Sun, sand, beautiful women, late night parties and tons of alcohol are some of the things you’d associate with an awesome holiday. Now imagine zombies crashed in on that party, uninvited, eating pretty much everyone around you, beautiful girls included. Would you get real mad and start smashing their skulls in or would you stay locked in your room crying like a little girl at your misfortune? Dead Island encourages you to go in for option A after the undead bust up your holiday at a swanky resort on the fictional island of Banoi.
Dead Island: Reviwed on Video
Dead Island may play out from a first person perspective but it isn’t like the Left 4 Dead (L4D) series. In fact the only thing it shares with L4D is its cannon fodder, the living dead. Dead Island is more reminiscent of Borderlands in its open world approach to gameplay where you could find out what caused the zombie outbreak through the plot or roam around, exploring the resort, undertaking side quests, looting the undead and upgrading your skills. As you level up, the world levels up with you which means you can't be a level 10 character and fight against level 1 zombies because let's face it, that would be boring as hell.
Come at me bro
Dead Island also shares a lot with another first person survival horror game, Condemned, in the form of its first person melee combat system. As opposed to most games that hand you a pistol or shotgun at the outset, Dead Island encourages you to get up close and personal with the undead by restricting you to blunt or sharp objects throughout the first act. While the thought of smashing someone’s skull in with a bat does sound terribly satisfying (and it really is), you need to know that every weapon in this game degrades over a period of time. Thankfully there are workstations spread out all over the island where you can repair or even upgrade these weapons.
Taking a page out of Dead Rising 2, the game even allows you to forge your very own weapons, if you possess its blueprint (rewarded mostly for completing certain quests). Obviously what you can create is limited to the blueprint so you can't create machine guns from sticks and stones. Don’t worry though; you will eventually get your grubby paws on some serious firepower but even then, don’t expect boxes of ammunition lying around since this isn’t Island of Duty. While this may sound like somewhat of a buzzkill, lack of ammunition and dependence on melee combat add a level of intensity to this game not found in most first person titles. Roaming around the island of Banoi alone, even in broad daylight can be a pretty terrifying experience as you could get rushed by the horde in the blink of an eye.
Off with their head
The horde in Dead Island comes in different shapes and sizes. While most of your time will be spent slaughtering run of the mill grunts called Walkers, you’ll come across special infected from time to time. Yes, once again, the comparisons to L4D are inevitable so let’s get that out of the way. You have the bile spewing fat dudes, tanks that can withstand a ton of damage and suicidal zombies that explode upon contact. Sounds familiar right? Taking them down however isn’t much of an issue thanks to the rather large arsenal at your disposal. And let’s say you aren’t in the mood to dance with the undead, you can simply sneak by a group of zombies or try and outrun them. In that respect I like the fact that the game doesn’t shove battles down your throat.