October 17, 2011

Dead Island

Dead Island Logo
This title has had tons of pub­lic­i­ty and hype built via the inter­net and with a lot of hype comes a lot of high expec­ta­tions. Dead Island failed in no way to deliv­er. Dead Island brings all the fun of destroy­ing zom­bie hordes with the abil­i­ty to cre­ate and mod­i­fy your own arse­nal of weapons and skills. In this review I will be going over the pro, the cons, and the down­right awe­some­ness of this release.
Let’s start with the bad.
Graph­i­cal­ly speak­ing, the ter­rain is some­what spec­tac­u­lar, I know that seems like a good, but where the ter­rain looks good oth­er aspects lack. Pri­mar­i­ly the zom­bies them­selves and the vehi­cles are a bit sim­ple. For a game this far into the graph­i­cal­ly amaz­ing gen­er­a­tion that we game, this point can­not be over­looked. I believe that the devel­op­ers had been using a plat­form with lack­lus­ter per­for­mance so as to make the game viable on a large array of sys­tems and the only way to keep size small they did­n’t want to make a mul­ti­tude of dif­fer­ent tex­ture pack­ages for each indi­vid­ual zom­bie. More on this in the good sec­tion as it ties with a great aspect.

The bad also con­tin­ues with a bit of a bug PC ver­sion wide. The gam­ma adjust­ment set­ting for the game is off by a long shot mak­ing peo­ple play the game with a severe­ly over sat­u­rat­ed effect. Leav­ing the gam­ma default makes some parts of the game a bit too dark but quells the sat­u­ra­tion effect dras­ti­cal­ly. This may be a bit of a hin­drance for PC folk, how­ev­er, it does not seem to affect peo­ple run­ning Dead Island on con­soles as bad.

The last bad is a bit from play­er error but it should not be this super­flu­ous in a per­sis­tent envi­ron­ment. When you throw a weapon at an ene­my and the weapon lays on the ground after its use­ful­ness has been employed, if you die… the weapon is lost for­ev­er as the area “resets”. In a game where you are able to throw any and every­thing you can pick up why would you employ this fea­ture? Ok, maybe I am not think­ing with­in nor­mal bound­aries here but to be fair one of the Char­ac­ters is a Thrown Weapons Spe­cial­ist. If you throw a weapon you maxed out in upgrades and was a very rare find and you hap­pen to back too far away or die, you have just com­plete­ly lost your pri­ma­ry hard­ware for defeat­ing ene­mies. This may not be a big deal in the ear­ly game but lat­er it becomes a bit of a big deal as weapons can cost a lot of mon­ey.
Now on to the good, and for every bad I can name at least 10 good aspects. That is a pret­ty good ratio if I do say so. First and fore­most, the envi­ron­ment, I find that the world itself is beyond beau­ti­ful. There are a ton of wind­ing path­ways and back alleys. There is always at least two ways of reach­ing your des­ti­na­tion, if not more. With that being said, you need a great graph­ics proces­sor to real­ly enjoy the vast beau­ty that is Dead Island. With max set­tings the game looks almost like a win­dow to the out­side and that alone is worth the invest­ment. Even on the low­est set­tings the game is graph­i­cal­ly very impres­sive as it only drowns out some foliage and oth­er non action ori­ent­ed items.
With this world being as big as it is you need a vari­ety of ene­mies and with Dead Island it is deliv­ered it ways oth­er imag­ined. In oth­er games where the world is rather large you find that many of the ene­mies are just a recol­ored or reskinned hatch­ling of a low lev­el mob. Not here, there are so many dif­fer­ent ene­mies that just walk­ing through the game you would think it almost a real­i­ty to have so many “peo­ple” run­ning around. With this aspect comes the fact that you can­not reskin each mob to reflect mul­ti­ple lev­els of graph­i­cal detail. The ren­der­ing is soft­ened by option but it leaves them look­ing a bit less than pre­mi­um at max due to this. Either way, this makes you as a play­er feel much more involved in a real world sit­u­a­tion than a repet­i­tive hack n’ slash style genre.

Weapons weapons and more weapons. Have you ever since “Shaun of the Dead” thought of the mul­ti­tude of ways to destroy a zom­bie? This game gives you that and so much more. You can pick up almost any item and use it as a weapon against the hordes of mur­der­ous brain eaters or even take some of them and give them a bit of a more lethal edge, for exam­ple tak­ing a bat and adding nails to the end. If you real­ly don’t care for that why not jump up and drop kick your oppo­nents and then kick their face into the dirt. The abil­i­ty to decap­i­tate and dis­mem­ber these piles of meat via any­thing sharp makes for a fun gath­er­ing of friends by the beach. As for guns, yes there are some, why both­er grab­bing those up except in the event that your sick­le should break or your 2x4 piece of lum­ber snap in half and already have been thrown at the ene­my? There are an array of guns though for those want­i­ng to snap off a few well placed shots and see heads explode into a gory mess behind their tar­get.

Char­ac­ters, the dif­fer­ent style of play are not restrict­ed to the cho­sen char­ac­ter though each have their spe­cial­ty they can wield any­thing you want them to. That being said lets have a bit of an idea of each one shall we?
Heroes

  • Sam B as the Tank-class of the group has the abil­i­ty to sus­tain heavy dam­age and han­dle numer­ous foes at the same time. His spe­cial abil­i­ty is “Fury,” which is achieved by fill­ing up a bar by killing zom­bies. He is also an expert in blunt weapon usage. Dur­ing a Fury attack Sam can one hit kill zom­bies with his bare hands. The three branch­es of his skill tree are Fury, Com­bat, and Sur­vival.

 
 
 
 
 
 

  • Xian Mei is the assas­sin of the group with a par­tic­u­lar predilec­tion toward blad­ed weapons. The three branch­es of her skill tree are Blood Rage, Com­bat, and Sur­vival. Her spe­cial abil­i­ty is to enter a rage mode to deal extra dam­age to oppo­nents with her knife.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  • Logan Carter is the jack of all trades with­in the team. He spe­cial­izes in thrown weapons and some blunt weapons. His rage mode allows him to throw an infi­nite amount of knives at near­by zom­bies.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  • Pur­na is the sup­port with­in the team, and a firearm expert. When her Rage mode is acti­vat­ed Pur­na has unlim­it­ed ammo with her Revolver.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The RPG ele­ment is very well done. It is sim­i­lar to Bor­der­lands in that you lev­el up and select a skill under one of three trees and progress fur­ther as you add points to a tree. You can mix and match and make your char­ac­ter com­plete­ly unique to the style in which you play said char­ac­ter and to me that is a huge plus. Dead Island does not let you get behind what­so­ev­er. When you lev­el the ene­mies in which you encounter are as well your lev­el and thus makes the game pro­gres­sive­ly hard­er whether or not you quest or grind your way to max lev­el.
All in all I give this game a 9. It could not go low­er but no high­er either as some ele­ments of bugs here or there make the game a bit non user friend­ly. That being said I would high­ly rec­om­mend get­ting this title and start your trek across this island full of insane muti­lat­ed killer corpses. Pick up a copy for your friend or fam­i­ly mem­ber as the game is co-op and makes for an even fun­ner adven­ture. You can get a PC copy of the game from our friends at IntKeys.com. They are trust­wor­thy and tru­ly top tier for online key pur­chas­ing. Use our pro­mo code for an even high­er dis­count: 224c76cae8

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