Dead Island Review


Dead Island

Platform: XBOX 360
Rating: Mature
Players 1
Online: Up to 4 Players
Co-op: 2-4
System Link: 2-4
Uses Chrome Engine 5
Developed by Techland
Published by Deep Silver

Reviewers Thoughts:

Finally a month has passed by and I can honestly review this game. After a lot of tooling around and beating the game twice I found myself very impressed with it. I was for all intents and purposes getting this game the day it came out being a huge Romero fan and any Zombie movie crappy or otherwise. It was a gamble though as I questioned a few of my XBox friends who sadly weren’t getting the game. To me those friends are often times the bulk of reasons I don’t get games. They all have good tastes but like I said I enjoy anything with zombies in it and yes, even Left 4 Dead. There was no amount of evil talk that would stop me from obtaining what I thought at the time maybe the last zombie game made for this generation. If you play a lot of games then you know that zombie killing based games are going out like Disco. Well, with that said let’s dive into the game.

Basic Info:

This game starts out with 4 protagonists that group together to survive the zombie outbreak that hits a little resort island named Banoi that lies just off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Banoi is a wild and untamed paradise. The 4 protagonists are as follows.

1. Purna(The Leader): Former officer of the Sydney Police Department. Specialty: Guns.
2. Logan(Jack of All Trades): Former football star. Specialty: Throwing Weapons.
3. Xian Mei(The Assassin): Employee of The Royal Palm Resort. Specialty: Sharp Weapons.
4. Sam B.(The Tank): A one hit wonder rap star of fading fame. Specialty: Blunt Weapons.

Now you may be thinking what the hell. Then you decide to throw out the story because trying to wrap your head around why these people are so different and how they came together will make your head explode. I could try to piece together a story but to be honest anything would be better than this. In a lengthy prologue you stumble through collecting things and running from zombies in a hotel, you find yourself in a little shack next to the coast line about to have your head smashed in by some random guy that thinks your going to turn from the bites you received earlier.

Luckily you don’t and everyone begs you to help the leader of their survival team who somehow ends up on the beach getting ganged on by a bunch of zombies. So you grab an oar and bust threw the door(Ha ha, I rhymed). In a blaze of unbridled glory you brain any zombie stupid enough to try and grab your unmentionables and save the day, and the crappy leader guy who couldn’t defend himself even if he tried. After you immediately lose respect for the leader guy you become his errand boy and thus begin the real game.

Dead Island is a huge open world game and very much like Borderlands in the sense of leveling up and weapon drops that level up with you, and Fallout 3 with the huge expanses of land to travel. You get your occasional cut scenes that tell a story that’s shoddy at best but the best part of Dead Island are the weapons. There are many types of weapons but I’ll only touch on a few from each type be it blunt weapons, sharp weapons or guns.

Weapons:

As far as blunt weapons go you get hammers, sledgehammers, sticks, bats, kanabos, maces, and morning stars. Sharp weapons come in different varieties such as machetes, katanas, knives, daggers, and wakazashis’. Guns come in .45, 9mm, .50, 12 gauge, .308, 5.56, and .44 calibers. Different styles are rifles, assault rifles, slide pistols, revolvers, Desert Eagles, AK47’s, and pump action shotguns. There are also magical weapons such as the Left Hand of Glova which gives you the powers of the dark side a.k.a. shooting lightning out of your hands. Special weapons such as the Left Hand of Glova take skull item pickups and drop offs to get special developers mods. So far as of this writing there are only a few skulls that I’ve found without consulting online faqs which I try not to do.

Gameplay:

The weapons and actions of your character work well together. When you pick up a big baseball bat and brain someone you get that satisfying head explosion or caving in effect. The same could be said for sharp weapons such as decapitation and dismemberment. If you want to you can completely dismember a zombie from the legs up and it can be very helpful if your fighting some of the different infected types. There are a few different zombie classes in the game to fight all ranging from the slow classic zombie to the fast ones as seen in the new Dawn of The Dead. The types are displayed as follows.

1. Walker – Classic Zombie, slow moving, and moaning.
2. Infected – Fast, agile and vicious.
3. Floater – Bloated, puking zombie. Coats player in slime that harms you.
4. Ram – Big, hulking and wrapped in a straight jacket. These zombies will charge at you.
5. Butcher – More advanced versions of the Infected/Quick zombies. Can dodge incoming melee attacks. They attack with whatever is left of their limbs.
6. Suicider – This guy needs to see a dermatologist because he is just pulsing to blow you up.
7. Thug – Bigger, tougher and stronger. Slow to attack but when they do they knock you down.

Graphics and Sound:

As it is being a low budget game you would expect the graphics to be pretty bland but lucky for us the graphics pop and flood your eyes with beautiful color and outstanding draw distances. For a big game with such a small budget you will stop and take in the beautiful sights. The only drawback on the animation is the character models and their robot like movements and acting. This is only a minor annoyance that really in the end means nothing if your a B movie zombie lover. If you’re looking for Lord of The Rings acting then you will be disappointed.

The sound on the other hand is very crisp and clear. Whether your looking for that bone snapping, head slicing or just crushing a skull sound you’ll hear it and feel satisfied. Gunshots also sound good but the only 2 drawbacks I found were the sounds of the vehicles and the voice acting, and trust me it gets pretty cheesy. Overall, the sound was great and I enjoyed killing zombies and each little moan from growl to roar.

The Verdict:

For being a low budget zombie game this one completely annihilates the competition from Resident Evil to Left 4 Dead. It takes a special group to take such little money to create something so grotesquely beautiful. It has it’s downsides with story and will never stack up to Resident Evil standards but I still felt satisfied when I beat the game. If I feel the urge to play it again and again then that makes a great game for me. If you’re a zombie fan/gamer then this should definitely be in your XBox 360 right now.

Dead Island gets a 4 out of 5

Bad Story
Great Graphics
Great Sound
Great Gameplay
Replay Value: High