Among the big reveals at this year’s E3 conference was the return of the Dead Island franchise in the form of Dead Island 2. This installation serves as a sequel to the original Dead Island—a role playing-style first person game where players controlled characters stuck on an island that is the epicenter of a zombie apocalypse.

In the first game, players had to hack, slash, and shoot their way through missions to survive the zombie hordes. Alone or in cooperative mode, they explored the island for gear and weapons and met colorful characters along the way. With a limited amount of ammunition and firearms available on the island, an emphasis was placed on crafting creative and deadly melee weapons for hand-to-hand combat.

Following an intriguing and controversial trailer, the original game was released with a lot of hype. Players loved many aspects of the innovating new gameplay, from the plot to the combat to the loot and crafting system. The game sold well enough overall to merit the development of Dead Island 2.

Gaming fans were treated to a sneak peak at this year’s E3 conference, which has become an annual opportunity to major and minor players in the video games space to show their wares and create anticipation for upcoming products.

Dead Island 2: What We Know

First, it’s being created by a new game studio. The development company Yager is taking the reins from Techland, who created the first Dead Island. Yager has created several games of critical claim, including Spec Ops: The Line. A fresh look on the franchise promises to add even more spice to the heralded series.

The game’s new setting seems to offer more options for innovate gameplay and compelling plot points. In Dead Island 2, the zombie infection has spread to California (which, it’s worth noting, is certainly not an Island). Players will start at a coastal city in Southern California. From here, there’s really no limit to where the game could take you: sprawling suburbs, jagged mountains, the Hollywood Hills, or a surf soaked beach teeming with undead.

In stark contrast to the first Dead Island’s violent, somber trailer, this new one is lighthearted and cartoonish. In fact, it was my favorite trailer of E3. Here’s a look at it:

It’s probably safe to assume that its plot and characters will follow suit with bizarre situations, crazy personalities and a fair amount of joking around. The game’s developers promise a swath of crazy new weapons to build and wield against all-new enemies.

According to the development team, Dead Island 2 was developed with the goal of building an “awesome and kickass” zombie game rather than a somber or scary game.

More about Dead Island 2 is set to be revealed at this year’s PAX, beginning at the end of August, and we’re excited to see more of this hit from E3.

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