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Dead Island 2: Haus DLC Review

by Chad Goodmurphy


Before Dead Island 2 released, its post launch content plans were revealed. At that time, we were told that the game would be getting DLC, and that’s exactly what has happened. The game has received a story expansion called Haus, and is expected to receive another one later this year.

Haus isn’t a typical story add-on, though. In fact, it exists in its own separate environment; that being a messed up manse somewhere in this fictional (and post-apocalyptic) take on California. As such, you’re stuck there until you finish its story missions, meaning no open world exploration for a few hours.

Haus

This particular, ever-changing, house is home to a cult that says it predicted the zombie apocalypse, but wasn’t quite ready for it when it happened. They want our help to save the human race, and doing so will require a lot of zombie killing, not to mention some brainy explosions. It’s weird, but this is Dead Island 2, and it all kind of comes together in the end.

Although the Haus expansion takes place indoors, it’s not as constricting as you’d expect. There’s some good variety in the different rooms you’ll visit and hack, slam and slash your way through, including a darkened cul-de-sac, a confusing forest and a concrete labyrinth. There are also some rather fleshy tunnels and avenues to venture through, while killing everything in your path.

Haus

When you enter the Haus, you’ll discover a few mannequin-like bodies, all of which are missing their heads. Something will talk to you and will tell you to prove yourself, while also being on the lookout for said missing heads. That leads to three test your mettle trials, and bringing the head back opens the door to the forest. In total, you’ll find three disembodied, but still vocal, heads and bring them back to their odd bodies, before being able to move on.

This particular DLC add-on isn’t so great at explaining itself, so you may get a bit lost or stuck from time to time. It can be easy to lose onself in the forest, in particular, which happened to me a couple of times because it all looks so similar.

Haus

For the most part, though, this is Dead Island 2 through and through. You’ll encounter tons of different zombies, all of which hit pretty hard, and will be tasked with completing your objectives despite their interference. Kill as many as you can, or want to, until you reach objectives that make you wipe every creature in the immediate area out. The real challenge comes at the end, in a section that I had to retry several times and got a bit frustrated at. It’s a bit of a chokepoint.



That said, there are some new elements to be found here. To start, you’ll unlock a couple new cards to alter your character’s build with, and will also discover a lot of clippings and pieces of information that can be read. The biggest addition, though, comes in the form of a crossbow, which you’ll find about a third of the way through this three hour-long expansion. Said crossbow can take zombies out in one hit, provided you aim at their heads, but it’s also required for progression. You see, there are doors that are locked by tentacles, and those tentacles end at brains that you can only destroy using a crossbow. Nothing else will work.

If you take your time, you’ll notice that some of the brain locked doors aren’t mandatory, and those reward you for going off the beaten path. Finding the brains is a bit of a light puzzle mechanic, too, because you’ll sometimes have to follow the tentacles around an environment.

Haus

The crossbow is fun to use, but its natural aiming mechanic is very sensitive. I assume that can be changed in the settings menus, but I didn’t bother and just tried my best to get used to it.

There’s a lot of repetition to be found here, though, so if that’s not your thing then maybe Dead Island 2 and its Haus DLC aren’t for you. Most of the experience boils down to completing pretty simple objectives while killing the tons of zombies that come at you. This DLC doesn’t change things up much, and can get a little tedious.

Haus

Those who’ve played through the entire game will find some tie-ins to the main story, but those only appear in quick visual flashes. Most of the Haus story is contained to dealing with the cult and its weird members. It’s not that deep, nor is it well fleshed out, so don’t go in expecting too much.

In all honesty, my enjoyment was somewhat marred by an issue that caused my controller to disconnect, then reconnect itself, multiple times during my play through. I don’t know what caused it, but I hope it won’t happen again, because it was quite annoying. I had that problem a decade ago, but was able to fix it then. I can’t think of what could be causing it now, but I don’t think it was the game.

Haus

Presentation-wise, Haus is more great looking, zombie-killing action. It introduces some new zombie types, with most of them being covered in latex, and it also offers varied environments as mentioned above. The core game looked and sounded great, and so does this. In fact, it’s one of the better looking games out there, and the performance is up to the task.

If you’re expecting something game changing, then you might want to skip Haus or wait for the second DLC to come out before you play it. As it stands, this is a pretty similar and formulaic add-on, which does feature the same type of fun, but repetitive, gameplay as the core game. It doesn’t change things up much, but it’s fun and interesting, and that’s what matters.

This review is based on the Xbox Series X version of the game and DLC, which we were provided with.

Overall: 7/10
Visuals: 8.9 / 10
Audio: 8.4 / 10
Gameplay 7.5 / 10
Storyline: 6 / 10

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