Dead Island 2 features a new open world. The game takes place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and a third unknown location in California, unlike the first game that has been on the island of Banoi off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The fighting game has different mechanisms than its predecessors. Dead Island 2 also includes several features of its predecessors, such as the Rage system, which gives the player a temporary blow thumb, and the crafting system.
Several months after the events of Dead Island, the armed forces of the United States has put California in a complete restricted quarantine zone due to a new outbreak of zombies. It is unknown how the infection began.