A five-year-old build of Dead Island 2 has leaked

Dead Island 2 has had one messy development saga. It began with Techland, developers of the first Dead Island, who left to make Dying Light instead. Publishers Deep Silver then passed it over to Yager, developers of Spec Ops: The Line, who worked on Dead Island 2 long enough to get a demo together for EGX, but then split with Deep Silver because their "respective visions of the project fell out of alignment", according to Yager CEO Timo Ullman.

Development of Dead Island 2 then passed to Sumo Digital, and finally to Dambuster, an internal Deep Silver studio who are currently working on it.

It's the Yager version of the game that's in the news today, as a playable build of their take on the zombie kick-em-up has leaked. For obvious reasons we can't link to the download, but it's out there and a variety of YouTubers have been collecting footage. The leaked build is labeled as being from June 19, 2015, just a month before it was canceled.

It certainly looks like Dead Island complete with weapons that cause fire and electricity damage and have names right out of a JRPG like  Destructive Brain Tangling Handgun Pistol and Roasty Toasty Keen Combat Knife. The icons are familiar, as are the three skill trees, the crafting, and the way zombies take forever to drop if you're not geared right. The driving is third-person, though.

What we can't see is the eight-player multiplayer or the story, which would presumably would have followed the arch tone of the trailer, and without that stuff this unfinished build can't help but be underwhelming.

Yager are currently developing multiplayer shooter The Cycle, which is playable right now.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.