Taking on LA’s living dead is no easy task, especially given that Dead Island 2 throws all manner of zombie variants into the mix, starting with runners and ramping up from there. However, most games let you choose how easy or tough a game is through difficulty settings, so does Dead Island 2 follow suit?
How Does Dead Island 2 Handle Difficulty?
When you first launch this zombie-splattering action game, you’ll be asked to choose a save game slot and, once you’ve done that, the game begins in earnest. There’s no Easy, Medium or Hard option — or anything else along those lines. There are also no difficulty options hidden away in the main menu.
So, there are no difficulty settings in Dead Island 2. That’s where the game’s scaling system comes in. Enemies scale, meaning that the game should remain challenging. It’s a similar system to the one found in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, though you won’t find zombies wandering around in glass armor.
In video games, scaling usually means that enemies are never so weak that you can walk all over them, nor so strong that you don’t have a hope in Hell-A of beating them. Scaling tends to be a bit contentious and it doesn’t always make sense in the context of a game.
We’re only half kidding about Oblivion’s armor. You’d sometimes run into bandits who, solely because you’d reached a particular level, were wearing very fancy armor. However, since Dead Island 2 deals with the living dead, it’s easier to handwave it away as the infection mutating from a lore standpoint.
Did The Original Dead Island Have Difficulty Settings?
It might seem like an odd move to omit difficulty settings, but Dead Island 2 is following in the footsteps of its predecessors. Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide both employed a similar system rather than traditional difficulty levels.
We wouldn’t be at all surprised if some enterprising modder found a way to disable scaling or dial it up to 11 for those who enjoy getting their backsides kicked. Alternatively, developer Dambuster Studios might add difficulty levels later, though they’ve said nothing to suggest they’ll be doing that.
So, like Dead Island before it, Dead Island 2 does not have difficulty settings to choose from.