Despite the long, long wait, Dead Island 2 has sold well and delighted a lot of players. If you’re looking to pick it up and smash some zombies with a couple of friends, you might be wondering which of its six playable Slayers to pick. Here are our thoughts on the best starting Slayer in Dead Island 2.
Murderer’s Row: The Best Starting Character Slayer in Dead Island 2
None of the six Slayers in Dead Island 2 are an outright terrible pick. The best reason to pick one over another is whether you think you’ll be able to handle hearing them talk for the next 15-to-30 hours.
Before you start the game, though, you should ask yourself two questions: Will I play this game solo or not, and if so, how hard do I want to work?
In a straight ranking of the Slayers, Ryan is the best character for solo play in Dead Island 2. He’s got high defensive stats and two excellent and complementary innate skills, and he and Carla share three exclusive Skill Cards. Far from Done, Steadfast, and Warhead are all solid picks that’ll carry you through the game, especially if you’re a big fan of the dropkick. And you should be. It’s great.
The advantage to a high-health, high-Toughness character like Ryan for a solo run is that DI2 doesn’t seem to adjust enemy numbers based on the number of players in a session. Ryan can handle himself when every zombie in a zone is coming straight for him, while less defensively oriented Slayers like Amy and Bruno don’t have the same guarantee.
Carla is a solid pick for the same reasons, with similar stats to Ryan but worse innate skills. Mosh Pit noticeably buffs her damage when she’s in the thick of the action, but Dig Deep’s fairly useless. It gives Carla extra physical damage resistance when she’s at critical health, but in practice, a zombie that’s gotten Carla to that point in the first place hits hard enough that Dig Deep either can’t save her or won’t get the chance to kick in.
Your base stats in DI2 are also capped at 150, as you can see in the Slayer screen on your in-game menu. It’s easy for Carla (and Ryan) to hit that cap early on, via rewards from Challenges, Skill Cards, and weapon perks like Guardian, which makes Dig Deep extra useless. Ryan’s Seesaw and Retaliation, on the other hand, have excellent synergy and are effective throughout the game.
In co-op mode, your individual character pick doesn’t matter as much. With two or three Slayers to throw at the zombie hordes, you should be able to overcome most threats as long as you stick together, cooperate, and don’t stand in fire too often.
That being said, both Jacob and Dani have big advantages out of the gate for co-op play. Both have excellent innate skills, and their weak stats don’t really have an impact until the late game. They’ll have to keep a close eye on their health, as curative effects only work about half as well on Jacob and Dani as they do on the rest of the cast, but their high damage output can carry them through to the end.
Amy is one of the most popular Slayers but has some serious disadvantages. Her innate skills are both surprisingly weak, and her high movement speed only comes in handy in a few specific situations. It’s a rare game of Dead Island 2 co-op that doesn’t have an Amy, and she’s not an actual hindrance — but she doesn’t bring any unique advantages to the table like Jacob’s raw damage output, Dani’s crowd control, or Ryan’s sheer durability.
In summary: Ryan is your best overall Slayer pick for solo play in Dead Island 2, while Jacob and Dani are great starting characters in co-op. You can’t go wrong with any Slayer overall, but due to their starting stats and innate Skill Cards, these three will start you off strong.
Related: Best Character for Every Playstyle in Dead Island 2 on Twinfinite