The HAUS expansion is short, but well worth your time
When I reviewed Dead Island 2 earlier this year, I said how surprised I was at how much I loved the game. It looked absolutely stunning, the combat combined with the FLESH system was magnificent and the story plus characters were quite intriguing. I was really excited to get back to Hell-A to bash some more zombie brains. Safe to say, I enjoyed the shit out of this HAUS expansion.
After you finish the main story of Dead Island 2, and spoilers, you don't get to leave Hell-A, you're stuck there. You can complete any side missions you haven't done or just, you know, keep bashing zombies with all sorts of exciting weapons.
So I am back as Ryan, the lovable stripper, in the streets of Hell-A and I recieve an invitation to the HAUS. I pick it up, blood or some sort of black goo starts dripping from the letter and magically I am transported in front of this beautiful massive cliff-side house.
As I make my way through this magnificent house, a recording starts playing and it's weird. I walk through a couple of hallways, make it through a changing area where I spot some intriguing latex suits and Ryan makes a hilarious comment, I end up in the main hall of this house.
The main game, Dead Island 2, had some exquisite and stunning enviroments, inside and outside. But as soon as I entered this grand hall, I felt like the art team at Dambuster Studios said "Oh, you liked the environments in the main game. Well, hold our beers". The art design of this giant house is absolutely stunning.
This grand hall has a magnificent symmetric brutalist look, concrete all around with beautiful curtains dropping down from the skylight and the lighting is just glorious with a cool and ominous combination of blueish green and red hues. Oh, there's also a large statue of a human figure with Loki-like horns and tons of hands grabbing her. My boy Ryan had a quippy remark for that too... I just love the fucking guy.
Behind the statue, there are a couple of chairs placed around in a circle with three headless bodies sat down in three of them. I hear a voice and to my surprise, there's a head on the ground that is speaking. I pick it up, place it on the headless body and this is where the actual expansion mission starts. I don't know man, I found this introduction to be just delightfully weird and on point with what I previously played in the main storyline.
I can continue with details about the why and the what and the how, but since it's a short 3 hour-ish experience, I don't want to spoil it for you. I will just say that this house is absolutely massive and you will make your way through some beautiful, intriguing, disgusting and decadent enviroments that if you think long enough about them, they don't make any sense to be part of this house. But as you progress through the story and learn what was the purpose of this house, with it being the headquarters of a seemingly crazy Hollywood sex cult, it kinda starts to make sense. But there's more to it that meets the eye.
Just know that you are in for a fucking treat when you will explore these disturbing, disgusting yet visually stunning areas from dark basements filled with gimp suit wearing zombies and a tiny suburban neighborhood, where touching grass is not allowed, to a full forest. Plus there are some other surprises, that I won't spoil here. I absolutely loved exploring this massive house and learning more about all the kinky and decadent shit that went inside of it from the many notes you can pick up.
Having said all that, I was kinda let down that there wasn't anything new in terms of weapons, apart from the crossbow, or enemy types. I already had a badass arsenal of legendary weapons plus my trusty brass knuckles that obliterated any zombies, but I wanted something new. Maybe some new types of melee weapons, I don't know what exactly, but something would have been better than nothing. There are a couple of new Slayer cards, which are like perks, buffs and abilities you can use to customize your character, but nothing truly exciting or worth mentioning.
Going back to the crossbow, the only new addition, I liked using it not only because it allowed me to explode zombie heads from afar, but also cause I was kinda "forced" to keep it in my inventory. You need to use the crossbow to shoot what the game calls "dark brains" which are litterally brains stuck in walls, ceilings, trees and whatnot that when exploded open up doors to weapons caches or to just progress through the story. There are also two new mechanics, one being a rage emitter where if you stand near it, it charges your rage/fury meter so you can unleash your zombie powers way faster. Quite helpful, I would say, cause when you activate you chew through zombies, but you also need to be a zombie to open the other new mechanic, flesh doors. That's pretty much all of the new "stuff", gameplay wise, in this expansion. As I said, I wish they could have introduced more new things like weapons, throwables, powers and even new mechanics, but hey, it is what it is.
Once you are done with the main story mission, there's also another side mission to complete that will see you run around this house and it was quite fun I must say.
I am really glad I got back to Hell-A, explore this new magnificent house and punch zombies to a pulp once again. The writing is even more funnier than the main game and my man Ryan is absolutely fucking hilarious. Yeah, if you loved Dead Island 2, you are probably going to love the HAUS expansion. I recommend it. Thanks for reading!
The expansion was reviewed on a PS5 using a promo code provided by Plaion. Dead Island 2 HAUS expansion is out now on PS5, PC and Xbox Series X/S.