Saturday, October 15, 2011

Game Review: Dead Island

Like most people, I bought this game not because I knew what it would be like, but for one reason only-the incredibly awesome but sad trailer.

Yeah, that one *sniff*.

So how does the actual game measure up? Well, the graphics are detailed and stunning, the enemies are tough and also decent, there is plenty of environment to explore and the voice acting is pretty good. 

So why am I still scratching my head and not thinking this is a good game?

The player can start as one of four different characters, each one a different personality and different skill sets. In the cutscenes all four players are working together. Considering they either didn’t know each other or hated each other in the beginning, they are working together...because, um...because! And they are all immune to the zombie, because!

So why don’t I like this game? One thing that hurts this game considerably is the lack of a tutorial system in the beginning. I spent an embarrassing long time trying to follow an objective, when I realized I was following a compass direction. Secondly, it’s very long-probably two or three times longer than other games I’ve bought recently. The enemies are also numerous and respawn. A lot. And if the players upgrade, the zombies upgrade with you. You might think that it’s natural to have that in a zombie game, but it is a little frustrating to have a player is fully armed with all sorts of cool abilities, only to die three seconds later from one elbow from a zombie. Actually it’s more than frustrating-both myself and my significant other quit playing a couple of times due to the steep difficulty curve. I strongly recommend running through some sections (especially the city) instead of trying to tackle every single enemy that comes your way.

You might have noticed I haven’t said much about the plot., it’s a zombie story, so what do you expect? There are some clich├ęs here and there especially towards the end, and I don’t think parts of it are developed as well as they could have, especially in the jungle section. I also find it odd that the only people who are immune to the virus are not locked away in a vault somewhere having testing done of them, instead of doing every side mission imaginable in a hostile world where they can still easily die. And shockingly when they do go to a lab the scientist does not develop a cure by sampling their blood, but instead by the players kidnapping some native girl (and that in itself really does not go well).

Final Grade: 3 1/2 out of 5. A rich resort world that’s pretty to look at, but the annoying difficulty makes it tough to stick around. Fallout 3 mastered this a lot better.

Every time I died, I woke up with a surprisingly lighter wallet. What, are the zombies hard up on cash?  

1 comment:

Chris Hewson said...

Well zombies usually tend to roll that way. It's hard for me to even go to the store without being hassled by roving gangs of the undead light on cash.

Have you heard of the planned-but-cancelled City of the Dead game? That one sounds pretty similiar to Dead Island, albeit almost made with much more notable names attached.