Writer Deep Silver revealed Lifeless Island 2 in 2014 and Los Angeles was its major setting (with a tease within the recreation’s brand that San Francisco is likely to be in it as effectively). Followers had been excited concerning the sequel for a number of causes – that unique reveal trailer was nice – however the query on many minds was this: Why is Lifeless Island 2 set someplace that’s not an island?
I traveled to Nottingham, England to go to Dambuster Studios, and this was one of many first questions I requested. Unsurprisingly, contemplating that is the group that is been creating this recreation since 2018, lead narrative designer Khan had an in-depth reply.
Merely put, Los Angeles has develop into an island, metaphorically talking.
Lifeless Island 2 begins within the last days of the evacuation of LA after the zombie outbreak has swept via the town. She says some features of this evacuation have been surprisingly environment friendly, so your complete metropolis has been cordoned off unexpectedly effectively. The ultimate resolution from authorities is that LA should stay quarantined in order that the an infection can run its course and, hopefully, die off. On account of this quarantine, no one can go in, and no one can go away. As if fully surrounded by water with no entry to boats or different methods to flee, individuals (and zombies) inside LA can’t escape the town. Whereas not geographically an island, authorities have reduce LA off from the remainder of the world.
That’s the lore clarification for why Los Angeles is the setting for a recreation sequence about being caught on an island with zombies. There’s additionally the sensible cause sitting someplace between the strains: Los Angeles is an iconic location, simple to market, and options extra selection than a resort island like Lifeless Island’s Banoi. I wouldn’t be shocked if Los Angeles is the setting just because designing a zombie recreation within the metropolis is nice enjoyable. It actually appears to be the case if my conversations with Dambuster are any indication.
“Going from Banoi on a resort island to Los Angeles… the reply is… it’s tremendous various,” design director Adam Duckett tells me. “There’s tons of alternatives and potential, each when it comes to environments, but additionally when it comes to characters, the personnel, and the zombies themselves that we are able to put into the sport. There’s that vibrancy, the sundrenched places, the seashores, the unique mansions of Bel-Air, and past. It’s an amazing atmosphere for us to have that fight expertise.”
Artistic director James Worrall echoed Duckett’s sentiment, citing that LA is a superb alternative for giant characters when it comes to location and precise individuals.
“Los Angeles has fairly an eccentric or expressive sort of tradition and identification, and that identification is acknowledged all world wide,” he says. “Whether or not you’ve been to LA or not, we’ve all seen it via the lens of Hollywood, and we thought that form of Hollywood lens could be an effective way to entertain when you’re operating round punching zombies.”
All through my conversations with the group at Dambuster, builders referred to the sport’s setting as “postcard” LA. The open-hub design of Los Angeles will take gamers to the enduring places you’d seemingly see on a postcard in a California airport: Bel-Air, Hollywood, the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Seaside, and extra. Given the sport’s tackle pulp action-horror, every of those postcard places has been caricatured to a level, which is smart – the places have to match the over-the-top gore of the zombies and the larger-than-life characters that selected to stay round in Hell-A.
“You’ve acquired these two or three layers,” Worrall continues. “We’ve acquired this fantasy model of LA that everyone’s seen – the Hollywood lens. We’ve acquired stamped on high of that, the tragic stays of the evacuation try that failed… after which on high of that, we’ve acquired your form of traditional zomb-pocalypse. However we’ve been very cautious to lift the vibe and the colour of the place. [Art director Adam Olsson] and his group have completed an amazing job in… glamorizing this place. We’re not a model of Fallujah or one thing like that or a struggle zone. It’s nonetheless a fantastical, simply navigable, and relatable house.”
Olsson says on the visible aspect of issues, he and his group have labored to construct up the just about mythological being that LA has develop into as a metropolis, which additional brings out Lifeless Island 2’s pulpy ambiance. Worrall stated Dambuster’s inspirations for the Lifeless Island 2 vibe in LA return to 80s, 90s, and 00s horror, particularly within the extra schlocky realm, like Robocop, Nightmare on Elm Avenue, and the Alien and Predator franchises.
“I’ve actually, actually nostalgic reminiscences of going to look at a film within the afternoon, and also you’d be immersed on this world, and the credit would roll, and also you’d come out into this sunshine, and there was this actual sense that you simply simply left an actual place behind,” Worrall remarks once I ask him what he needs gamers to really feel when Lifeless Island 2’s credit roll. “And there’s a bit sense of loss, however a bit sense of, ‘Nicely, I can’t anticipate the subsequent.’”
As for Olsson, he needs gamers to really feel dazzled by all the colours and the way every part in Lifeless Island 2 comes collectively.
“I would like them to say like, ‘Why doesn’t extra stuff do that?’” he says. “Zombies are implausible. Actually, what we wish to do right here is simply deliver again the enjoyable with zombies as a result of… we’ve had so many video games for 10 or 20 years the place it’s been common, however so a lot of them are simply that darkish mirror held as much as present the deepest depth of man. And I simply sort of need individuals to return out and suppose, ‘That was enjoyable. Zombies are enjoyable once more.’”
Worrall, Olsson, Duckett, and the group at Dambuster imagine Los Angeles is simply the place to do this.