Dead Island 2 will feature six playable survivors right from the jump. You may already be familiar with one, and that’s Jacob, the character inspired by Lenny Kravitz in Dead Island 2 trailer re-released. During my cover story tour, I played Dead Island 2 for about seven hours, but I didn’t practice with Jacob. However, I played a few hours with both Dani and Ryan, two very different survivors who added their own flair to this zombie apocalypse tale.
I ended up on this narrative tour convinced that Dani was the survivor for me, but Ryan was great too. And there are still four other survivors that I don’t get to play. However, I want to tell you about Ryan, and so does Dambuster Studios (Read about Dani here)
What happened in Los Angeles
As you may already know, Los Angeles has been hell, and both Dani and Ryan in the game and the team at Dambuster Studios affectionately refer to this once beautiful and prosperous city as Hell-A. Mind you, Hell-A is still beautiful and prosperous, but only for the few who choose to stay behind, like Ryan.
Dead Island 2 begins in the final days of a large-scale evacuation effort to avoid getting infected out of LA. It’s set about a decade after the events of the first Dead Island, and while logic dictates that Dead Island 2’s zombie outbreak virus resembles the one from Banoi, that’s not necessarily confirmed. Dead Island 2 narrative designer Khan told me the evacuation was “surprisingly effective”. The military sealed off the city, leading to the decision to quarantine what was left of LA so the infection could take place. According to the studio, this is where the game’s eponymous island aspect comes into play; No one in, no one out.
You meet each survivor on one of the last planes leaving LA. Unfortunately for them, however, it turned out that someone on board was infected. The protocol resulted in the military shooting down this plane – after all, it was impossible for any infected people to leave the city – and it fell to Hell-A. At this point, I was in control of my chosen survivor, Ryan, and the game introduced me to combat and its main villains: the zombies! Ryan won’t take long, though, and that’s where Dead Island 2’s story begins: you get infected, but you don’t turn around, and you need to give this information and your blood to someone can help.
Now that we know how Ryan’s story begins in Dead Island 2, let’s talk about why the character thrives in Hell-A.
Ryan’s story started out like the rest of the survivors, but I really started playing him later in his story on my Dead Island 2 cover story trip. I put Dani through the first four or five hours of the game, ending my playtime with Ryan. As Ryan, I explored the Santa Monica Pier, waltzing through its creepy fun-house-like vibes and coming face to face with the Butcho Clown, a terrifying clown boss that moves like a spider. , uses his sawed arm bone as a sword, and can regenerate health. It really is the stuff of nightmares.
But unlike me, Ryan got through all of this with ease. He maintains a calm, calm, and collected demeanor, which is completely different from Dani’s more direct, I-don’t-care-you-think-you vibe. When talking to Khan, it seems that this contrast is intentional and something that applies not only to these two survivors, but to what the player hopes to notice among all the survivors; After all, they are different people. She also explained to me how Ryan got to LA in the first place.
“This is a man who didn’t quite do well in high school, but he was always a handsome guy,” Khan told me. “[He’s] not particularly academically inclined, not particularly hard-working or detail-oriented, and not doing very well. In other words, after graduating from high school, he didn’t want to go to college or anything like that.”
She said he was going from one deadlocked job to another, but wasn’t necessarily interested in it. He lost his parents in a “quite mundane” way during this time and was left with a younger brother to take care of.
“Suddenly, he’s basically the breadwinner and parent of this kid, who’s 10 years older, maybe more, where they live in… Fresno, his hometown,” he said. she said. “People always joke that he’s handsome enough to be a stripper, and he’s always loved dancing and stuff like that. And basically, it’s not really despair but it’s like, ‘I guess, why not? Try this out. Maybe that would be more efficient.’ He started dancing, and it turned out that he was really good at it, and he loved it, and ended up starting his own little company.”
Ryan’s everyday expertise is based on his firefighter outfit, which matches his company name: The Big Hose. This job got him to a bachelorette party in LA before it all fell apart, which is why you control Ryan in his firefighter suit.
“He took that opportunity to say, ‘Okay, somehow I’ll get on the last flight out of here, everyone make way for a man in uniform,'” Khan told me. .
Dani’s goal in Hell-A is to come back alive and meet her rolling team again in the upcoming match. Ryan’s goal is to survive and get to his brother. Luckily, it doesn’t look like his brother is in LA, nor is he in danger, but since Ryan is his caretaker, Ryan’s survival in this situation is important.
Ryan’s Innate Skill
You can make your survivor in Dead Island 2 the type of character you want to play in terms of skills, payloads, etc. Each survivor starts with two innate skills that speak for themselves and loosely guide you on the potential path for that character.
- Revenge: Ryan gets a moderate boost when using blocks or dodging to avoid an attack.
- Seesaw: Ryan restores health every time he kills a zombie.
Khan says that because Dead Island 2 is a “play first, fight first” game, the characters are outlined as playable survivors before the complete characters. As a result, the narrative team had to “reverse-engineer” the survivors’ personalities. For example, Dani specializes in heavy attacks. Why? That’s a question Khan and the storytelling team were able to answer through details that shed light on who Dani is. The same goes for Ryan and the other four playable survivors.
“I like to think about [Ryan] like stubbornness personified,” said Khan. “He will firmly stop and refuse to budge. He’s a great endurance character if you want to judge him that way. But he’s also just a really good steady, slow Eddy – just, ‘I won’t dodge and I won’t give up.’ What makes a person like that?”
Khan said the team originally designed Ryan to be the stock hero with the “classic jawline, handsome guy” design we’ve seen in countless video games before. But Dambuster Studios wants to make that happen. It starts by having him put on a fireman costume.
“Can we do it for an interesting reason?” Khan said the team asked after putting Ryan in a firefighter. “Don’t get me wrong, love the firefighters, not disrespecting them at all, but you know, [sex worker with a firefighter routine] is something we may not have seen. We also needed someone who, even if they were seen as an authority figure by NPCs or people who met them, wouldn’t react that way because that’s not really who he is. We need that distance and that awkwardness.
“When it comes to the way he plays, again, he’s a bit optimistic…he’s fed up, he’s sarcastic and pessimistic and he just finished with all of this, almost right from the start. He was like, ‘Oh my god, this is just my luck.’”
Khan says that has been intentionally reverse engineered from the way he plays.
He was like, ‘f — all of this, [but] I’m getting over it somehow,’” Khan continued. “And, ‘I will watch and be annoyed by things that are wrong, and be amused and amazed by things that are right, but I wouldn’t expect things to turn out that way.’ That shows in his play.’”
Is Ryan the Dead Island 2 the survivor for you? Let us know in the comments below!