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"A schlocky, gruesomely fun action role-playing game awaits you on Dead Island. Bring three friends." -Gamespot.com
"Even when blasting through the main quest line and ignoring the many, many side quests, it’s easy to rack up 25-30 hours, and the whole thing is playable with a friend in co-op. "- PCGamer.com
Terror. Violence. Madness. Bedlam. A holiday paradise gone mad. A tropical island turns into total chaos after a mysterious zombie outbreak. Cut off from the rest of the world, the player’s only chance to survive is to fight to the death and find a way to escape from the island.
Dead Island combines first-person action with a heavy focus on melee combat, character development and customization of a vast array of weapons. All of these gameplay features are presented in a dark story inspired by classic zombie movies with a gritty and engrossing campaign that can be played with up to four players in co-op mode.
Set in an open world tropical island, hordes of different festering zombies await players around every corner while they embark on a variety of thrilling missions through the holiday resort. With firearms and ammunition being scarce the player must rely on utilizing found items as weapons for selfdefense and fight off zombie hordes in intense melee combat. A diverse range of items can be collected and will later serve to transform the player’s ordinary makeshift weapons into serious instruments of destruction.
In addition to satisfying even the most bloodthirsty action fan’s fantasy, Dead Island also features role-playing elements which allow the player to develop one of the game’s unique character classes according to their preferences, all the while learning new skills and fresh tactics during their journey through the perilous environments of the island. What’s more, anytime during a game up to four players can seamlessly join together and experience the intense combat and immersive story with cooperative gameplay.
With the all-new Chrome Engine 5 powering Dead Island, the game will use the latest instalment of Techland’s acclaimed proprietary game engine, allowing the player to experience the tropical island paradise in graphical splendour with diverse environments like lush forests and detailed city environments.
First-person melee combat
Set on an gorgeous open world tropical island
RPG elements for character development
Hordes of gruesome zombies
If you have friends and like zombies go for itKilly47 | May 11, 2013 | See all Killy47's reviews »
Dead Island is a decent game for anyone willing to overlook it's many flaws. It's buggy, a little clunky at times but at the same time it can be quite nice on the eyes and satisfying. Gameplay is smooth and the game runs well on any decent pc. The customisation system is fun even if it's unbalanced. If you manage to convince some friends to join you it can be really awesome. After all it's zombies on a paradise island...
And if you buy it don't forget to check the Dead Island Helper tool. you will thank me later ;)
A combination of everything I want and Everything I hateHMKuk | May 8, 2013 | See all HMKuk's reviews »
Dead Island's first trailer was an excellent marketing plan - artistic, moving, enthralling and stimulating. I wanted to see how that game played and damn did I want to kill the zombies.
In reality, Dead Island is an extremely good, well made, console FPS/Slasher with absolutely no artistic content or emotionally moving pieces beyond "A character dies."
It handles like it was designed for consoles and ported poorly. PC players will find the controls lacking and the field of view limiting. It doesn't encourage different playthroughs or styles - Purna is absolutely intolerable to play. One guy can throw knifes at an extremely high rate and instantly kill anything but the toughest special enemies and have the thrown weapon instantly returned to his hand as his special attack. Purna gets six shots with a revolver with magic ammo that appears from nowhere. That's it.
It was enjoyable, played with friends it is excellent - the gore is fantastic (if a bit too much at times), the zombies behave well and it can be a truly scary game at times. However, that trailer both hyped it up and ruined it. It simply doesn't have the charm or the art of storytelling that it did.
Pros - Excellent Zombie behaviour, excellent zombie dismemberment, good weapon variety, good environments, good enemy variety, good balance - a player of 100 hours can die to a few zombies if they are unlucky just like a player 10mins in.
Cons - No significantly moving or involving storyline ("Escape the island"), no real replayability, extremely limited use of firearms due to ammo limitations, console port controls and interface.
Brutal Zombie Killing on a Beautiful Resort IslandBrumbek | May 4, 2013 | See all Brumbek's reviews »
Dead Island is a sort of tropical vacation simulator mixed with violent zombie slayer mixed with character progression and loot systems. It is something you just can’t find anywhere else. Think L4D meets Dead Rising meets Borderlands meets Far Cry.
Regarding the environment, it delivers a rich world to explore with details everywhere. A deserted towel on a beach with a lunch pail lets your imagination ponder what happened. A trail of blood leading to cans of food next to a corpse lets you wonder if the deceased was trying to help others or merely escape alone.
Greatly aiding Dead Islands immersion are crisp ambient sounds. Gusty winds, smooth waterfalls, lush jungle wildlife, and much more bring the locations to life. Combine that with great dynamic shadows from tree canopies and tense shadows in dark hallways. Graphically, Dead Island is a very nice looking game even in 2013. The enemy animations are smooth, the textures are detailed, and the visual effects are solid. The music is also very atmospheric, playing at key scenes and at safe locations, building up a great sense of haunting despair mixed with a tinge of hopefulness.
On the gameplay side, you basically do one thing: utterly decimate zombie hordes. What makes killing zombies so compelling is the absolutely incredible dynamic zombie damage system. You will rip flesh apart, watch zombies burn and melt before your eyes, hack off limbs that spurt and gurgle, and watch armless zombies fry like bacon. Stellar sound effects for zombies, slashing, hacking, and so on greatly add to the joy of it all.
Moreover, the game has a lot of quality of life features. The penalty for death is refreshingly forgiving. You lose some money but within seconds spawn quite close to where you were as if you never died. Convenient fast travel locations make it quick to hop around finishing quests. No destination is ever more than a few minutes away, which makes all the fetch quests more palatable.
The coop system also deserves special mention, offering a few ingenious ideas. Of note is the truly brilliant coop leveling system where each player sees enemies at his or her level. This works remarkably well, allowing for players of any level to play with each other. The easy drop-in and drop-out system works well. The four playable classes offer slightly different specializations and complement each other just enough to make partying up worthwhile.
The coop system also features an incredibly useful “warp to other players” option whenever one player wishes to start a cutscene or major quest event. This allows one player to go to the quest objective while the others fool about hacking zombies and then merely instantly warp to the quest location when needed. Every coop game needs this.
On the content side, the game offers a solid 25 hours of exploration if you want to see and do it all. The game has four acts, and you can go back and forth freely until the very last segment, which the game warns you about. The devil is in the details, and Dead Island offers a great amount of detailed content. The mini-sandbox locations allow for rewarding exploration with optional areas and quests to find. Hidden chests are also tucked away for the intrepid adventurer. Plus there’s an endless New Game Plus mode which is wonderful for exploring the game again and continuing to level up to the quite high cap of 60.
Dead Island has issues, of course. The movement controls and aiming can be wonky. There’s weird movement acceleration going on. Zombies grab you too frequently. Knocking down doors gets old. The PC version can be tweaked to fix all the aforementioned issues. Use of the Dead Island Helper community tool is essential to fix other issues. There can be dubious hit detection at times. Thug zombies will knock you down many a time despite you not being quite in range, but soon you’ll be destroying them so no worries. The infected fast zombies sometimes run right through your attacks, but most of the time things are fine. Friendly fire with explosives can be unfortunate if playing with careless (or griefing) players. NPC faces and eyes can stare oddly at times, but that’s a minor quibble.
On the coop side, viewing each other’s inventory or stats would have been nice. Proper partner health displays would have been nice too. When playing coop, your partners’ attack, stomp, and open door animations are laughably terrible (you don’t ever see these playing solo), which actually isn’t a big deal and is kind of funny. It is unfortunate item and money pickups usually don’t share in coop, which does create ninja-looting opportunities.
The biggest criticism seems to be that the game is mostly all about slaying zombies over and over and over. Some will find this and the many fetch quests tedious, perhaps. Then again, the game flows quite nicely if you only do the main quests and few optional quests directly on your path. I find the criticism of tedium unfounded for two reasons. First, slashing, chopping, smashing, burning, frying, blowing up, and otherwise horribly murdering zombies is just plain fun. If you don’t enjoy killing zombies, why are you even playing Dead Island? Second, all the fetch quests are entirely optional and really just an excuse to kill more zombies, get sweet loot, and level up.
Ultimately, Dead Island is a satisfying experience for those who love to explore lush environments, build up a character, find sweet loot, and creatively annihilate thousands of zombies. If you look past the flaws, you may find Dead Island to be a unique trip full of great sights, splendid slaughter, and coop camaraderie. For me personally, after exploring the game twice over, I feel like I’ve truly vacationed on Hanoi. I’ve partied hard with Sveti, helped out my good friend Sinamoi, and I’ve brought some sanity to a lot of survivors scattered on the island. Oh, and I’ve ruthlessly terrorized legions of zombies.
PS: the GOTY edition includes two DLCs. First is an Arena location, which is a convenient place to slaughter zombies, unlock challenges, and level up. It’s a nice edition if a bit unremarkable. Second is the 2 to 3 hours Ryder White mini-campaign that gives you more back-story and reveals quite important story details. It is sort of the modern military shooter of Dead Island since leveling up is disabled and the path forward is always quite linear. If you have any interest in the actual story of Dead Island, the White campaign is very much worth playing, although I was glad it only lasted a few hours.
Very satisfying rpgjimsteryo2 | May 3, 2013 | See all jimsteryo2's reviews »
I'd much rather prefer to play a game where you can customize your weapons, where there's tons of side missions, tons of gameplay value, co-op up to 4 people, zombies and open world rather another linear call of duty clone. If you, like me, prefer this also, you won't be disappointed to the least of this breathtaking rpg. This game isn't scary or have a great story, but it does what it's supposed to do...dismembering zombies and blood and gore everywhere. What makes this game ever more great is the co-op because what's more fun than playing a game online with four of your friends?...The only draw back of the game is the missions can get repetitive and can get boring sometimes, but all in all, this is definitely a game you should check out, especially for this low price, you won't regret it.
Meaty combat, open-world funForceflow | April 26, 2013 | See all Forceflow's reviews »
An open world game which is pretty addicting: always playing a little bit longer to get that weapon upgrade, to collect more crafting stuff, ...
Story is forgettable and the quests are all fetch/escort/... - your standard stuff.
The combat is pretty satisfactory - when weapons connect to zombie flesh, it really is fun to fight hordes of the undead.
I had fun with it, sunk a good 25 hours into the main storyline in single-player, and again in co-op. This is one of those games that's mediocre at the baseline, but really gets fun with friends.