Dead Island Review
There seems to be few things as satisfying for a gamer then battling through a group of zombies and where better to do it then on a tropical island? Those are the two main draws for Dead Island and the game developer Techland does not stray too far from the standard zombie game.
Sure the graphics are not the highest quality but the satisfaction you get from smashing through a line of zombies with a flaming bat is. Choosing one of the four characters - each with different starting talents and abilities -you will battle from your tropical beach resort through the city and jungle in search of an escape from the undead. Depending on how each individual's style of play the game can either be a short 10 hour run consisting only of the main quests or can be lengthened to a much longer experience if you are willing to complete all of the extra side missions and search all of the nooks and crannies of the various different areas.
If you do want to complete all the extras and search out all the areas of the various locations then you will be rewarded with better weapons as well as a skill points gathered from battling through the island. These points can be used to increase certain perks that benefit each player differently, if you play a more physical game then you can increase strength, if you are more of a run and gun then you can increase other talents. This adds a different RPG component to the game, attempting to make it more then just a simple zombie hack-n-slash. While it is not really fleshed out as much as a Fallout or Fable would be, it does not subtract from the game either. Certain rewards - such as more powerful weapons and certain weapon modifications - can only obtained by completing the numerous side quests, most of which consist of doing the same activity (search this area, find a lost loved one, etc) but these better weapons prove to be very helpful in slicing your way through the horde with greater ease.
The achievement list for this game features a good mix of easily attainable single player, along with some more difficult challenges and a few not too difficult multiplayer ones. The majority of achievements will be obtained from simply finishing the main story line and killing off 250 zombies with certain attacks, but some will take a much longer period of time. Finding all 72 locations and gathering 120 collectibles are not the easiest but seem almost mandatory in an open world game like this. To complete all of them you will need to play the first act four different times, once using each playable character. Playing with up to three other teammates allows for these new achievements to be completed rather easily, again depending on your skill levels.
The recent downloadable content has added 10 achievements and 250 achievement points and have added one new area to the game. The area is a battle ground basically, using the current "must have" for every co-op game it is a seemingly endless horde mode (see Call of Duty zombie or Gears of War horde). You choose from four different battle areas ranging from easy to very hard and you use your current game's character - which is great if you have leveled up and obtained some extremely damaging weapons.
Some of the opening day glitches have been fixed by the recent updates but the game does feel a bit rough around the edges, but the game is definitely worth a try for anybody interested in smashing some zombie skulls. While it ranks behind Left 4 Dead in terms of gameplay, it does blend the zombie game pretty well with open world and RPG pieces.
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