Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dead Island Review

The award winning video game Dead Island by Deep Silver for the XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, and the PC takes place on the beautifully rendered tropical island of Banoi in Papua New Guinea. You can play one of four characters; rapper Sam B, former policewoman Xian Mei, bodyguard Purna or retired football star Logan. During the start of the game the PCs discover that they are mysteriously immune to the disease that is ravaging the resort paradise and turning people into undead monstrosities.

Dead Island has RPG elements and gorgeous graphics and sound that really make you feel like you can feel the spray of the ocean on your face and the hot tropical sun on your back. The fact that you are being assaulted by dead people in bikinis and swim trunks makes the atmosphere of the game all the more terrifying.

Overall the game play is pretty smooth, with characters being able to switch out weapons during combat and using healing items. There is nothing more satisfying than lopping off the head of a zombie with a cleaver, other than getting in the truck and running them over.

While there is an option for 1-player, the game is geared towards two or more people playing the game together in co-op mode. I first noticed it when NPCs kept calling me "mates" or "fellas"-- the plural instead of singular. Honestly, I was looking forward to individualized cut-scenes for each of the characters, and game play that catered to whatever character you were playing.  It was disappointing to watch the first cut-scene and realize that you are not alone in your fight against the undead masses, that the other three playable characters are there as well. The back of the box says 1 to 4 players, implying that you can play all on your lonesome. Which you can, it's just a lot harder. If the game needs four players couldn't they have at least put the characters in to fight along side you?

I was surprised to find the RPG like elements in the game play as I had originally thought that it was going to be a first-person shooter game.  You can accept or decline quests--but that is the limit to NPC interaction.
During my play-through, I really didn't see the need to decline a single one, and racked up the experience points, and skills as a result.

There are three skill trees, and the skills themselves are purchased with experience- one skill point per level gained. Which is aggravating when you need a good combination of skills from each tree to be able to survive the grueling pace of non-stop attacks in the City of Moresby.

Now, you are warned about how dangerous the city is. But what they don't tell you is that you really shouldn't go there alone. If you aren't the best gamer in the world, or find yourself dying often, my advice is to return to
the Resort, do some zombie farming to get enough experience points to level up a few times. Then go back to the city. Or... get a friend to play with you. It takes a bit of grit and dogged determination to get through the city level, and I know that I died more than a handful of times in my journey through the city.

Overall, I'd highly recommend Dead Island to any zombie loving gamer out there that likes a good challenge. It is a lovely game to look at and is quite entertaining to play. The levels all have their own atmosphere and dangers to them, which makes beating the game quite the adventure. And recent patches put out by Deep Silver have greatly improved the game by fixing annoying glitches with downloadable code patches put out in September for XBOX 360 and PlayStation and on October 11, 2011 for the PC.

Check out the official website here

Cassie's Tips:

Keep as many moltovs or explosives as you can and only use them on the mini-bosses like the Thug, Ram, Floater and Butcher. Fire takes them out fast. If you find yourself in a pinch without any, just throw all your weapons at them, run up to grab them and keep on throwing them until the mini-boss is dead.

Make at least one of your weapons a flaming weapon. Hit a zombie that has a green gas around it, or one that has been vomited on by a Floater with a flaming weapon and they'll light up like a torch, making killing them
all the more easier.

Shoot a Suicider at long range to avoid damage.

Use skills to toughen up yourself, and your weapons. Weapons become damaged during use so keep an eye on them and repair them often, as it is cheaper to repair a weapon that is only 75% condition than one that is 0%.

When you see the fast-forward icon on a wall in a building, click on it, even if you don't want to do a fast move from one place to another. This way the game will register it, and you can return to it later without having to run all the way there.

Keep moving while you are in the city. Infected people can run up stairs, climb ladders and run across rooftops to attack you from behind.

In some areas, such as a gas station, it's a good idea to clear the area with your vehicle first, then get out of the truck and go about your business. Especially when there is more than one infected running about, screaming like madmen.


  1. If I hadn’t been so impressed the Dead Island trailer so much, I don’t think I would be so excited for the actual. The graphics of the game itself look very good. I am going to put this at the top of my Blockbuster queue list as soon as possible. As a DISH customer/employee, there is only so much you can watch on TV, so Blockbuster Movie Pass helps to change things up. With Blockbuster Movie Pass, I now can rent games and movies through the mail and get access to online content and new channels through DISH.

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