Dead Island, is a game that is popular off of the hype of a CGI Trailer. Many people believed that Dead Island’s trailer would somehow create a powerful, emotional storyline for a zombie game. I was not one of these people. In fact, when I see trailers of this magnitude… I often wonder if the real game will be any good. Now that the hype wagon is over, it’s time to see what Dead Island is really about. Can it bite through the speculation, or are we destined to be let down?
• Free roaming zombie gameplay is at its finest in, Dead Island. An entire island is at the player’s disposal, and there are plenty of quests to partake in. Much like Borderlands, you’ll spend most of your time slaughtering zombies, driving cars, earning experience points, and picking up new weapons. It also contains the creation system from Dead Rising 2, where players can craft different weapons based on plans earned in missions.
Combine this with a beautiful island with gorgeous scenery, and you’ve got a fine place to spend all of your hours. Let’s not forget that the combat is extremely visceral as well. There is a whole system in place in which players can use to torture zombies with. Players can slice off various body parts, and break the bones of zombies at any time. They are even treated to some fancy schmancy slow motion if they break one with a critical hit. This in fact, may be the coolest portion of Dead Island in a nutshell.
• The whole game and what it actually turned out to be. It’s already well known that Dead Island is a bug filled mess of a game. A lot of the missions don’t work; the mini-map stops working properly, quests reset themselves when you log back on, and A.I. glitches out during certain escort missions. There is much more to the problem with bugs, but would the game still be fun if it didn’t have these issues? I can almost guarantee that it wouldn’t.
The problem with Dead Island as a whole is that, the gameplay is pretty mediocre and quickly becomes repetitive. Not repetitive like the “time based” mission structure of Dead Rising, but more in the way of this is just really not all that fun at all. Do you know what makes slogging through tons of enemies over, and over, and over again even remotely fun? It’s that there is usually some creative way that the game keeps you engaged through it all.
Dead Rising let players mix and match weapons, and create some insane advanced weapons that were scattered throughout the game. Dynasty Warriors keeps us engaged by leveling up characters, earning new weapons, and giving us pretty flourishes to look at. While Borderlands was all about the Diablo experience in the first person view, with insane weapon drops to stay focused on. Dead Island was supposed to be a story driven experience like Left 4 Dead, but with all of the above mentioned combined.
It does of course have all of these things, but it somehow combines them all into a stew of mediocre tastes. The storyline surrounds your character, which is somehow immune to the zombie disease. So you spent most of the time gallivanting around the island helping people. Within first couple of hours and some sluggish fights with zombies… it will easily become apparent that this is just a boring game. Even with multiple players, smacking a zombie with a level 10 bat just isn’t that fun after a while.
It’s extra annoying that all of the enemies level up with you. That means you’ll never find a zombie who is at your mercy, unless of course you jump into a lower level cooperative game. It leads to slashing, bashing, and kicking your way through the worst looking group of zombies ever. Most of them share the exact same body types, and even the people you talk to for quests are discolored and zombie like. None of them really ever look you in the eye, and they are each a half-ass stereotype of the race they are portraying.
Dead Island isn’t an incredibly deep game by any means. As a matter of fact, it’s just not that interesting and other games have done the zombie genre better. I would recommend spending money on Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising 2, Resident Evil, and House of the Dead instead of this. I’m going to be honest and say that this game deserves nothing more than a D from Half-Ass Gaming. Even without the bug filled exterior, this would still be a bland and generic first-person zombie experience.