In Dead Island you’ll explore an open island environment as you try to prevent being eaten by zombies by finding whatever melee weapons you can find around the place. Following the adventure of four survivors who are looking to escape the island you’ll fight alone or with friends in a melee combat orientated zombie title for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.
The setting for this zombie infestation is the luxury tropical resort on the island known as Banoi. After a night of wild partying the player wakes up as one of the four available characters each with their own stats and skills)and discovers that the guests have turned into raging flesh eating creatures similar to zombies. In order to save yourself and the fellow survivors you’ll have to make your way across the island completing various quests while improving your level and equipment.
These four playable survivors include the rapper Sam B, hotel receptionist and government spy Xian Mei, former football star Logan Carter and the ex-police officer Purna Jackson who also encounter a limited number of other survivors. Ultimately your goal takes you beyond the resort portion of the island as you seek to gather enough resources to survive and in time leave the island entirely.
Each of these hero characters comes with their own distinct visual design, personality and most importantly skill tree to develop. With experience earned for quests and zombie kills it’s a consistent sense of progression as you invest in fury, combat and survival trees. Whether it’s boost Logan’s bullseye talents focused around throwing weapons at zombies or Xian’s deadly bloodrage attacks each character has unique choices to make.
Dead Island’s large open world island is broken down into several areas which also act as separate game chapters with their own story challenges. One thing that remains consistent across these locations though is the highly personal first person combat which emphasises melee weapons over guns. This reflects the fact that when a zombie apocalypse hits not every place is going to have a cache of guns lying around and is a good change of pace that feels a little more realistic than similar zombie themed adventures.
The weapons that the player does find are all randomly generated so there is a loot hunting aspect to Dead Island as players attempt to hunt down the most powerful items and try limit zombie encounters when you don’t have one of these weapons in your hand. Enhancing your favourite weapons further you’ll be able to upgrade their base stats or mod them with extra items such as nails. With a harsh repair cost beyond a certain point for these though it’s also a hunt you’ll constantly have to engage with to find that next blunt or bladed zombie killing weapon.
Zombies in Dead Island are just as varied as equipment with plenty of different types with their own powerful abilities and enough variety in zombie models to have the game feel like an island of different tourists.
- Play as one of four characters with their own skill tree specialties to escape an island overrun with zombies.
- A focus on melee combat as you hunt for the perfect bladed or blunt weapon and upgrade it further.
- Escape your luxury resort and explore the broader island as you find a way off the island.
- Play alone or co-operatively with others to defeat countless and diverse zombies.
- The first in the Dead Island franchise released in 2011.
Review Platform: PC