Best character to pick for solo gameplay in Dead Island 2

Optimize your single-player gameplay in Dead Island 2

Much like its predecessor, Dead Island 2 is optimized for co-op play. While you do need to finish the opening missions by yourself, you can afterwards call up to three allies by your side in the apocalyptic streets of Hell-A. But what if you would rather enjoy Dead Island 2 as a solo adventure?

Fortunately, Dead Island 2 is perfectly enjoyable by yourself. Your tactics may need to change a bit, but you’ll have all the tools you need to explore every nook and cranny of this survival adventure by yourself. Of course, before you dive into the mechanics of Dead Island 2, you first must from pick one of the six characters.

Now, given that Dead Island 2 gives you ample character customization options, there are no bad choices here. However, some are a bit more conducive to solo play, especially if you’re just starting out. If you don’t know who to choose, here are two characters that are highly recommended for very different reasons. Pick the option that fits your playstyle best.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Option 1: Jacob

For more aggressive players who want to maximize their damage, Jacob is the way to go. His first innate skill, Feral, provides a small damage boost when attacking in quick succession. Given that it’s you versus the world in solo play, you will absolutely attack in quick succession. However, it’s his second innate skill that will give you serious solo mileage.

Critical Gains will give Critical Hits boosted power and Stamina regeneration when your Stamina is low. Those unfamiliar with the game may think this is a relatively niche perk. In actuality, Stamina is a precious resource. Special moves like charged attacks and dropkicks will consume Stamina, and its easy for your meter to diminish while fighting hoards of zombies. As a solo player, you don’t necessarily have room to back off to let your stamina refill before charging back into battle. Jacob’s ability to refill Stamina mid-combat is a great perk, and it will keep your gameplay moving at a steady clip.

Additionally, Critical Hits in Dead Island 2 aren’t necessarily random. You can guarantee pulling them off by attacking weakpoints, like a zombie’s head. Triggering Critical Gains when you need it makes this perk all the more helpful for solo players.

In addition to all of this, Jacob gets Dodge as his initial evasive move. Perfect blocking and dodging is a big deal in Dead Island 2, but mastering the timing can be very tricky. With Dodge, even if your timing isn’t perfect, at least you’ll still evade enemy attacks. In short, if you believe the best defense is a good offense, Jacob is your guy. He’s a great solo pick that will help new players learn the ropes of the game.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Option 2: Ryan

Meanwhile, if you believe the best defense is a good defense, Ryan might be your speed.

Compared to Jacob, Ryan is more of a tank. He’ll get Block as his initial evasive move, which nicely synergizes with his high Toughness stat. Ryan isn’t nearly as quick as Jacob, but when you’re in the fray against hoards of zombies, you’ll have plenty of time to start mastering that timing for perfect blocks.

Both of Ryan’s innate skills reward this tank-heavy playstyle. His first skill is Retaliation, which gives him a Force boost when blocking or dodging. Even without perfect timing, you’ll easily trigger this skill on the fly. The real kicker, however, is Seesaw. This skill allows Ryan to restore a small amount of HP whenever he knocks down a Zombie. This is a very good perk, because it is ridiculously easy to knock down zombies in Dead Island 2. You’ll need to consume Stamina to knock enemies over, but otherwise, you can reliably get that healing in a pinch when you need it.

In other words, if you’d prefer a slower playstyle, Ryan is a good fit for you. You’ll have many opportunities to learn the timing for perfect blocks, especially since you can easily heal from failed attempts using Seesaw. Ryan is also a bit more generic as a character, which could be a plus depending on how much you vibe with the B-movie atmosphere of Dead Island 2. I know that’s a strange point to make, but it’s your playthrough. Play the character that you’ll like the most for the hours that Dead Island 2 lasts.

Related: Dead Island 2: How to Block, Dodge and Counter (All Platforms) on Prima Games

About The Author
Timothy Monbleau
Guide Editor - Timothy started writing community blogs for Destructoid in 2012. He liked it so much he decided to write articles for the site professionally. His love for RPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.
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