Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dead Island Review

Dead Island is a FPS Zombie game that totally kicks all sorts of ass. It's also super fucking hard to play on your own...which I did. Because I'm insane like that. And have no friends. That wanted to play it with me. Because they suck.


"Dead Island" by Deep Silver for the XBOX360, 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 (i.e. soccer) star Logan.

I played as badass Sam B, because I'm awesome like that, and I love playing a brawler. 

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 minor RPG elements (missions/quests and experience point type mechanics for skills) 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. No, really, it's fucking scary to have someone with that much bareskin running at you and trying to bite your face off.

Overall the gameplay 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, well, except getting into a truck and running them over. Because man, was that fun! (What? Don't look at me like that, it's just a game.)

While there is an option for single 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 cutscenes for each of the characters, and gameplay that catered to whatever character you were playing.

It was weird 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, but you really, really, really don't want to do that. Because I did. And let me tell you, it's a lot harder. LIKE A LOT FUCKING HARDER. As in, you will DIE a lot. Especially in the city level because holy shit that place is crawling with zombies that run screaming after you and want you to die.

And to be honest, I was surprised to find the RPG like elements in the gameplay, as I had originally thought that it was going to be a straight FPS game.

You can accept or decline quests, but that is the limit to NPC interaction. It's not a straight up RPG where you get to chat with people about the weather or their missing aunt's cat. Nope. Not at all.

Yes. Accept All the QUESTS! 

During my playthrough, I really didn't see the need to decline a single side mission. Boy did I rack up the experience points, and skills, as a result. Because I'm smart like that. 😝

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.

Be sure to use your 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%.

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. Because I couldn't, and took 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 that hellhole. Holy shit did I die. I should've kept count, so I could make a cute/clever death graph for you guys, but I didn't think of that.

Here's some helpful tips on how to play this "Dead Island" BY YOURSELF, because you have no friends that want to play it with you, like I did...what a bunch of losers. Scared of playing zombies games. Sheesh. 

Anyways here's what to do:

Keep as many molotov cocktails 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. Yes. That's right. THROW YOUR DAMN WEAPONS AT THOSE FUCKERS. Even the guns. I'm serious. Throw them all, then pick them back up and keep on throwing them at those assholes until the mini-boss is dead.

Sam B is about to smack a bitch down! 

The Ram is hard to beat until you observe it's fighting pattern, then it's just a matter of waiting for it to charge towards, you, running the fuck out of the way, and hitting it in the back.

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. Those are the ones that explode. You can hear them coming. They puff up and go BOOM! And kill you and anything else in close proximity. You can use them to strategically clear out an area by picking them off at a distance. Just shoot them and wait for them to do their thang, then run in and take out any surviving undead.


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. Seriously, I'm not kidding. DON'T STOP on the street to get a look around. Get up high, make sure you're not followed or spotted and look around from there.

Vehicular Manslaughter of Zombies is encouraged.

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

"Dead Island" is a fun FPS zombie game that isn't a half-baked Call of Duty rip off. It's story and gameplay are fresh, and my God are the graphics beautiful. Such pretty undead monsters to eat your face!

The only downside is that after the city, the gameplay gets rather repetitive until you get to the last level in the prison. But hey, that's my only complaint, so you know that this is a fantastic game. Go play it! With friends. Yeah...

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