blade into the side of their face, jam a pole into their guts and punch a hole through the head, and crack them with a heavy weapon; forcing the pressure to pop their eyes out. And that’s not even the most gruesome thing you can do. Elemental damage will also affect the zombies with fire and electricity burning them from the outside and corrosive damage literally melts skin. But where the “collect” part comes in is with weapon upgrades. Dying Light has a currency where special infect can drop “samples” for you to exchange for item upgrades. In Dead Island 2, you collect organs to strap to your weapons; letting you use their attacks against them.

de 2 art2

Slippery when red

The world of a zombie apocalypse isn’t a clean environment to live in. Just as you wipe the floor with the undead, their uncivilised manner of eating off said floor creates quite a mess. And in both titles, the chance of getting mud and blood on your shoes is highly likely.

The streets of L.A. are littered in crashed cars, trash and, obviously, bodies and pools of blood. Anywhere you go, you’ll come across the odd murder scene or half-eaten cadaver; with some zombies eating from if you’re lucky. The whole game is filled with rooms plaster floor to ceiling with entrails, one of the outside restrooms on the Sinclair residence that looked like a bomb had gone off. Blood is also used to hint at possible areas to discover, with a trail smeared around a corner and through a locked door. Overall, if you see an unrealistic amount of body parts and carnage scatter around the place, you’ve either walked into the aftermath or beginning of a nightmare.

dy 3 art2


Dying Light 2 however has more depressing scenes. Whether on the streets, in the countless buildings you can enter, or just propped up against a monument or on the roof of a car, human remains are everywhere, with some half-submerged in mud. In hotspots, you can come across other survivors who have been outnumbered or were just unlucky; laying on their stomachs surrounded by the undead — carrying valuable loot to pilfer from them. Other than Dead Island 2, blood is used only for recent kills, letting the player look over the slaughter you made, which refers back to “painting Villedor red”. However, there are piles of flesh and bone that can be found in pseudo nests or as they’re called in the game, Dark Zones where monstrosities have built up a body count.

In conclusion, both are as bloody as they need to be in relation to their takes on the zombie apocalypse. Dead Island has always been larger than life with violence and story while Dying Light is serious while letting the player scratch their “want to see a head go splat” itch. If I had to choose between the games regarding who did it better, I’d say whichever one is more popular in the comments.

If there’s anything I might have missed, or simply want me to talk about other gory games, feel free to comment below.

Bennett Perry

Bennett Perry

Staff Writer

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