98 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2011
As a fan of zombie games, and a fan of co-operative games, I was pretty excited for the release of Dead Island to play with my friend. Then it actually came out, and all my expectations were shattered...
1. GAMEPLAY: The gameplay is horribly uninspired. You choose one of four characters (blade-centric, throwing-centric, melee-centric and gun-centric), and then proceed to kill zombies and complete missions for experience to level up. Each time you level up, you get a skill point to spend in the character's "unique" skill trees. Each character has 3 trees: Fury, which is basically the character's special move and spending points in this tree helps go towards enhancing the effects of Fury; Combat, which is the character's effectiveness with his or her specific background description (IE, Xian, the blade-character, has combat skills which revolve around landing more Critical Hits with knives and machetes, whereas Logan, the throwing-character, has combat skills which revolve around increasing damage with thrown weapons); and Survival, which is just a random assortment of skills, mostly shared between characters, that allow you to do things like pick locked chests or repair weapons for less money. I would like to point out that the only real "Skill" you have in the game is the Fury move that you can unlock with 1 point; all other so-called "Skills" are basically modifiers to how much damage the character does or how much money he/she has to spend.
Besides this, there are no real RPG-elements to the game. Zombies scale with your level the entire way through, as do weapons, and you'll gain health as you level up. Other than that, there are no attributes you have to manage, or even get to look at for that matter. As I said, it's basically a first person hack-and-slash with some RPG elements thrown in to the mix.
There are dozens of weapons in this game, from pipes to hammers to katanas and assault rifles. You'd think that such a wide variety would lend itself to several different play styles, but this is unfortunately not so. A majority of the weapons are objectively worse than others. Compare Diving Knives and Axes to a Machete, for instance. Diving Knives are EXTREMELY fast, which should make them perfect against scoring massive amounts of damage in a short amount of time. Except, their durability ratings are so low that they break after two kills, leaving them completely worthless until you can repair them again. Likewise, an Ax does MASSIVE amounts of damage in one hit, and has high durability, but the swing is so unbearably slow that you will have to rely more on kicking the zombies back if you want to even think about using it. So really, the only logical choice between the three is a Machete, which has a fair balance of durability, damage and speed.
Throughout the game you'll find weapon mods, which can add elemental damage (or just increase damage) of a weapon. You'll use items you scavenge in chests, luggage, etc, in order to modify these. This is actually a pretty cool feature of the game. Unfortnately, the repairing and upgrading aspect of weapons (done at the same work benches) was not so well-thought out. Instead of using any physical materials, you just spend money to repair the equipment. There's no point in paying money, since you're not paying a person, and most of the work benches are in abandoned areas anyway. This aspect of the game felt extremely rushed.
The combat itself is also very redundant. On a PC, with a mouse and keyboard, you're locked in to using the "Digital" control mode, which only allows you to left click to swing your weapon. If you have a gamepad, you can switch to "Analog", which adds more indepth combat to the mix; namely, controlling how and when your weapon swings exactly (it lets you prep your weapon for attack). The combat essentially always boils down to either Kicking zombies and stomping them when they are down (if they are in a group of 3 or less), or if they're in a group of 4 or more, engaging in Fury mode and wiping them all out in a matter of seconds. Or, kiting (strafing around them and attacking). There's not much variation to it. Firearms are weak against zombies, but are capable of taking down human enemies in one hit to the head... And because ammo is in limited quantities, it's basically a way for the game to control how you play throughout the game.
GRAPHICS: I don't have a lot to say about the graphics. They look OK (maybe an 8/10, not ultra-realistic but they won't make your eyes bleed). Perhaps the most detailed thing about this game, though, are the zombie models as they take damage. It's impressive to light a zombie on fire and watch the skin and muscle melt off, "Raiders of the Lost Ark"-style.
STORY/AMBIENCE: So far I haven't spoken too highly of the game, so you may wonder why I gave it a 2. As the title suggests, I played it with my friend, and it was fairly enjoyable to team up and share commentary, glitches we encountered, and just strategize together. That said, the rest of the world just feels utterly lifeless, be it with a friend or offline. This may seem like a cool thing in a zombie game, but it's not. Half of the characters you encounter have NO desire to save themselves, and seem more concerned about finding lost teddy bears or gulping down dozens of bottles of water instead of self-preservation. It feels highly unrealistic, and I felt like I was just going through the motions for the majority of the game. The characters stand there lifelessly and assign you the most tedious and mundane of tasks ("find my necklace from my bungalow!", for instance).
You'll travel from a resort beach to a city to a jungle and so on... And there is a slight amount of exploration to do, but you'll never really find anything unique. You're most likely to encounter random scavenge items everywhere, and possibly generic collectible items, but beyond that, the whole world feels generic. Any survivors you do find that need help are there only because they have a mission to offer right after you save them, and then they ungratefully repeat to you several times that they need this task done yesterday.
The story itself develops VERY late in the game; of 4 Acts, you don't really see any development until the end of the 3rd. There's been a zombie outbreak on the island, and one mysterious voice on the radio seems to have the answer on how to escape. So you concern yourself with the first several minutes (hours, days, weeks? The game does an awful job of telling you how much time has elapsed) of just trying to set up safehouses for people and then getting them apple juice to survive on.
Also, regardless of how many players there are, the game will always imply that all 4 possible Player Characters [PC] are on this adventure together! Of course, if you're playing by yourself or a friend, you won't see the other PC's at all the rest of the time, and so this seems completely silly and nonsensical.
SOUND: My last point of the day (and this review is draggin', sorry), is the sound quality. Weapons sound great against the zombie corpses, zombie sounds pretty nice (and some, like the Infected, can be especially terrifying). Also, as zombies burn or get electrocuted or throw up, they make pretty convincing noises.
The voice acting is fairly bland in its own right, but to the developers' credit, they made the characters sound how they should (Russians sound... fairly Slavic, the guy from New Orleans sounds like he's from the South, etc.). The problem here is that the voice acting lines repeat themselves quite a bit. If you walk into a room, for example, a character is likely to say something along the lines of, "OOooh I hope this is all over soon!" Take two steps outside their "voice trigger range" and they're gonna repeat it again. I was on an escort quest, and the character we were escorting repeated the same line a dozen times as we made progress through the mission.
SUMMARY: ALL IN ALL, Dead Island is a fairly bland game, with an illusion of exploration of (empty) territory and a choice of a vast multitude of (mostly useless) weapons, but I would say that a purchase could be justifiable if you're playing with a friend or two and enjoy zombies. Otherwise, stay as far away from this as possible.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
Completed game last night. It was interesting - both the story and the bugs. I did preorder through Steam and had the funky version on release day. I deleted all the saves and started fresh 3 days after release. Played as the male quarterback (name I forgot) thats has throwing as his "special skill". Therein lies the most frustrating bug - some thrown objects disappear! Is it through the floor? Just vanishing? Not sure. I had just modded a high level military machete (purple) with the Ol'Smokey mod that shocks. I had it all of 2 minutes. First zombie I attacked with it (threw it) - IT WAS GONE!
I will be playing again, started a new charachter last night - the weapons girl. This time I plan to check evey nook and cranny on the island. I will also be shooting, not throwing my weapons!
Worth getting when it's $30 in my opinion.
38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2011
If you're going to get Dead Island, you'll most certainly be satisfied. I am not at all a Zombie genre fan, I have always thought it was just a dull feeling playing those type of games. I was a bit worried about this at first, looking at it as another dull zombie title that would leave me un-satisfied, but boy was I completely wrong. First off the game on PC is just visually breath taking to look at, everything is rendered just perfectly. It is not only breathe taking visually, but the RPG elements, as well as the character involvement, Controls, Sound and even the storyline are just completely insane....This is definitely a zombie title done right.
You'll get that occasional "OH CRAP!, I didn't even know that zombie was there" moments, it gets you all pumped up but yet also makes you cautious of your surroundings in the game. It captures your attention, and keeps you interested through the whole thing. You must help people out by doing missions, gather health drinks and foods after an attack to keep you alive, you must find ways to manage and equip weapons, as well as upgrading your character to become stronger and more resistant... Yet you are limited, but you must do anything and everything in your power to bring down them zombies....It is just an all out fun fest. The game is pretty lengthy, so you will be getting your money's worth on this one, not only that...you can join up with friends, as well as join up with people that are nearby in the game levels.
I was able to get this for $39.99 on Amazon's Digital Download, and that alone just makes it a steal....You just can't go wrong by purchasing Dead Island, it is worth every penny...Trust me
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2011
This is *THE* zombie-killing game to get. It's what Dead Rising should've been years ago, it's fun, brutal.. and smooth.
This game runs like a dream on a mid-range system, i5 750 + GTX 460 and it runs 60fps MAXED out @ 1920x1200, almost never hiccups (except in areas with thick particle steam). And not only does it run well, it looks nice too. It's a little like Just Cause 2 in terms of "bloominess," but it's fitting and overall the game looks beautiful.
Lots of weapons, the character classes add replay value. Combat is smooth & the way you move feels real. Lots of quests, side-quests, large freeroam world.. what more should I say?
Overall, this game is one of the most solid zombie titles I've seen, I'd be inclined to call it a better game than Left 4 Dead 1/2 but that's probably just because I've played them so many times. The game had some launch problems on steam (corrupt saves if you played right away then updated), but I think that's all been hammered out now for smooth sailing.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
I took the advice of a reviewer here on Amazon to buy it with a friend and he's spot-on about it. It was truly enjoyable playing with a friend or two as it gets quite boring, repetitive and can get overwhelming playing on single player mode.
What's the difference you say?
Single player - do a flying kick, knock down zombie, beat him up while watching your own back cautiously, rinse...repeat...while doing the quest.
Coop - do a flying kick, happily knock down a zombie and beat him up knowing your friend's got your back. Then get a surprise of more zombies popping up to grab you and you're thinking where in the world is your mate and then realize he slipped and fell somewhere high and needs help. You frantically break-free, go to his rescue, and try to do a running drop kick on the zombie that's near him only to realize it was a high level thug that won't just fall down from a simple drop kick. Gives a whirl at you and sends you flying into a pool. And both of you end up dying and saying "oh no...my hard earned money!" - Edge of the seat moments you'll enjoy playing with some friends.
Some elements have been borrowed from Left 4 Dead series - like 4 players can play at the same time for coop. Let's you revive a "downed" friend if you got some extra medkits with you. Some "uncommon" infected have some additional skills and harder to kill unlike the other common zombies that just grab and bite you. And the way point is highlighted to you on the map depending on the quest (though Left 4 dead doesn't have a map - they kind of improve it in this game).
Now for the shining difference - each of the 4 characters in the game has his/her own specialized skills and they can level up to unlock their specific skill tree. Like Xian for example, she's especially efficient to use sharp weapons which gives extra damage instead of using other weapon types. And she can run faster than the other characters but she cannot take a beating.
Another unique feature of the game is the "Fury mode". If your rage meter is full (it fills up every time you kill a zombie), you can unleash your "Fury". Reminds me of "Limit Break" in FF7 and "Rage Meter" in Samurai Showdown. When in Fury mode, your character flashes (as seen by your teammates), your vision changes, and your weapon changes specific to your character and you can do "special attacks" for a limited time and do massive damage. You can literally clear a whole room of zombies alone with this move though it doesn't make you invulnerable.
Also a nice touch is the "weapons mod". If you get a blue print to mod a weapon and the necessary required parts, you can...well...mod your weapons (ala FallOut 3)! Make a machete have the ability to cut and electrocute zombies, or have that baseball bat spiked with nails for additional painful damage.
Graphics are awesome. Sound is great. But it is all hampered with....BUGS!
Now, on to the bad side of the game...
Graphics - They're pretty good! The island looks awesome and refreshing you'd want to live in there. It's the occasional things (though forgiving...sometimes!) that may leave you shaking your head - like for an instance, you know there's zombies behind that door as you can see their arms trying to grab you...through a closed unbroken door! And sometimes, a zombie can get into a closed door! Wow!
Sound - They're good as some reviewers say. But if your playing Multiplayer and both of your mates are in the same area they activate the quest with the same guy, you will hear an echo of what that quest giver is saying but have a 1-2 second lag. It doesn't affect the game but it's annoying.
Multiplayer - The best to play in multiplayer, but has it's own quirk. Sometimes you won't see your friend's avatar even if he is standing there in front of you and trying to initiate a trade. Also when your friend opens the doors, in your view - the doors are still closed. There seems to be something like a latency problem where both of your games are not getting synchronized with one another. This doesn't usually happen however. But if it does, it's pretty annoying and time consuming to drop out and restart from the last checkpoint.
Aside from that, we get the occasion game crashing, getting stuck at one particular area where you can't move, can't leave a mounted gun after having fun with it, can't get the weapon back you've thrown at a zombie sometimes, and losing some weapons when you get disconnected abruptly by an unknown force. Which really isn't forgiving.
Without these bugs, it could have been a really great addicting game. Some reviewers say the quests are stupid because some quest givers wants you to retrieve a necklace and wine. In my opinion, it does give this game another dimension as some people in the world are indeed like that in reality. So yes, the quests and circumstances in this game can be real - EXCEPT THE FOLLOWING:
- Zombies carrying deodorants.
- You won't glow when your angry and do incredible attacks.
- Trash cans don't have something useful in them like phones, full charged batteries, bleach and car parts!
- People won't auto-equip Alcohol and stupidly drinking it accidentally while fighting zombies (I hate this bug the most!).
- CPUs won't have large batteries in them.
- Beer Pubs/Bars won't have a lot of energy drinks lying around. (Are people getting drunk up on this game in energy drinks?!)
- Supermarket filled with useless stuffs. (except for a lot of energy drinks, and...Alcohol in the ice cream freezer?)
- And literally driving a pick-up truck into the sea from beach to beach (All pick-up trucks should be like this in reality!).
Summary: It's a (sometimes) scary and fun game especially with a friend that will add on to the "unpredictability" of any repetitive quest (like throwing a molotov onto a group of zombies only to suddenly realize that your friend is in there). Some bugs are funny. Some bugs are unforgivable, but the shining things in the game makes up for them.
Conclusion: Buy it and play with a friend or two...or three. (If you can forgive the bugs in this game).
Recommendation: Buy it when on sale!
CPU: AMD FX 6100 (3.30 GHz)
Memory: 4 GB
OS: Windows 7 - 64 bit
Video: ATI 6800
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2011
"Dead Island" is a new computer game from Deep Silver. I purchase my game through 'Steam'. It took 15 hours to download and retailed at $49 at that time.
The game is an tropical island zombie stomp where you can either play single or 4 player co-op. The game style is that of a FPS with RPG upgrades to skills, weapons and health.
1.) stunning graphics with smooth animation...never had a single crash to desktop and only the rarest of momentary slowdowns (usually when my computer decided to do something else).
2.) a tense and engrossing main mission (get off the island) plus many side missions that give you the opportunity to explore the lush world of this tropical island and at the same time earn cash, XPs, modifications for weapons (a real must!) and find new and better weapons.
3.) an intriguing game as a single person but it's the 4 player co-op that this game shows its stuff.
3.a) CO-OP...you can play with friends or a set of random players. If you opt for random, the game matches your skill level AND area of action with the players that are comparable to your skill and location. So your not going to end up with one player at level 23 and another at 6. About the only thing impossible to take into account in setting up a random player game is how the 4 players wish to play the game...some may want to play straight MAIN mission while others may wish to play the side missions and explore for goodies. So it's possible to have a random group with two different ideas as to how they want to proceed in the game. If this happens, you might be better off finding a new set of players for random co-op.
3.b) SINGLE PLAYER...if you are playing single but hit a tough section you can join a co-op in the area your in and get help. The really good thing is that any bonuses (money, guns, XPs etc.) you get while playing co-op are transferred back with you when you switch back to single player again.
4.) some really interesting puzzles...not all enemies need be killed (especially if you low on health or weapons)...explore for ways around if your situation warrants.
5.) decent replay value...at the beginning you can choose between 4 players as your avatar...each with different specialty skills and attributes. Also you may want to play the first time around concentrating on the main mission and then a second time by doing more exploring.
6.) a huge variety of weapons with available mods. Later in the game it's almost impossible to proceed without some specially modified weapons.
7.) vehicles for traveling AND a quick travel system allowing you (once you've visited an area) to be transported from one place to another without having to physically retrace your steps...HUGE timesaving feature.
8.) your active quest is shown in a mini-map at the bottom of the screen giving you directions. An absolute must as the island is huge and some quest quite long.
About my only complaint was that there was no instructions with the downloaded version from Steam. Early on I was puzzled, for example, as to how to open some doors, throw weapons etc. Also there was little info on how to join a co-op game. Of course these problems were all eventually quickly learned through experience, but were frustrating when starting out.
Simply a great game. An addictive FPS with RPG upgrade qualities. Playable as a single player or with 4 friends OR random players in co-op.
Much, much better than I'd hoped. 5 Stars
18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Dead Island is a first person shooter with RPG sensibilities. Think, as others have pointed out, a combination of Borderlands and Left For Dead. There are a lot of similarities with Borderlands in the way weapons, quests, and skills are organized. This is one big open sand box to play in, where the main storyline and lots of sub-stories combine to form quite a plot of treasure hunting, leveling up, and "helping others".
I currently am playing as Xian Mei, who has serious knife and sharp object skills. The fight sequences are super fun, with visceral and gory killing. Early on, you find out that kicking and punching can be effective methods for moving people away from you or even giving enough damage to kill them. Later, and as your weapons get a bit more powerful and durable, you can find ways to inflict critical damage in as little as one blow. Xian Mei's "rage" skill is "go psycho" with a sharp object. It works pretty well most of the time.
The zombies are just about right in speed, attention level, and swarming. You can be pleasantly surprised when things seem out of control.
There is crafting in Dead Island. Collect EVERYTHING. You may need it to make something really fun later on. There does not seem to be a limit to the stuff you can collect, but there are only a limited number of (expandable) weapon slots. As for equipping slots, there are some minor annoyances in changing weapons, notably when you pick up something new. Pick up some booze and all of a sudden you are drinking and getting woozy from it going into a slot. I would prefer a simple selection and a way to rotate certain weapons on the fly. Additionally, weapons have different durability settings and repairs are required.
The reward system is very good, with relatively easy cash to be found and gained, along with leveling up on a regular basis. Leveling provides multiple skill trees and while I have not made it much past the second or third level on a couple, the skills are useful and do work as they indicate. Skill trees are generally categorized under "Rage", Combat or Weapons Skills, and Survival.
If I had a wish it would be that the vehicles drove like they did on Borderlands. The WASD keyboard functions are not as simple as pointing with a mouse and driving forward and backwards with the W and S keys. The Borderlands mouse driven vehicle control was superior to anything done in the past and made for some real fun in running things down. I have not tried driving with an Xbox controller yet, maybe that will improve the feel.
The graphics are rich on the computers I have tried this game on. An Asus G53JW equipped with a Nvidia GTX-460M and an Alienware M11X with a Nvidia GT540M. The Asus runs a bit higher FPS, but both systems can keep up just fine. Initial release problems seem to have been resolved pretty quickly by the developer.
Dead Island is a highly addictive visceral game with some real fun at times. Highly recommended if you liked Borderlands!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2011
The Title says it all. So many quests and characters to meet.
Ammunition is very rare, so conserve it!
Huge world to explore, Beautiful graphics for a DX9 game.
only issue for me.
I have two AMD Radeon 6850's crossfired at the moment and I'm recieving negative frames per second.
This has only happened in one other game(BBC2), so its definatly not a power supply problem.
2 video cards give me around 65-70 FPS
1 Card gives me 110-125 FPS.
Hopefully a new driver from AMD or a patch from the developers will solve this problem.
OVERALL: HOURS AND HOURS OF ZOMBIE KILLING FUN!
27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
I remember clearly being blown away by the trailer for this game. While I didn't expect the actual game to resemble a wholly separate, CGI-rendered short film, I was hopeful that the game itself would have the very strong emotional component of great personal loss and sacrifice. I was also quite excited to hear that the game play would rely on the player using whatever objects they could find to defend themselves and that the whole island would be a fully explorable environment.
As many found out, that was NOT the case. It was also not the worst thing to be discovered.
It's true that my anticipation and expectations were high. Whose wouldn't be after that amazing trailer? A very good friend of mine had bought me a copy via Steam and sent it to me as a gift about a week ago. He was also quite excited about the prospect of this game as we'd both enjoyed many hours of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Granted, these are fairly different games within the same genre, but we love co-op online play.
When I first started the game up I already got a bad feeling. The graphics were just not very impressive and the presentation of the main character as seen through the player's POV was quite off-putting. Apparently, I'm at a beautiful, tropical resort acting like a drunken boor. Pardon me, game programmers, but I'm not an alcoholic, nor do I become a loud, sloppy idiot if I've had a drink or two. I'm four decades into this life and I learned a long time ago the dangers of overindulgence, and I especially know not to go grabbing at total strangers. This assumption on the part of the game programmers that the gamer audience that they're targeting would find this funny is quite unpleasant. It's also quite a sad commentary on any gamers who like it as well. "Hey! Are you a young, shallow narcissist who'd like to transform your frustration at a lack of interested sexual partners into a sadistic, blood-spattered zombie head-crushing bonanza?! "Dead Island" is your game!!"
Aside from this psychologically disturbing characterization of who would actually enjoy playing this game, let's get on to the actual game play. You have two objectives when you begin: pick up items from luggage and closets and eventually escape from the hotel in which you find yourself. Riffling through stuff looking for things is a meat-and-potatoes staple of gaming. That's all good, even though you won't get to use a lot of the stuff you find for quite awhile. Getting out of the hotel is fairly easy as well. However, the problems begin soon after, and IMHO, they are major ones.
- You walk everywhere, but compared to every other game I've played the walking speed feels really slow, as if the hangover from the night before (in the opening cinematic) has permanently slowed the player down. It feels like you're trying to walk through a swimming pool filled with pancake syrup. The slow walk speed quickly makes it tedious to explore as you constantly feel like you should be moving faster. It also makes combat an often pyrrhic experience since you don't feel like you can dodge certain zombie attacks with the proper haste. Thugs, a particular type of infected, become a very tiresome exercise in dodge-and-hit, dodge-and-hit, rinse, repeat. That may be the appropriate strategy, but it gets repetitive REALLY fast. Running can only be activated while you are moving, and it cannot be permanently toggled. Furthermore, running drains your stamina bar VERY quickly, far more quickly than if I was actually running. I'm not a marathon man or even a regular jogger, but I know I can go further than about 100 yards before I'm totally out of breath and have to stop!
- The graphics are fuzzy and simplistic. For a game that tries to represent a realistic tropical resort, it looks and feels almost like a high-res cartoon. There's very little sharpness to the way things are rendered, and the lack of realism undermines the feeling of immediacy, of actually being there in this beautiful place that's overnight been transformed into a hideous abattoir. The lack of color shading plays a big part in this, as there doesn't seem to be much variation in the way colors are presented. Objects in dark or light environments look pretty much the same. The lighting is also overwhelmingly uniform, so being inside and outside doesn't feel different, which makes the transition feel less realistic.
- The voice acting is terrible. I'm an aspiring voice actor myself, and the vocal tracks in this game are so lazy I'd bet they were all done in one take. There are lots of NPC's to talk to, but none of them are interesting to listen to nor do they suggest any individual personality. Most of them just sit around, whining and moaning and asking you for help and you're supposed to volunteer despite the fact that you don't know any of them. Why should I care about your necklace?! Did you happen to bring a shotgun in your luggage? Now THAT'S something I might risk my neck for!
- The game menus are very poorly designed. I've played a LOT of PC and console games over the years and I've never encountered an interface that was so clumsy and infuriating. In particular, selecting weapons from your inventory and placing them on your belt takes more steps than necessary and there's no click-and-drag action. I had to call my friend who bought me the game just to figure out how add a weapon from my inventory into one of the weapon slots! The game provides NO hints on how to do it.The problem of managing the weapons that you're carrying also totally confounded me. At one point during play, my weapon failed and even though I had not equipped it, I started drinking a bottle of booze I'd picked up. Furthermore, you can carry a TON of items on your person, but for the first few character levels you can only carry two weapons on your belt at any one time. Again, an inventory system that makes no sense whatsoever.
- The default mouse settings is WAY too sensitive. One touch and your view almost does a 360! The problem continues in that even after you adjust the settings in-game, the mouse speed in the menu draaaaaaaags. I got irritated very quickly with having to repeatedly drag my mouse across my desk just to get from one side of the menu screen to the other. While the game has only been out for two months, it's inexcusable to me that something so endemic to easy navigation has not been fixed yet.
- The targeting function is also very sloppy and inaccurate. The reticle does a LOT of sliding around, even when it turns red to indicate a successful hit. It seems like they wanted to the reticle to auto-aim for the player, but the problem is that it does it too much. If the player moves a tiny bit, the reticle continues to slide around so you never feel sure of your target. You have to be motionless to get a good bead, and the precious time it takes you to position your character for this gives the other zombies ample time to shamble up and take a bite out of you. This is where some people's interpretation of "challenging" becomes pure frustration for me.
- Weapon durability makes no sense. Crowbars wear out after a dozen zombies?! Are you kidding me? Their skulls aren't made of titanium! How is it that these half-rotten corpses are so resistant to damage from objects that are FAR more dense and durable than human flesh and bone? While I understand the appeal of a real world application of weapon degradation, the ones you encounter in this game wear out very quickly. I find this to be extraordinarily unrealistic, and it defeats the whole idea of applying such a design principle in the first place. Furthermore, why is every weapon you find in the beginning already half broken? Every baseball bat I've ever encountered in my life would be able to crack more than a half dozen zombie skulls. I know that if my toolbox contained a crowbar, it would very likely be the only one I ever had for the rest of my life, regardless of how often I used it. Having to constantly worry about whether your POS weapon is going to give out on you while dealing with a crowd of zombies doesn't make the game more fun, it just makes it more stressful. Stress does not entertain me.
- When you die, for some inexplicable reason you lose some of your money. These zombies aren't often able to tell when a table is blocking their progress towards my tasty flesh, so why would they give a damn about robbing my corpse? It's a stupid, useless penalty that only forces you to spend more time rifling through luggage rather than exploring.
- No tutorial. Granted, there aren't too many differences in some of the core functions of this game, however they are not intuitive. There are a few messages that pop up in-game, but they disappear quicker than they can be read, and there are none in the menu screens. A full tutorial walking the player through how to move, fight and navigate the game menus would have gone a LONG way towards cooling my displeasure over some of the game's other drawbacks. Furthermore, since this game is available as a download, you don't even get a manual to refer to!
I've tried to play this game at least a half dozen times, and I managed to make it to the lifeguard station and attempt a few of the sidequests. However, it was a mostly dispiriting and unengaging experience. There's no real sense of fear, desperation or paranoia. I think part of the reason is that the style of game play does not have the immediacy that it needs in order to really draw the player into the environment. I played for quite a few game hours, and I suddenly noticed that the weather never changed. The sun never set. The static, full-bore sunshine doesn't create a sense that the environment is real, and further detaches the player mentally from feeling like they are trapped in paradise.
While the idea of waking up to a zombiepocalyps on an beautiful tropical island with only the contents of the immediate surroundings to keep you alive sounds fantastic, "Dead Island" fails in almost every way to make that experience one filled with dread, desperation and sudden, bloody bursts of genuine horror. Instead it feels boring, confusing and frustrating in its tedious repetition.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
I didn't realize that this would need to be accessed via Steam and I tried to be nit-picky about what games I purchase. I'm deployed out in Afghanistan so the internet out here is complete garbage (just enough for facebook and this reivew). When I got the game and it started updating Steam and installing though it as well I just said "#$%!" Besides the fact that the update took ages, I instantly looked online to see if I could play this without a connection. The answer? Yes. The only thing people need to worry about is logging into Steam but once you set your Steam to offline mode, you can tote this anywhere and I play it as long as Steam is up. Now, this can suck but because you have to have an online connection to access Steam but if you're the type to keep it running in the background like myself, you won't have issues with it.
Dead Island has had an update that fixes a lot of bugs and issues players had problems with and I was happy to see when I installed this game that an update was being downloaded simply because I knew this game had attention from the development team.
SO WHY SHOULD I BUY THIS GAME?
1.) It's zombies and that's awesome.
2.) The game is optimized well and can run on a pretty standard computer (mine's not high-tech)
3.) Xbox 360 controller settings if you prefer to operate that way
4.) Fantastic graphics, gore and FX.
5.) Decent story
6.) Full-open world
7.) Fun combat and world exploration similar to Bioshock
8.) It gets updated often
9.) 4-player co-op
10.) Over 100 hours of gameplay
WHAT COULD STEER ME AWAY?
1.) You have to access Steam to play whether it's online or offline.
2.) The RPG style elements like hit point combat system might steer away action-driven players
3.) Gender-locked playing styles
4.) Playing styles, you can't be universally awesome
5.) Combat bugs and other worldy glitches
Overall, the game has nice presentation and it's enough to keep zombie fans happy. Besides the Steam issue and some of the features the game doesn't offer, if you can push aside your pickiness on what sex you want to be or play style, you will thoroughly enjoy this game for the $30 it's worth. There's so much to do and so much to find you can spend endless hours in a zombie rampage on a great-looking island and kick ass with a smile on your face.