Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dead Island Review

Slaughtering hordes of undead on a huge, entirely explorable island? Severing limbs, decapitations, cutting away at zombie flesh to show their insides? Yes, please!
This is exactly the kind of game i've been waiting for, for a very long time. Playing it makes me think of it as a hybrid between Dead Rising and Left for Dead. Mind you, i haven't finished it yet, but i'm 70ish% through the main story, and i have to say, kudos to Techland for making this amazing game.

One of the first things noticeable is the beautiful graphics. I mean, this game was announced in '06 and was released last month, but if they spent that much time working on the game visually, then i take my hat off to them. If only that worked for Duke Nukem..
Seriously though, the sky and clouds are lifelike. The water effects and animations are stunning, The vegetation around the island is just amazing. I with i could say the same for the NPCs, but i really can't.

You play as one of four characters, who seem to be a colorful bunch. I went with Logan, because he's a blade expert, and throwing knives are just plain cool. You're put on this island at the start of the game with no real clue where to start. It doesn't take a lot of brain power to work out though. One thing that becomes blatantly obvious is the Aussie accent, that comes from 80% of the population, and about 40% of them are horrible. Once you adjust to that though, it seems natural.

The leveling system is a bit generic, but you don't fix what ain't broke, right? It works really well with Dead Island, and the skill tree. The skill tree is broken up into three branches, much like Borderlands, and it's extremely well balanced. The game has you constantly upgrading and readjusting your weapons and skills, so it never really gets old.

There's plenty of variety in the zombies appearances as well, as long as some proper variety in the enemy classes. From regular Walkers to Suicide Zombies to full raging straight-jacket wearing Rams, it's always entertaining!

Weapons are a lot of fun to use, and to deck out with the many mods they give you. There's nothing like Electrifying the sweet Machete you picked up, and wreaking lightning havoc on whatever stupid undead get in the way.
Vehicles are fairly common around Banoi, but there's nothing really special about them. Mowing down zombies in the street is fun and all, but it only lasts for so long..

Some quests get a bit tedious. Escort missions and scavenger quests are quite common in DI, though they're balanced out with the story quests, and the "Go here and kill everything in sight" quests, which i thoroughly enjoy.

I haven't really had any major problems with the overall performance of the game. Other than some minor rendering and framerate issues, the game runs really smoothly. Mind you, i play on Xbox, so i can't vouch for PC or PS3. I'd imagine it would be the same though.

Overall i'd say this is a really solid game. There's a lot of funny moments that aren't really intended, like the character's dialogue when he agrees to something. After a man heartfully asking me to "put his wife and child to rest", Logan replied with a cheerful "Yeah, i'll give ya a hand!". The stunning graphics, smooth feel, and balanced gameplay make this game worth your spare time.

To be fair, it does have obvious flaws. I'll still be adding it to my list of favorites though!