Dead Island (Xbox 360) Reviews

    08 Sep 2011 04 Feb 2013
    114 25 31
    By now, everyone and their undead relatives have seen the Dead Island cinematic, announcement trailer. When it debuted to the world earlier this year, it generated quite a buzz. Even non-video game media outlets were talking about its brilliance and its artful delivery. But the hype machine can only carry you so far. Does Dead Island deserve to devour some of your autumn savings, or is this game better off six feet under?

    Story: You choose one of four immune survivors in the wake of a zombie apocalypse that overtook the resort island getaway of Banoi seemingly overnight. There's Logan, the ex-athlete whose career was cut short by a car accident that left him with a bum knee. There's Purna, the former Sydney policewoman who was more recently a vigilante and then a body guard for VIPs. There's Xian Mei, a soft-spoken receptionist on the island's hotel by the beach. And then there's Sam B., a drug-addled, alcoholic rapper who is still trying to make a living off his one-hit-wonder, "Who Do You Voodoo?"

    Whom ever you choose, you wake up on the morning after the zombie plague begins to spread, though you don't know that until you head outside to witness the blood-soaked shores. You find you're immune -- but of course not invincible -- so you spend your time helping fellow survivors while trying to find a way off the island. All the while, you are mysteriously being watched by someone who speaks to you through radios and intercoms, and watches you through surveillance cameras. His ambiguous intentions, the cause of the plague, and your attempts to find a way off the island take up the bulk of the main story.

    Like Fallout 3, Dead Island's story will be as good as you make it. Completing sidequests will create a more sympathetic, tragic, and, most importantly, robust view of your world. Helping a man kill his zombified family is tragic and answering the pleas of an infected (but not yet undead) father yelling at you to take his daughter away from him is equally moving.

    Unfortunately, also like Fallout 3 and other RPGs, the quest-givers' animations are often stiff and lifeless, removing some of the emotion from their stories.No one could say the story of Dead Island is its strongest attribute, because it's a mostly nonsense, but some may enjoy it.

    Gameplay: The game isn't really original, but Techland took some of the best aspects of other great games and concocted their own formula for Dead Island. The questing is similar to Fallout 3, the skill tree is shaped almost exactly like Borderlands', the first-person, 4-player co-op is reminiscent of Left 4 Dead, and the weapon upgrades, combos, and degradation -all with a melee focus- are plucked right out of Dead Rising 2. Even the driving mechanics will remind gamers of Far Cry 2.

    While the borrowing from other games is blatant, that doesn't make the game any less enjoyable. The open-world gameplay lets you beat missions when and how you want and the amount of different weapons is staggering. The fighting mechanics take some time getting used to, and the game is much harder when played alone. As evidenced even in the cutscenes, the developers were really expecting and promoting the full 4-player co-op over a lesser team or even solo play.

    Graphics: The world of Banoi is beautiful at times, but often, up close, the textures are fuzzy and grainy. It's to be expected from a team like Techland, rather than Treyarch, DICE, or another big developer with much more to their name. The day/night cycle looks very good and the color palette of the island's many, differing environments help create the sense of dread.

    Sound: The player character's one-liners when reacting to their environment may grow stale on some after a while, but overall the voice work is fairly well done. There are definitely better games out there in terms of voice-overs, though. Some of the fighting SFX are a bit cheesy, like the sound when you kick an enemy. The different classes of zombies each have distinct sounds, and you won't be quick to forget them.

    However, where the voicing and sound effects are a bit sub-par, the music is wonderfully done. A large part of the reason the original trailer was so effective was the score that played over it. While the trailer's composer is not the same as the game's composers, clearly the folks at Techland kept their expectations high because the in-game music is one of its best features. When you're on the run from zombies, the music beats like your heart and adds suspense to your struggle to stay alive. And when you find solace in a church, the music is saddening and somber.

    Multiplayer: There's no doubt that Dead Island is a ton more fun with friends. The game gets harder and really almost forces you to play it with others, unless you're up for a real challenge. In my time with it online though, I have experienced sporadic moments of aggravating lag, and on more than one occasion, my game froze. This could really hurt the game's chances if such experiences are universal. But I should mention, this happened right when I bought it and my internet connection has been slower than usual over the past few months. So, by the time you read this, you may never need to worry about such freezing. Techland has already released one patch on release day, and will hopefully support the game in the future, should that issue prove to be happening elsewhere, and not just with my lousy connection.

    Replay Value: The addition of four playable characters, each with differing abilities and skill trees, plus a range of collectibles, randomly-spawning enemies, and tons of questing makes Dead Island a game with nearly infinite replay value. Simply put, this is a game you could play over and over again, and you'd be able to play it differently each time.

    Conclusion: If you're a fan of any of the games Dead Island "borrows" from, you'll want to give it a try. While the pacing is slower than you may be used to with a zombie game, the end result is a realistic, emotional game that emphasizes survival over domination. I'd have to take a few points off the score for the lag issues and less-than-top notch graphics and textures, but overall Dead Island is a place you should be booking your flights to now. It's going to be a long vacation.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    It seems like these big open world games do often have a bit of bugs to work out. Look at both the Fallout games and even Skyrim has had a couple. Those games were developed by huge studios with a budget that dwarfs this games so I think it is a tad forgivable here. Still a great review for a so-far great game. I am loving it.
    Posted on 23 Jan 12 at 16:25
    HiradCNice review, almost enjoyed reading the comments more tho. I read them with one of those corny adverts in mind, my life was going nowhere, I had no idea what to do....then I read your review and now I'm the life of every party :) hehe
    Posted by HiradC on 09 May 12 at 21:09
    HiradChaving actually bought this game now I'd say it's essentially borderlands with zombies, gameplay is great, graphics very to no storyline, just random useless quests such as 'please get my teddy I have nightmares'....zombie apocalypse and that's the best they could come up with? worth playing tho, managed to pick it up for £20 for GOTY edition
    Posted by HiradC on 10 Feb 13 at 22:19
  • knight0fkh0nshuknight0fkh0nshu735,721
    24 Sep 2011
    42 5 1
    Welcome to the island of population: endangered species. The zombie apocalypse has taken over this island and you have to find a way to get off it. Whether you you play by yourself or are joined by up to three more friends, this is going to be hell. This is Dead Island.

    Dead Island is rated "M" for Mature. It is developed by Techland (Poland) and is published by Deep Silver.

    You start the game off as one of four characters. Sam B the rapper, who serves as your tank/blunt weapon expert. Purna the ex-police officer turned mercenary, who is your gun specialist. Logan Carter the ex-football superstar, who is your "throwing specialist". Lastly Xian Mei who is an undercover spy, she is your assassin/sharp specialist. No matter which of the four characters you pick, surviving Dead Island will be no walk in the park. Especially not alone.

    Despite it's flaws, at the core of Dead Island is an amazing shooter/rpg game just waiting to burst out and eat you alive. As much as I hate comparing games, Dead Island heavily borrows from the winning formula of Gearbox's' Borderlands. Which really isn't a bad thing.

    The areas on the island of Banoi are pretty large. There are several nooks and holes to explore to find chests, collectibles, and components. Throughout these areas you will find quests from all sorts of people. The quests vary from finding medicine, killing a loved ones family because they turned zombie, or even finding a lost teddy bear. You know, the kinds of thinks you expect from a zombie apocalypse. You spend a lot of your time roaming around trying to find better weapons to keep the undead at bay and repairing your weapons.

    While you're not repairing your weapons, you're out there zombie-slaying. I must say that zombie-slaying never looked so good. A lot of detail went into these zombies so when you cut of an arm, head, or leg you can actually see what it's supposed to look like. My favorite has the be the suiciders when they blow up and leave pretty much nothing but a skull and spinal column.

    While I did notice that there are numerous occasions that some of the voice acting was done by the same person it didn't really do anything to take away from the game for me. Is it annoying, yes. But that's something that I can overlook. The cutscenes bother me worse than anything. Horrible lip-syncing really bothers me, in any game. Not to mention some of the characters (Xian) look completely cross-eyed. Other than that, the guns sounds fluid and the zombies are moaning along like they should.

    The storyline is somewhat weak, but they attempt to fill that void by giving you collectibles to find that will give you a somewhat better idea as to what is going on. These collectibles include Banoi facts and recordings of a guy who has traveled to the island trying to find out what is going on. There's not really much more storytelling than that besides some of the quests that want to you put the picture together for yourself.

    The achievement list is pretty standard. There is nothing truly inspiring or really boring about it either. You would think that the collectibles achievement would have been a pain, but seeing how each character's collectible total is cumulative that's not any issue that most people should have. I do like that they make you get to the end of Act 1 with each character. It forces players to do something that normally they wouldn't. Most would just pick one character and go through the game, but not now..not if you're an achievement hunter.

    So Dead Island isn't going to win any Game of the Year awards but it is a solid title. It would be even better if Techland could fix some of these glitches. I personally had the glitch where my save file would not load which I was not happy about. They got all the big things right if they could just fix the little things Dead Island would have been perfect instead of just awesome.

    Story: 7.5/10
    Gameplay: 8.5/10
    Sound: 7.5 /10
    Graphics: 8.5/10
    Achievements: 8/10

    Final Rating: 8/10
  • zMckayzMckay33,737
    22 Sep 2011
    31 7 2
    Well i haven't completed the game yet but i'm far enough through to write a fair review on Dead island.

    To describe this game in one word i would use amazing. This game has offered me hours upon hours of fun and to be honest is a really good stress reliever laugh Had a bad day at work and want to punch someone in the face? Well now you can... Just hop on this game and punch a zombie clap

    On terms of gameplay, Graphics, Lifespan and enjoy-ability this game has it all!

    The game-play to me reminds me of a few games all rolled into one actually such as Borderlands, Fallout, Dead rising and Left for Dead but not going over the top to were it feels more like one or the other. Don't get me wrong this is an original game in its own... If you didn't like any of the games mentioned above don't feel afraid to get this game its a whole new experience with some nice reminders of other games. The controls to this game are very very easy to adapt to. After about 15mins of playing i had got the hang of it and was set. They also added a very nice feature to the combat system that allows the gamer to hit the zombies using their analogue stick which can be very enjoyable at times but also very frustrating,

    The graphic of Dead Island are gorgeous. From the stunning landscapes to the amazing visual effects of the zombies and the lovely weather. One minute you can find yourself in a tropical heatwave then 10 mins later in a tropical thunderstorm which also adds to the fantastic game-play. Makes it feel that little more realistic.

    As far as lifespan goes in this game (like i said previously) i haven't finished this game as of yet so i'm not 100% sure if there is free roam at the end of the game, Maybe someone can comment and let me know laugh. What i can tell you is that during the game its fully free roam you don't have to do quests if you don't want to which is really good as continually doing missions can be very boring. I have roughly spent about 10 hours playing this game already and i don't think im even close to finishing it which has made me very happy as i am enjoying it. If there is free roam at the end of the game then this game will be loads of fun once you have leveled up and got the best weapons.

    On terms of how enjoyable this game is, out of 10 for this i would say 8 (so far) there never seems to be nothing to do. From the littlest quests to main ones none of them get boring or repetitive in my honest opinion. Creating weapons and finding new one to dismember those rotten flesh eaters is also very very fun especially when playing with friends which brings me onto my next subject,

    On the first day of release this game had patches for online which was worrying but was also very good as it got rid of all the nasty bugs and modders. It can be frustrating if you don't turn off the feature of allowing people to join your game mid way through a quest, this can easily be turned off from the main menu toast

    All in all this (so far) is one of if not my Favorite free-roaming zombie slashing game.

    Sorry if this is bad guys... I have 0 experiences writing reviews
  • KharhaazKharhaaz43,751
    17 Nov 2011 18 Nov 2011
    17 4 2
    I should start by admitting something to you: I wanted to like Dead Island much, much more than I finally did. When the idea of a co-op zombie survival action RPG was first presented to me, it was all I could do to scramble for my wallet and head out to my regular game store for a copy...before I even owned the game, I was arranging parties, figuring out strategies for hypothetical situations, etc etc.

    If that sounds like I was setting expectations far too high, and that is my own fault, you would be 100% correct, and I own that fact. Dead Island is not a bad game...and as far as open-ended environments go, this is a fairly decent addition to the genre, with a familiar and welcome twist.

    I simply wasn't prepared for the combat system in the game; no no, not the first person controls, or the ability to build weapons, but rather just how flimsy they actually were - I played in our group as Sam B, the so-called blunt weapons specialist - and I swear to you I have never met someone, anyone, in game or in real life, who has a harder time keeping their blunt instruments in proper working order.

    See, weapons in Dead Island can break...and in most cases, they break easily. I don't know who it is that provided the wrenches, lead pipes, and sledgehammers to the island of Banoi, but I can guarantee they bought them in bulk, and most likely from a Dollar General or similar thrift store.

    A good example: at the start of the game, you might run across one of those same lead-pipes. Go ahead and take some swings; I guarantee you will be able to count on two hands the number of time you can hit a target with it before 50% of the weapon's durability meter has been depleted.

    Sure, you can hold multiple items, and you can always replace the ones that have "expired" with new-found instruments of undeath, but that sort of renders moot the fact that you can upgrade and modify your great cost, no less.

    Of course, having a team along with you helps to distribute some of this headache, but when you get hit by a huge swarm of undead (and you will!) you'll find that even your combined efforts can wear down even the most well-prepared inventory.

    Aside from my complaints, this really is a solid game...the story is rather bland, but the voice acting that backs it up surprisingly engaged. As we started progressing, I actually found myself complaining less and less about the combat and focused more on the survival aspects...which let me tell you, with a team of folks who sought out each and every zombie in each and every corner of the island, that was no easy task!

    Left 4 Dead it is not, but still a fun game to play with friends. I'll concede and extra star just to compensate for what is surely my own disappointment at what "could" have been...anything else would be unfair to the developers who, in all truth, gave us a solid and immersive game.
  • Skycaptin5Skycaptin5913,815
    04 Nov 2011 13 May 2012
    14 2 2
    Slash, Bash and Run through a Beautiful Resort
    filled with Zombies

    The Campaign
    -Awaken to a beautiful resort, see the rays of the sun in an early morning and some gentle zombie swaying on the beach! Dead Island welcomes you to an open world zombie game with a wonderful main story that is supported by many, many side quests that give you hours of additional time. You are in a squad of four that have awakened to find an island full of infected and actually a lot of survivors. The story is progressed from massive open world area to massive open world area, as you assist survivors, kill infected or other humans and make find your way off the island. Getting off the island is of course not an easy task and will require you to collect many items and help people do many other jobs that earn you xp which in return levels you and allows you to upgrade your traits on the skill tree. Your skill tree has three main progression areas that change your skills in different ways, Fury, Combat and Survival that have different skills to level depending on your chosen character. These traits will then also affect your weapons, that you randomly find laying all about in all different styles, levels and damage levels. These weapons can then be modded into sicker, and far more deadlier. To make these mods though you will have to collect blueprints and then supplies. This long and venturous campaign will take you to all sorts of beautifully well designed levels all across this massive island that is fun running around doing whatever of following the story quickly.

    -The games multiplayer experience is presented in coop through the campaign. You can at anytime within your campaign have up to four players which makes the game better and better. Single player may be fun, but the true wealth of this game is either playing around or doing quests with a couple of buddies. As far as balancing the enemies you face, the game does little for balancing as the level of the host usually determines their level. Story wise the game isn’t changed, but don’t worry having a buddy wont make the game to easy for you to play.

    -The play style of the game is similar to that of games in the first person, which is really well done in the game, such as your weapon wheel and the interesting display of all your stats given in the up on the D Pad. Animations are also really well down such as your general movement and when you get knocked down it looks neat, although I find drinking is slightly unrealistic within in the game, it mostly carries a real feel.

    The Conclusion
    -Want to kill tons of zombies in an open world that is filled with all sorts of weapons to your hearts content?, this is your game and more. Layered upon the basic level of play lies well impacting player traits, weapon customizing, looting and piles of quests for you to finish. Single player or online the game is awesome, I found it even better to play as a group or with another person making the story more shared and experience something you can have with your friends. The variety in the game is vast from character designs to the environment around, even the sewers which I dislike were a neat change up. The graphics are amazing and the game gives me a realistic feel to look after my character. The game does however have a few hold backs to it with some bugs that I encountered within the story, but the games amazing quality overlooks these. Explore, bash or shoot, player single player or online, the game is a blast.

    Written by me on
  • Neko PounceNeko Pounce143,859
    05 Oct 2011 05 Oct 2011
    17 6 4
    Dead Island’s first trailer made the game look like a zombie survival game with heart, if you haven’t seen this trailer and wants to see what I'm talking about, go here:

    I got the game a few weeks after it came out on the Xbox 360, so the developers had time to polish it with a few patches and such, since I had heard a lot of bad things about the game having game breaking glitches, and I didn't want my review to be negative just because of that.

    After starting the game for the first time, the opening video played, showing a drunken person on a party island that's just had the zombie infection begin. I could tell that the game didn't have the emotional storyline I had hope for because the intro has a rapper singing a song called "Who do you voodoo b**ch" and that doesn't set the mood for a good story, normally anyway.

    Regardless, I went on and started playing. You are given a choice of 4 people to play as in the game, who you pick doesn't affect the story what so ever, and the only really difference is the type of weapon you specialize in.
    The 4 people you must pick from are Sam B, Logan, Purna, and Xian.
    Sam B is a deadbeat rapper still trying to make a living of his one hit wonder, who do you voodoo b**ch. This is the reason that he is on the island, or at least, that's the best the developers could come up with, and he specializes in blunt weapons. Then there is Xian, A woman who is employed at the Royal Palms Resort. She had just arrived in Banoi when the outbreak started, and she specialises in sharp weapons. Logan is a former NFL star, he was spoiled all his life and successful in everything he did. He was in a reckless street race and killed a young woman who was in the car with him. In his downfall he took an all-expenses paid trip to the island of Banoi. Worst choice he's ever made. He's a throwing expert, great with things like spears and such.
    And finally there's Purna, the gun expert, she was a police officer in south wales, but after losing her career after she shot a child molester who couldn’t be convicted due to his wealth and connections, she started working as a body bodyguard for VIP's in places all over the world.

    The story is pretty basic for a zombie game, infection starts, and you start looking for a way to get away from it. Of course, the storyline has all the normal things a survival game has, betrayal, bad luck, and a massive amount of useless side quests. From looking for food and water for other survivor (if you don't nothing actually happens to them, so in the end it's just a fetch quest for more experience) to clearing out the zombies in a remote area of the island.

    One thing that bugged me in this game is the cut scenes, no matter how many players are in the game, all 4 survivors will appear. It seems lazy for the developers to just let that be, but it's not like it breaks the game or anything.

    As for flaws in the game, there's the story, as I've explained, there's still some annoying glitches that you may occasionally run into, like getting stuck under a bridge and having to reload the last checkpoint, sometimes losing up to half an hours progress at a time. This only happened to me 4 times in the 25 hours I spent playing, but even then it was pretty irritating.

    Another flaw is the lack of zombie types, and of the few zombie types there are, the ratio of normal to special zombies is about 1 - 50. There's the normal zombie, that runs up to you and just try's to beat you to death, there’s The Suicider, a zombie with a massive body that blows itself up if you get too close, and will blow up regardless of how you kill it. There's the Butcher, a large zombie that doesn't have any arms past there elbow, but is still far stronger than a normal zombie. There's the Ram, a very large zombie that is wrapped in a straitjacket and is the hardest zombie to kill, there's the thug, who tries to knock you over and temporarily stun you, and last but not least there's the Floater, whom is like a boomer from Left 4 Dead in more ways than one, he's covered in slime and vomits at you.

    As you may have guessed, the game has stolen most of its idea from other games, it takes the levelling system from dead rising along with its quest system, and it takes its combat from half Far Cry2 and half Left 4 Dead, and the driving feels an awful lot like FarCry2 as well. The story line as I said before, it's pretty much the same as every other horror survival game on the market. The weapon system is clearly inspired by the dead rising system, only to a lesser extent. You can use things like bats, knives and guns, but you can also use led pipes and coat racks. It’s not that great at all, but it’s clearly inspired by the other system, and it’s not the worst one I’ve ever had to use.

    The Graphics are better than a some games that come out in this day and age, but there really nothing amazing. The environment looks pretty disappointing considering what they could have done with the whole beach island setting they had given the game.

    One of the game’s biggest selling points is the 4 player co-op, which undeniably makes the game feel a lot more enjoyable. The co-op doesn't affect your story progress and nothing is separate, it's just a drop in drop out. There's no special ability’s or anything, just everyone killing everything.

    The levelling system isn't all the big of a deal, levelling allows you to up your skill level a lot like borderlands, in fact, the exploring system is a lot like borderlands too, just not half as good. Levelling also allows you to use better weapons with higher damage and such, but it's not really necessary to do any side quests, the first time round I focused on the main story and had no issues beating any part of the game.

    Another thing that seems stolen from borderlands in the unlimited re-spawn system, where the only punishment for dying is losing a little about 5% of your money and going back a few meters. It makes the game stupidly easy.

    The soundtrack... There really isn't a lot to say about the soundtrack, the only distinctive tune that you will remember, and not for good reason is the rap song that plays in the intro. It's pretty disappointing, but the soundtrack isn't the biggest deal breaker in the game.

    Overall, the game is fun, there's no argument there. Getting a bat with a nail in it and beating the life out of 100's zombies normally is. But this game is nothing special, and I don't recommend it for anyone if you plan to spend more than £20. If you can get hold of it for less than £20, then by all means, it's worth a try. I got a good 10 hours of fun out of it.

    I would give it 3 and half stars, if I could, but 4 will do.

    I hope you enjoyed my review of Dead Island, and I'm sorry it dragged on so much.

    Leave a comment; I'm always looking for advice on ways to improve my writing.

    Thank you.

  • Balsin FaseBalsin Fase170,966
    24 Nov 2011
    19 11 7
    If you're the kind of person who rages into the night sky, overwhelmed with anger at the shortness of the modern day single-player campaign, you can finally rest. Dead Island has you covered, friend. To give you an idea how long it is, I've been playing it nightly, save for a torrid two week affair with Resident Evil 4 HD, since its release in August. August. This isn't some shooter to play online, either. I'm talking single player, by myself, main story and side quest missions. It is long. Looooooooooooong.

    And by the end of it, you'll be begging for it to stop.

    Dead Island drags you in hard and fast at the beginning, though. That first few minutes, when you're aimlessly wandering through a hotel and jumping at the ambient cries that fill the halls, it's quite intense. Even so, if you're like me, you're not all that scared. You haven't been killed by zombies in a game with any kind of ease in years, so what's to be afraid of? When you finally find some of those walking dead at the end of a hallway, the game screaming in your ear about how dangerous they are, you aren't scared. When they charge at you, you put up your dukes. What are three lousy zombies going to be able to do to you, a video game hero?

    Once you get viciously stomped in less than a second, you realize the game isn't screwing around. Zombies are a very serious threat, and will remain that way for the rest of the game. Dead Island takes all of the preconceptions other games have built up around zombies and throws them away. They aren't easy to kill, they aren't something you can ignore, and they sure aren't to be taken lightly. When a zombie shows up on your screen, you have to buckle down and get ready for a serious fight, all while hoping another one off-screen hasn't noticed you as well.

    Fortunately, the melee combat is pretty well thought out. This game is all about getting up close with the undead, taking that huge risk to fight them head-on in order to get through. With a weapon in hand, you're given a load of different options on what to do, given that each zombie is divided up into hit areas. You could aim for the head, hoping to lop it off or do critical damage, which is always clutch, but what about working the arms? You can easily chop one of those off, limiting the zombie's available attacks and giving you a blind side that you can fight him on. You could also break one of their legs, dropping them to the ground and making them vulnerable to anything your heart desires. You can also launch a vicious kick to the face that knocks them to the ground, too. That kick is a godsend, as it can hit things well before they can touch you and interrupts their attacks.

    But yes, swinging weapons does draw from your stamina bar. It's independent from your health, and runs right across the lower middle of the screen, where you can keep an easy eye on it. You need to, as when it runs dry and you're still in combat, you're in trouble. It's meant to reflect the fact that swinging something around, or running, or getting hit, all would draw energy from you. You need to catch your breath when exerting yourself like this, and the game aims to reflect that. So, if you walk in to a fight expecting to swing a sledgehammer until everyone's down, you might find yourself in a bad place after three hits. It's another way they make you look at the danger you're walking into in a serious way, gauging whether you have the strength to get through it with your current weapon.

    Fortunately, they added RPG elements to the game, giving you a leveling system that rewards you with selectable perks. Maybe you're not happy with how your stamina bar drains so fast, so you take something to improve it. Maybe you use light weapons all the time and stamina isn't an issue, but your character feels like she's made of children's letters to Santa attached with scotch tape. You can improve your health, there, or boost critical rates and damage so everything dies before touching you. You can also affect this with your choice of one of the four characters at the opening of the game, each with their own play type. Mostly, it affects what weapons you prefer to use, but there are some additions each of them can make in a multiplayer setting.

    Back to the dying, though. This is where the game starts to show its seams. At the beginning, death feels like something you really need to be afraid of. You skulk around, take your time, and deal with every threat as it comes. You're careful not to pull more than one zombie, and terrified when more than one comes by. Unfortunately, this is the sort of behavior that just can't last in a sixty hour long game. Once you move past the resort and into the city, you've probably already gotten tired of how long it takes you to make the shortest walk. Now, with people handing you missions that take you across the entire city, you start getting careless. You might hold on for a while with your old ways, but trust me, the city will bleed those out of you after the third time you've had to creep through the city for an hour just to get anywhere.

    Around this point, you stop caring how many enemies you pull, which is a drag because this is when the enemy damage starts to really pile up. Unless you're willing to rifle around for food items every three minutes, you're going to be dying often. Regular zombies seemed to hit me for a quarter of my life bar, and that's assuming I wasn't getting piled on by the other types of undead creeping around the game. I was dying all the time, something that may have been because of the character I chose, but I still didn't care. There was no reason to.

    Dying in Dead Island doesn't do all that much, to be honest. It sends you back a few feet (or forward, which it did to me more than once), and takes away a huge chunk of your saved funds. Now, the first few times this happens, it's a disaster. Money lets you buy better weapons, repair the ones you have, and make fantastic modifications to them. Having lots of it is always great. As your deaths start to pile up, though, and your frustration level increases with each death, you'll stop caring. Since everything kills you in a few hits and there always seems to be something sneaking up on you, you'll give up on trying to save any money. When you stop caring about that, then death isn't even inconvenient any more. You stop worrying about taking hits at all, since all you have to do is come in swinging and hope you get a few more steps ahead than you did before.

    The problem is that you really do need that money, or at least a small stockpile of it. You see, your weapons all degrade with use. The bigger drag is that they all degrade with frightening speed. You'll be lucky to get ten swings out of many of your weapons until you've sunk money into upgrading them. Even then, and with every character skill that increased weapon durability, I still had to stop at every work bench I found and drop money on repairs as often as I could. You see, as the weapon gets more broken, its gets more and more expensive to fix it. Maybe at half repaired, it would cost $500 to fix it, but at almost broken, it increases to $2500. It leaves you hopping from work bench to work bench, always wondering if you can make it to the next one before repair costs go through the ceiling.

    You could always go with guns to avoid repairs, though. Now, they're rare at the very start, but you can start finding them on human enemies later on. With guns in hand, I wish you the best of luck in aiming them. Your character wobbles with the sight as if they took sleeping pills that are just starting to take effect, and the game keeps messing with what is blurry and what isn't. Textures pop in and out while looking down the sights, often obscuring what you're shooting at and making it even harder to hit something. Boot up a shooter while drunk and have a friend shake your shoulders while you play to get an idea on how fun it is to shoot a gun in Dead Island.

    It doesn't take too long before you realize there isn't much point to pushing on through the game, either. Like Borderlands, this game is just another mess of disjointed side quests. You're told to go Here, because Here will let you get There. Characters will come and go, often with you just abandoning them and never speaking to them again for no reason. The few characters that do stick around, though, are so wooden and boring that you never once care what happens to them. One character does follow you for the entire game, and it seems like the developers were trying to show the emotional side of things through her. Her story is brought up so infrequently and poorly, though, that I couldn't care even a little bit about anything that happened to her.

    Different enemies and multiplayer might add a little bit of life to this game, but after a few hours, it feels like all you're doing is fighting a long line of similar enemies. It's hopelessly dull, and all you want to do is just press on through and get it over with. With all of the promise of the first bit, I kept hoping that it would get better again, that I would feel that spark I felt at the start. With its lackluster ending and refusal to ever get interesting, I just felt like I'd wasted my time with it. If it had been shorter and actually had a plot, then I might have walked away with a better liking of it. As it stands, all I can say is that I'm glad I'm done playing it.

    If you liked Dead Island, you might like...

    Left 4 Dead (360/PC) – Want four player zombie killing action, and a game that actually has likeable characters? It has fast-paced action, is a blast to play with friends, and above all, paces itself well. The campaigns are all relatively short, which might seem like a problem until you try to finish one on the highest difficulty. A thirty minute campaign all of a sudden balloons into a six hour disaster that no one manages to survive.

    Dead Pixels (360 Indie) - For a dollar, you and a friend go on a zombie killing rampage that is a mix of River City Ransom and a grindhouse movie. With a neat upgrade system and frequent bouts of ammo famine, this is probably the most fun I've had playing co-op for a while.

    Check out for more reviews on games, comics, movies, and toys!
  • EhrenfriedEhrenfried171,518
    20 Aug 2012 21 Aug 2012
    16 10 2
    I'm not the man of many words on a subject,let's keep it simple...

    Dead Island is the best zombie game to date.
    It seems like the programers watched all the zombies movies and all the horror movies known to mankind and added all of this as reference in the game.

    Sure most people will complain about many bugs,i had only 3 or 4
    but nothing major, and i played the game over 110h and 7x through.
    I never expected to like the game that much, but here i am
    i own the worlds largest Dead Island Collection *damn* :)

    It's bloody as you would expect it from a zombie game,
    and the open world part is awesome.
    For me it always was like 2 games in one...

    If you play solo you'll get a really great atmospherical zombie survival shooter-rpg, but then if you play online, it's like a whole new world.
    It's not anymore about the survival of yourself, it will be a fun ride.
    4 Player doing the missions you did on solo will give you a whole new experience, and many laughs and one hell of a good time.

    I played the mission where you have to take gas cans from two gas stations
    over 50x, solo and multiplayer with numerous unkown people and everytime the game/the experience was different, but it was always fun.
    Don't let me start on the trading system...

    And even now with all the modded weapon stuff, the game didn't die,
    it evolved to something.
    I've met many friendly people who are willing to give you stuff or trade it.

    There are so many hidden things to explore (Skulls, etc.)
    so many zombies to kill, i had so much fun playing this game,
    i can forgive the little flaws the game comes with.

    This is the best zombie game in the world today.
    Give it a chance, you won't regret it.
  • ryanlegend95ryanlegend95195,159
    03 Feb 2013
    9 5 8
    Dead Island. What is there to say about Dead Island. Well it's an Island and pretty much everyone on it is dead but there is a twist cause they are well... not actually dead. They are actually everyone's favourite monster and no it's not big foot but it's actually zombies. Would be pretty cool though if it was big foot but we'll save that for later.

    Yes Zombies have taken over an island called Banoi and everyone is either dead or a zombie. Only a certain amount of people have survived and only 4 people can do something about it cause they are immune to the infection (how original) You get to play as Sam B who is a world famous rapper. A receptionist who is also a Chinese spy called Xian Mei. A former American Football star called Logan carter and a ex-police officer called Puma. They will have to work together just to survive the zombie outbreak.

    All in all the game doesn't sound original but that is because the story is crap and cheesy. It fails to be interesting and it doesn't explain much about the outbreak or characters however the side quests have a little more heart into it since that the characters share something quite tragic with you especially the scene where you find a person crying in the pool of blood. While not story related it is rather interesting on how the outbreak affected the remaining survivors. Quite frankly though I am a bit disappointed already cause I am a huge story lover and I love a story that involves zombies.

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    The game already has a poor start but its the actual gameplay that counts. The game is basically Fallout 3 but just with zombies which is actually quite a nice treat. It plays the same as Fallout and its just as glitchy as Fallout. However the game is more based around melee combat rather than gunplay which doesn't seem interesting but just like in reality it is hard to find a gun lying in the street unless you live in Texas. This is a nice feature because the game tries to be a simulator. Because of this you are quite overwhelmed cause you don't have any survival experience and of course you don't have a gun in your pocket. All you have is just a melee weapon and your brain until the zombies come after it. Melee combat is strong if not repetitive. It is fun battering the shit out of a zombie with a nailed bat. The game also allows you to upgrade and modify your weapons which is a nice feature but it has already been done in dead rising 2. The gunplay on the other hand is just poorly executed. Guns come late in the game and they do jack shit to the zombies. Even shooting a zombie with a shotgun seems to do nothing which is truly disappointing.

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    The best feature however is the RPG elements. You can upgrade your character with very useful skills. It's kinda like Borderlands. Once you level up you can activate a power which are deadly and damn useful when you are surrounded by Walkers. That is not a reference to the Walking Dead. Once you have unlocked the power up you can then unlock other stuff like more health, increased damage etc.

    The only flaw that I have with this game is that it can be very hard to play on your own due to the hordes of zombies. But the good news is though is that you can play with a friend which does mean more fun. With a friend you can share your items with each other and give them a helping with a difficult mission.

    Speaking of missions they actually make sense when it comes to survival. There will be objectives like find food or find parts for a broken down car. If the story doesn't grab your attention then the missions will cause they are just a joy. No matter how hard they are. Plus completing missions feel highly rewarding because you will achieve stuff like (other than achievements) weapons and mods. Weapons are cool but mods are even better. Finding mods just brings so much more replay value.

    If you want a game that has pretty graphics then this could be your cup of tea. The game looks pretty good with nice character models and colour pallets but the only thing makes this game ugly is the visual glitches. The game will often have pop-ins and plenty of screen tearing along with blurred textures but if the engine is working at full capacity then this game is quite the looker.

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    Same goes to sound. The game sounds great with nice sound effects and ambient noises along with excellent zombie voices. However I can't say the same thing about the voice acting. The dialogue is all over the place and the characters sound stiff. Even Steven Blum has trouble doing the Australian accent. Voice acting is something that I take a keen interest in and I hopefully would like to voice act myself but to hear my idol do a poor job at capturing the moment gives me doubts. Apart from the voice acting that is almost as bad as the first resident evil game, the sound design is truly amazing.

    Is it your cup of tea?:
    If you love zombies then you will love this.
    If you love to spend endless hours playing an RPG then book you calendar.
    If you want to play with friends then go ahead.

    +Nice combination of RPG and zombies
    +Lots to do
    +Fantastic melee weapons
    -Story is dreadful
    -Voice acting is close to the first resident evil game
    -Guns are missed opportunity

    Overall I think this is a great game that offers a lot of replay value. Hopefully the flaws will be improved in the second game.
  • archer devilarcher devil69,504
    14 Sep 2011 14 Sep 2011
    15 16 3
    Well, hello there, my fellow gamers!

    Recently I have been on an involuntary hiatus, and for that I apologise, but money and adulthood demand that bills be paid and that groceries be bought. But away from such seriousness today I am writing about a game that takes one of my favourite things to kill to the very bloody, very violent extreme. This is of course Dead Island, and let me say whilst is has been 5 years in the making (first announced way back in 2006) for the most part it was definitely worth the wait. Yes that’s right, my ever sinister readers, I said it was worth the wait.

    As I’m sure you’re no doubt aware by now, Dead Island starts it’s epic story... seriously it’s long... in the holiday resort on the tropical paradise of the island of Banoi. So put down Left 4 Dead and its superior sequel. Let Dead Rising and its far inferior sequel (shut up it was, Chuck was a bitch, the zombies were boring and the weapon mods were just plain meh...) and take note of this game from Techland. That’s right this master class of frantic melee combat comes from the Polish developers of the Call of Juarez series.

    Aesthetically the creative little tinkers over there in Poland seem to have taken Fallout 3’s FPS mechanic, thrown in a little of WoW’s colour coding for rare items and cross bred it with Zombieland to make a new tale of undead juiciness with a hint of Lost in the scenery and conspiracies woven in the narrative. The visuals of Banoi are, quite simply, stunning. Honestly, when in the resort, think of a blood-smeared Maldives, when in the City of Moresby think of a ruined Kingston in Jamaica, and as for the jungle picture the rainforests of Hawaii. I mean seriously... It is that gorgeous in its blood-spattered nastiness.

    The zombies have a blend of shamblers and runners. The ones that shamble are a bitch to kill but easily outrun... but where’s the fun in that when you can just time your machete swing and watch their head fly away as their body becomes yet another fountain spewing so much red jam? As for the undead masses themselves... these are probably the best built zombies I have ever seen in a game... and I’ve seen a lot. These monsters boast a layered flesh body. Which is exactly as it sounds. Their skin removes, and then the muscle, down to red/ivory coloured bone. They show real time injury progression, which I haven’t seen since the X-men Origins: Wolverine game, which was then massively impressive because you could watch Wolvie regenerate before your eyes.

    However, as much as I am in love with this game, there are some serious issues that I had hoped Techland would get around to patching and doing a day 1 title update for... but they didn’t (reaches for smiting stick and beats the crap out of the Polish development team... JUST BECAUSE YOU GREW UP BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN IS NO EXCUSE FOR LAZY BUGGY BUILDS... NO VODKA FOR YOU!). And some of them are just that lazy that there really is no good excuse for it. I have personally experienced every single one of these issues and they annoyed the crap out of me, and I’m relieved to find it wasn’t just me who has been plagued.

    I had issues at multiple points with my inventory being randomly deleted. No not deselected and sent back to my bag, actually deleted from the game. So when I was at a section where I was facing not 1, not 2 but 5 “boss” zombies (a fine selection of thugs and butchers) and I go to select my higher weapon to find it is non existent in the game any more (wipes off smiting stick and beats the already beaten forms of the Polish developers... I FUCKING DIED BECAUSE OF A GLITCH IN YOUR SUBSTANDARD PIECE OF SHIT ENGINE... AND WHEN I SAY DIED I MEAN A LOT BECAUSE THERE WERE NO RANDOM WEAPONS LYING AROUND... FIX IT... or in Polish... kurwa, by dzialalo to poprawnie!)

    There are also some severe clipping errors where the undead fiends, and the human psychopaths who try to shoot you, can pass straight through walls to munch your nuts AND shoot around corners… again Techland, kurwa, by dzialalo to poprawnie! Seriously, other developers can stop that from happening, if you made your Chrome Engine work properly then you could too. For your own sake, fix the bugs and repair the engine and you’ll be sorted.

    I even fell through the jungle floor to land in the water by the resort, get munched on by a horde and reappear in the jungle as if nothing had happened. I swear, you can’t make this up it is a very broken build. But in spite of all that, oddly, I love this game. The story line of 4 survivors, Oh… SPOILER ALERT! (see I can put them in where they belong), who happen to share the same blood type and who are all immune to the virus that makes the mad zombies is truly enthralling when you get into the main quests. The side quests… and there are many, are good gory fun.

    The heavily melee based combat is addictive and is of a fast and frenetic enough nature to get the adrenal glands of even the most seasoned zombie hunter flowing. And it goes to make this pretty much the only true action RPG to come along since Fallout. As the characters grow stronger they get new abilities and these new abilities help them kill the stronger zombies that now populate the world. It really is a masterful way to incorporate RPG into FPS (having grown very bored of Borderlands for being not enough RPG to the action I know what I think works)

    In all, this game is a must for any fan of zombocalypse-flavoured games. And for fans of action RPGs, survival horrors, Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising. Even though on paper, with all its faults, I should loathe this and burst with the impotent rage of the western consumer, but I don’t and I don’t care that I don’t. This game is so much fun that those problems only make it more of a challenge which is actually refreshing in survival horrors. If you like any of those games, this game is definitely worth checking out. I promise, if you give it a chance with the lights out and the surround sound up, you won’t be disappointed.

    Happy gaming, and keep an eye on the shadows and a weapon handy

  • SteampunkZomb1eSteampunkZomb1e240,855
    18 Sep 2012
    2 10 1
    Oh Dead Island, how you vex me. I think I liked the challenge of the achievements more than the game itself.
    Let's review the game first. Dead island is a first person shoot/stab/slice em up with some RPG elements. An infection has taken over a beautiful holiday island turning the locals and guests into various Zombies. At the beginning you choose your character from a group of four. Each character has different abilities, ranging from being able to ram enemies to having more luck when opening one of the many cases lying around. You will level your character up as you progress through the story.
    You can also upgrade weapons, turning the most feeble stick or gun into a weapon of mass awesomeness. This costs money and blueprints which are gathered through the game world and also given to you for finishing various missions.
    Dead Island is an open world game, with a main mission to complete, but it also has many side quests giving the game some variety. You can just get in a car and drive around the beautiful island.
    The graphics are not bad and look similar but better than left 4 dead. The island is beautiful.

    Is the game enjoyable? Yes, I got a bit addicted to it as the Cheevos are varied and challenging. Sadly, with achievements I would of got bored very quickly. It can, however, be played in coop with up to 4 players, which is more fun.

    Dead island is not a bad game, but there is better open workers, better RPGs and better Zombie games out there. I think the main problem is that it is repetitive and offers nothing really original.

    4 stars due to the achievement challenge.