Dead Island review

Everyone needs a vacation.  Work can stress you out, family can stress you out, friends can stress you out, and even the nightly news can be stressful to watch.  It’s times like these, when you are feeling stressed, that’s it best to remove yourself from the situation and plunge yourself deep into a hypnotic vacation of sandy beaches and refreshing beverages.

Ahhh… I can practically feel the sand between my toes and the taste of piña colada gracing my taste buds.  Never mind that drunken guy stumbling his way towards me.  Wait a second, let me sit up, is that blood?  Oh wow, this guy cannot hold his booze!  He has one massive head injury!  Whoah!  He is growling at me and inching closer!  This vacation is not releasing the stress at all!  Oh my, look!  There’s more making their way towards me!

Welcome to Dead Island, developed by Techland and produced by Deep Silver, this looks to be what zombie enthusiasts have been hungering for since the original Left 4 Dead.  That’s not to compare the two, but rather to say that while there have been other zombie games come out, none will match up to what Dead Island is going to do.

The game takes place on a fictional tropical island, Banoi, found in Papue New Guinea.  In essence you start off trapped in a hut on the beach with a few other survivors (3 to be exact).  From there you simply start your assault against the undead.  This is going to be a fully featured sandbox game, that is, you will be able to go anywhere and pick up almost anything.  It supports up to 4 players (more on them a couple of paragraphs down) in co-op mode, both on a local host as well as online.  There is a skill tree system (although it’s not exactly what you may think, it’s not set up like WoW’s), customizable weapons and vehicles, experience system, stamina bar, and loads of other features.

Stamina bar?  Yep!  That means that as you move through the game, performing certain actions or carrying certain items, you can get winded.  Just stop, sit down, and take a little break.  Let your energy build back up, just keep an eye out for flesh eating monsters while you are sitting there.

As with other games, there will be weak zombies and tough zombies.  The game also plays heavily with the environment.  Flashlights will be used at night, water will evaporate based on the amount of sunlight present, it can rain based on the amount of clouds (even snow or fog).  The elements will be generated based on the humidity and the time of year that is in the game.  Yes, they have made this a very dynamic game to play in.

Even the characters and zombies have several “layers” of bone, muscle, and skin.  What’s that mean?  From what has been said it means that if you pick up a small rock and throw it at a zombie, it may break the skin exposing the muscle underneath.  If you go swinging with an axe you may dig right though the skin and muscle and expose bone (or perhaps even cleave right though).  Gone are the days of just shooting in the general direction and the thing you are aiming for dies.  Did I mention this game was going to be quite dynamic?

You will get to choose one of 4 characters to play.  Xian Mei, female, works at the resort.  Sam B, male, rapper.  Purna, female, unknown.  Logan, male, surfer dude.  Yeah, don’t let the professions fool you.  It’s a random group thrown together.  It has also been reported that they are immune to the zombie infection.

Think your last vacation with the family was hell?  Next time go to Dead Island.  They can’t wait to give you a rip-roaring good time.  Just be sure to bring an extra pair of undies, you may very well need them.

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