Summary: With its debut trailer, Techland set itself the impossible goal of living up to self-generated hype on a massive scale. The video, which showed a family beset by zombies while a hauntingly beautiful refrain played, led one to believe that Dead Island would be an emotional roller coaster that touched on the human side of undead apocalypse. Well, it's not.
Excerpt: What a strange, difficult to classify game Dead Island is. It’s a zombie game. It’s first-person melee-focused. It’s in a tropical setting. It’s an RPG. Wait, what? Yes, I would classify Dead Island as an RPG. A first-person melee zombie survival-horror RPG, but an RPG nonetheless. You earn XP, build up skill trees, take quests from NPCs, and can even grind zombies to level up if you want.
Pros: Absolutely huge in scope, Fun, unique combat, Scary and tense in unexpected ways
Cons: Slightly outstays its welcome, Seriously problematic bugs, Sometimes looks very ugly
Family Vacations Usually Aren't This Bloody, Or Are They?
30 December 2011
Conclusion: Techland's tropical open-world zombie apocalypse is a bit too ambitious for its own good, but it's also an incredibly solid and fun first game in what will hopefully mature into a much more polished video game series.
Excerpt: Dead Island is the latest entry in the white-hot zombie shooter genre. Only the emphasis here is not so much on being a shooter. It's able to stand out from the pack with a deep storyline, lots of RPG elements and a unique setting. But it also has several notable flaws that might hinder otherwise enthusiastic zombie hunters. Even so, it's probably the best zombie-hunting title released to date.
Excerpt: Dead Island is not what I had originally expected. Based on my considerable experience with zombie games, I was expecting something more akin to Left 4 Dead combined with Dead Rising than what it actually was. I suppose the original trailer should have tipped me off, with its clearly straight-edged seriousness and the whole kid-zombie-death thing, but no, I thought, its an open world zombie game so I just assumed it would be an arcade-y, fast-paced slasher fest.
Excerpt: Dead Island is a strange game, one that has an odd desire to simultaneously delight and disappoint its audience. This bizarre dichotomy existed even before the game was released, beginning with a brilliantly haunting announcement trailer and evolving into a hip hop music video . The disparity between these two trailers actually sums Dead Island up pretty well.
Conclusion: While Dead Island has a lot of fundamental problems, it doesn't keep this irresistibly fun zombie game from taking over you life. Bring a handful of friends and go to town, this is the zombie game you have been waiting for.
Pros: Dead Island is all about zombie-fueled mayhem. It has a bizarrely fascinating way of taking hold of you – just make sure you bring three friends along for the ride.
Cons: Where do I begin: Cruddy voice-acting, no story, bugs and glitches galore. And not to mention the fact that the car controls are just plain bad.