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.
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.
Excerpt: After six years in development, Techland has come up with a nuts-and-bolts zombie experience simulator. Somewhere in its genetic code is a shade of Left 4 Dead's zombie types, a bit of Dead Rising's crafting system, and Borderlands' preference for co-op. But beneath all that design is just a sustained rumination on what it must really be like to hit somebody in the face with a paddle.