Dead Island 2 Ending Explained: The Cure That Couldn’t Work

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Dead Island 2
The way this thing ends leaves room open for another sequel (Credit: Dambuster Studios)

Can you believe it’s been almost a decade since Dead Island 2 was announced back in 2014? As it turns out, good things come to all those who wait for their favorite zombie apocalypse game. In the case of the developers —Dambuster Studios—they managed to build a world and a story that hooks anyone who picks up the title and spends a couple of hours playing it.

I remember when I picked this title’s predecessor up back in the 2010s; it was all I could ask from a zombie game, gory, bloody, and fun with a story arc worth exploring. Though I never played Dead Island: Riptide (and perhaps I should when I have some time off), I can vouch for the original.

In any case, the sequel’s ending has many a gamer confused, I guess that’s why you are here, so I’m going to tell you about it, but it goes without saying that if you’re one to hate spoilers, you might want to skip this one. Otherwise, read on to clarify what goes on at the end of Dead Island 2.

Dead Island 2
Get ready to go all over Zombie-infested California (Credit: Dambuster Studios)

Dead Island 2: Story Arc Breakdown

Dead Island 2 kicks off a decade after the first game. It’s a dystopia where the US Federal government had to put Califonia on lockdown. Otherwise, the whole zombie thing would’ve spilled over, and we’d be playing something like “The Walking Dead”.

Anyway, since LaLa Land is in quarantine, there are six characters that try to board the last plane out of the city: We have Carla the mechanic, Bruno the conman, Ryan the dancer, the athletic Amy, Jacob the stunt double, and the store worker Dani. 

They board the plane, but they figure out there’s a zombie on board, and the authorities shoot down the plane. Our merry band of six barely makes out alive (otherwise, we wouldn’t have a game, would we?). As it turns out, the zombie bites each one of our bunch, and they’re stuck in LaLa Land, waiting to turn into zombies.

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So they head to the house of one of the plane’s survivors, an actress named Emma, who has no other choice but to host the six at her mansion even though they’re going to become flesh-eating zombies soon enough. 


Eventually, a character named “Sam B”, —Emma’s ex, btw—  arrives at the mansion, trying to get Emma out of the LaLa Land while revealing he can’t become a zombie because he’s immune, and the band of six also discovers they’re immune too! So, the band of six tries to leave town and head for a hotel that’s acting as an evacuation center, only to find out it’s full of zombies! 

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Next Stop: Santa Monica

The CDC dude tells you to head for Santa Monica, where you can devise a cure for the zombie virus. But all of the sudden, Emma’s ex tells you not to trust that CDC dude.

Meet Lola

It’s at this point where you meet another group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse led by Lola, but things with Lola aren’t so smooth because she drops you and your crew into a pit full of flesh-eating zombies, and you eventually kill all those zombies and make your way to the Santa Monica Hotel the CDC dude told you about. 

But when you get there, the CDC dude tells you that you’re not getting out unless you provide the cure. So, you have to use the CDC dude’s gear, recover it, and go all the way back shooting, hacking, and slashing flesh gorgers along your way. And if you think you’re done.

Well…you’re not because now you have to play school bus and pick up the CDC’s dude kid who’s conveniently stranded elsewhere, but the kid is a hacker doing some covert research behind the CDC’s backs, and the moment you find her, you must wait until she’s done doing her hacking.  

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CDC Dude Was Crooked All Along

Turns out that Lola tells you that the CDC dude was crooked, but when you’re done digesting that intel, your characters go berserk again, just like with those zombies in the pit, and end up attacking the hacker girl, who kills you but then Lola resurrects you and explains to you that she and her clique are some übermenschen called Numens and that they can beat the disease.

But there’s a caveat because Lola ain’t searching for the cure. So, you’re going back to the Hotel to confront the wicked CDC dude. And when you get there, you discover that CDC fled with his kid to a lab elsewhere and that CDC dude is the one behind the outbreak.

Dead Island 2 Ending Explained

After all that ordeal, it’s logical you and your crew are really pissed off, so you join with Emma, her doctor ex-boyfriend, and a helicopter pilot looking to screw things up for the CDC dude and leave town. And when you get to Hollywood Boulevard, Sam goes zombie as she’s not immune after all.

Dead Island 2
The disease’s name is Autophage (Credit: Dambuster Studios)

The Disease Wasn’t A Disease

When you finally confront Reed, the CDC dude, who now admits that it’s his fault LA is no longer exporting movies but zombies, and further tells you that the disease isn’t a disease but rather a segment of human DNA hardwired to kill everyone at any given time. So, he created the Numen to avoid that.

After that reveal, the CDC dude gives you the cure and tells you her kid also has the cure, but then the CDC dies of the disease, and you have to kill his ass while his kid flees the scene.

After that gory battle, you go back to Emma to give her the cure, and you and your team have a change of heart and decide to stay in LaLa Land rather than leave town. Leaving things open for yet another sequel that we’ll probably see in the 2030s considering how long the devs took to bring us this one. 

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By Alberto Zambrano

I'm Alberto Zambrano, and I'm a Venezuelan writer who specializes in writing gossip and entertainment from streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. You can reach out to me via

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