September 20, 2011

Dead Island Review

Dead Island is basically Fallout 3 with zombies. Many people are going to associate the game with Dead Rising and Left 4 Dead, but the fact of the matter is that the game is very much like a fusion of the two genres. You get the FPS style game from Left 4 Dead and you get Dead Rising's zombies, level up system and FUN. When I got past the opening cutscenes and prologue, a world of quests, weapons and the character progression system hit me in the face and I was pretty much forced to keep playing the game for hours upon hours. To put it short, Dead Island is a role-playing game with a couple rough edges, and I loved it.

The game's story isn't set-your-hair-on-fire amazing but everything else makes up for it completely. When you first sit down to play you'll choose one of four characters and you're going to wonder where three to ten hours of the day have gone. You'll realize that you loved every single bit, the dismemberment, the quests and the weapon hunting.

Dead Island doesn't shine from its gore though. At first I would kill every zombie I saw, listening to the scream of the Infected or the roars of the Thugs and shitting my pants. From that perspective, I was on the island, not my character; I felt like I was the one killing the zombies and trying to survive this apocalypse. But, by the time I got to a higher level I ignored most of the zombies (because they became hard to kill) and focused on surviving. It was mostly getting from Point A to Point B without dying. Even that is tough.

Dead Island doesn't really punish you for dying though. When you croak, you wait a couple seconds and respawn with less money, but that doesn't really make me think that I should just let the sprinting, screeching zombie behind me kill me just because I can respawn over there and kill it in a couple seconds. No. It kept my heart pounding, leaving me to think "Oh, shit, oh shit, oh shit he's gonna get me!"

It's very rare to feel safe when exploring Dead Island, and that's how all zombie games should be. You face a limited stamina bar so you can't sprint and swing your weapon forever. Med kits were scarce which forces you to scavenge for energy drinks and snacks -- which have to be used at that very moment. Weapons degrade when you use them, so the reward isn't as great when you find a "legendary" weapon as opposed to find a workbench in the middle of nowhere to keep your weapons in tip-top shape.

The game made me choose my character (I chose Sam B the funniest character I have ever fucking played) and let me choose the weapons, the quests, and the path in my skill tree. If you were to join my game as the same blunt weapon expert you would expect that we are not completely the same.

Joining games is easy and there is a function that shows a pop-up telling you that a player is in the same location as you and with the click of a key, you're in that person's game playing with them. As you level, it becomes a priority to explore levels together because it's very dangerous to go alone. But the sad thing is that there is no local co-op.

As much as I loved the game, it's far from perfect. Visual bugs like hands going through doors and stiff first person melee combat may turn the game off to few people, but it's not the presentation which makes a game, it's the experience. This game is LOADED with experiences!

Overall Score: 8.5/10
Visuals: 7.5/10
Gameplay 8/10
Story: 7/10
Audio: 9/10
Replayability: 9/10



  1. i guess thats a fair review, i wouldve been a bit more generous, but i guessed it would also be a biased review haah

  2. Aren't all reviews just a little biased?

  3. I'll have to check this game out.

  4. I have a couple of friends playing like crazy, but complain a lot about the lack of gunfire.