There’s no denying that Dead Island isn’t a perfect game. It’s rough around the edges with many minor bugs in the gameplay and graphics, but don’t let that put you off! If you are looking for a zombie killing role playing game / first person shooter that’s packed full of action with plenty of land to explore, then this could be the game for you. With an ability to play the game with three of your mates, and plenty of gore as you hack the offending zombie hordes to shreds with your weapon of choice; there really is plenty to have a good time with here.
The premise of Dead Island is pretty simple. You’ll find yourself on the beautiful island of Banoi enjoying your dream holiday. Unfortunately though, your relaxation is cut a bit short when a zombie infestation takes over the place. Suddenly your only option is to try to survive as best you can, either alone or with up to four players in the cooperative gameplay mode.
You’ll be able to select one of four players at the outset of the game, any other players with you selecting the other options. Should you be alone the AI won’t control these other characters, though they will still mysteriously appear in cut-scenes from time to time.
Dead Island’s plot isn’t exactly groundbreaking and it is unlikely to ever tie you into the game emotionally. However, with an incredible atmosphere created throughout the different environments and quests on offer, you probably won’t notice the lack too badly.
The gameplay is a bit of a mash-up of various genres. You will play the game in first person, armed primarily with melee weapons such as knives and clubs. Although some information concerning Dead Island dubs it more of a first person shooter, you won’t actually get your hands on any guns until late in the game, and even then combat with them feels clunky. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, as there is little more satisfying than slicing the limb from a zombie attacker with a well-timed machete swing. Combat is limited in general, with no real option to dodge attacks aside from jumping out of the way at just the right time. It’s still incredible fun though, and there are plenty of options from hacking and slicing your way through the mobs, to simply outrunning them, to mowing them down in a truck.
Weapons can’t be created within this game, but they can certainly be improved upon by using the various workshops dotted round about the expansive map. Even a highly-levelled legendary weapon will still wear out though, so if you’re occupied on a long mission expect to be throwing whatever happens to be in your inventory at the zombies by the end of it. Actually the ability to do just that makes for another great addition to an immersive game; you are sure to find your heart racing as you find yourself surrounded by the undead, backing away slowly and throwing whatever you can get your weaponless hands on in a vague effort at defence.
Enjoying this game with friends is certainly the best way to play. So long as a friend is similar in level to you they should be able to jump into your game online, allowing you to enjoy the action on your own or together.
Visually the game starts particularly strongly, throwing you into the stunning island paradise that is Banoa. As you progress through the game you will encounter other environments, such as an underground sewer system, that are slightly less visually appealing but still attractive enough to enjoy (so far as a sewer can be described as attractive). You will encounter a few visual glitches from time to time, but nothing to stop your enjoyment of the game, or to distract from the building of a nerve-wracking atmosphere.
Dead Island isn’t the best game to be released this year; it isn’t the constantly tense adventure akin to other zombie games. For a good time mowing zombies down in your truck, enjoying a huge range of quests and exploring a vast and attractive landscape though, this title truly promises a great time for you and your mates.