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Introduction When a good friend of mine (a PC gamer) had a trailer that I apparently needed to watch, I had a general feeling of "this better be good". Fully expecting some first person shooter with a new standard for graphics, a real time strategy game full of nerds arguing or a pricey subscription based massive multiplayer online game. To my relief, it was easily one of the best advertisements I had ever seen. If you want to see a classy, cinematic trailer for a game, look no further than the one for Dead Island. Of course there was some scepticism to take away from this - the main issue being that it only sold the premise - a zombie outbreak on a holiday resort island. No gameplay, character insight or even in game footage. There was a reason... Outbreak The beginning is fairly straightforward - you witness the nights events during which the zombie outbreak begins to manifest. You don't know why or how, but its full of bravado and extremes. Instead of being the happy family resort the trailer highlighter, it was more of a sex, drugs and awful rap disco. Regardless, it sets the scene plus I really like the barron menu music :P then you get to choose your preferred player and traverse the tropical terrain of the island... Characters are a mixed bag, mostly cliche stereotypes that are irrelevant to the story and are generally annoying. They do however offer different advantages and statistics such as health, speed and stamina. There's Logan, an ex-professional (american) football player who hit rock bottom when indulging in the luxuries of the rich, (drugs, drink and fast cars) he ended the life of his passengers in a car accident as well as his career. Next is Purna, a sadistic, Aboriginal, feminist, ex-policewoman who's only plus is her ability to handle firearms. Xian, a chinese desk clerk lady with a knife who's actually a government spy... real original... and finally Sam B, the hench black rapper whose predictable strength lies in his use of blunt weaponry. Dead Island After the initial tutorial of busting out of a burning hotel, the player finds themselves staggering around paradise. White sand, palm trees and swimming pools litter this place. It's pretty to say the least and makes for unsettling scenery when faced with the task of finishing off countless zombs. Unfortunately, these scenes dont get much more interesting, unless of course, you venture into a darkened hotel room where there may be survivors or brutal zombies just waiting to be let loose. The graphics are quite decent (clearly better on PC) but a bit exaggerated among some gamers. You'll find various things scattered about the place, like food and drink.. and several home made weapons. Gameplay There are only so many times you can kill a zombie before growing bored with the whole process. This is the games biggest shortcoming. Realistically, the zombies are everywhere, but unrealistically, they re-spawn. Even worse, the way in which you dispatch said undead, is extremely drawn out and tiring. Whether this is to make it more realistic is irrelevant, because a zombie apocalypse is heavily fictional making it gore for the sake of it. Sure you can use a wide range of weapons, even modify them to make them even more devastating. But in the end, the outcome is the same and the speed in which to do so, barely changed. That's not to say the game doesn't offer some more realism - weapons break and get blunt, knives cut and baseball bats bludgeon. Story There isn't one. You literally wander around a blood smeared island, doing as you're told by bossy so n so's, giving water to ill people, wiping out all enemies and building safe houses. The more tasks you do, the more money and skill points you get, plus even more terrain to roam. The plot isn't what makes this game long, its the tedious tasks and non stop grinding that make it so painstakingly endless. Apocalypse If you are into caving in the skulls of the dead with an array of crude tools to the soundtrack of bones breaking then you'll likely enjoy this because it's pretty much all you do. If however you have the slightest of standards, you'll be very disappointed with something that could've been so much more then a generic beat em up in the haze of the idyllic sunshine.
Firstly, let me start off by saying that this is a cracking game - I enjoyed it so much. The premise is pretty simple, you play one of four characters and you are a guest on a paradise island, like Hawaii, or something like that. Suddenly after a night on the lash and with a serious hangover you wake up to find the hotel trashed, people dead and other people walking around as Zombies...hence you find yourself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Its on an island so you know its localised and so the objective is to get the hell off the island and survive. The genius of this game lies in the gameplay...you have your core mission which is to track down a mysterious voice on the radio who promises to be able to get you off the island, so you have a set of complex core missions to carry out to get to this guy. Along the way you find yourself holed up with various pockets of survivors who in the meantime need your help to do side missions, get food, medical supplies, weapons , comms radios etc...and in return you get upgraded weapons and tons of game cash. The rendering is pretty good, the people faces look a little dated now this game is a few years old, but the enviroment is open world and very well done, the team must have spent some time making it look like paradise gone wrong. You have trashed hotels, bloody pools, waterfalls and lagoons infested by zombies, beach huts, and great jungle texture, where you see shimmering sunlight...you can even see the sweat on peoples faces if you get close enough. As a first person it is also quite scary as zombies get in yer face up close and personal and the characters are talking to you directly, so you get involved. The weapons you get start off simple, hammers, spades and baseball bats, anything you can get your hands on...later on you get machetes, shock sticks and pistols, machine guns, you can even modify your weapons when you come across work benches.... in addition you get a rage feature that you build up time over time and you get to use it , each character has its own speciality. You use these bad boys to deal with all sorts of zombies, fast runners, zombies that are big and tough - thugs, fat ones and ones that blow up and another feature is that you dont just fight zombies , you also have to fight against looters and other humans who have gone all selfish on you and want to shoot you up. In addition you have great scary soundtrack and some fine dramatic voice work Sometimes the gameis a bit glitchy, zombies seem to spawn from nowhere and attack you from behind, or fall down a gully and sudenly magically appear straight ahead of you again...this can get pretty annoying, but I consider it an after effect of open world, complex AI programming that I have seen many times before and so its not specific to the developers.
Dead Island. The game that was supposed to turn the Zombie/Survival/Horror genre on its head but then...didn't quite. I first bought this game not long after release at the back end of September 2011. At the time I thought it was a rather engaging open world first-person adventure game, but found that something just didn't seem to gel properly. It wasn't that anything was wrong with the game - in fact it was one of the better releases of 2011, with beautiful visuals provided by the Chrome 5 graphic engine (a-la 'Call of Juarez'), easy to learn controls giving 'pick up and play' appeal and a great story mode allowing us to explore the enormous island. The problem, I suppose, was the hype. Five Years in the Making; -------------------------------- In 2006, software house Techland announced a new game to the eager crowd of gamers and journalists at the E3 gaming convention. With a working title of 'Island of the Living Dead' this was to be a new chapter in survival horror and an entirely new gaming experience. As the working title suggests, the premise behind the game was the George Romero inspired zombie world, with us being plunged head first into a zombie apocalypse on a small and secluded island paradise. 4 years of development later, they released a CGI trailer which is probably one of the best in gaming history, up there with the first Gears of War. A young girl is bitten by a zombie then rescued by her parents who barricade themselves in their hotel room. As the undead fight to get in, the girl suddenly becomes an uncontrollable savage, latching herself onto her fathers back and biting him too. As the zombies break through the door to the room, the girls father hurls her through the glass window to the ground below as the monsters get the better of him and his wife. The whole scene is played in reverse and in slow motion, with haunting cello music playing over the top, so the violent start of death and disease destroying the family gives way to hope as wee see them try vainly to survive. It ends with a short montage of their earlier holiday video, enjoying the sights and enjoying their little slice of paradise. After leaving us with that trailer and no actual game play footage, the magazines and gamer blogs went into overdrive with anticipation of what the game would deliver! Pre-orders went nuts, pushing the game up the charts before a release date was even scheduled! On release, the game met a lukewarm response from critics, most of whom rated it in the 70%-80% area as it turned out not to be a mould breaking genre crossing masterpiece, but just another survival game - albeit a very accomplished one. I think that's the reason it got a bit of a poor reception - it promised the world and couldn't quite deliver, as has happened a thousand times over and will no doubt happen a thousand more. It's like... --------------- Dead Island is a bit like the Borderlands games, only a little more sedate. The game engine was used previously in Call Of Juarez, so there is your basic graphic system (the Chrome 5) and the levelling up, using skill points to mould your characters skills stuff is very much like the Fallout series of games. Of course, the games most will compare it to are the Resident Evil ones, particularly 4, 5 and 6 where the full open world 3D environment comes into play. Sadly it's not really comparable though, with zombies being the only real crossover. It's about... ------------------- All is well on the island of Banoi, off the coast of Papua New Guinea. It's a thriving luxury holiday resort with a stunning beachfront, small town and lush jungle. Sadly, an infection is about to turn 90% of the islands population into bloodthirsty rampaging monsters with their first instinct to find and eat YOU! You choose one of 4 characters, each with slightly different skill-set (one is a bruiser with extra strength, another is more agile etc) but all with very similar core attributes. The game then opens to a 4-5 minute intro with a cool song (Who Do You Voodoo) playing as we see through the eyes of a drunk guy walking through the resort and to a nightclub where he is kicked out and escorted back to his room. We then take control as 'our' character regains conscious in their hotel room and has to escape to a safe-house with some other survivors. On the way there, our character is attacked and proven to have some sort of resistance to the zombies bites (we can be killed, just not turned into a walking-dead). Once we reach the safe house the missions begin, and we start to explore the island scavenging, assisting other survivors and completing missions. The first section is the resort itself. The lighthouse and the lifeguard station are the two main destinations, each with a band of survivors inside and mini-missions on offer, but we are free to roam the beach, the coves and all of the guest areas (bars, chalets, pools) along the front. The second section is the town. Moresby is in ruin - buildings destroyed and the living dead everywhere! Coupled with this, the small gangs of street thugs have taken the opportunity to loot and vandalise the town, taking control of the police station and acting as aggressively towards strangers as the zombie menace. Finally, we head to the jungle where a prison and a biological research facility provide us the opportunity to look for a cure to the outbreak and look for other survivors. Challenging; ------------------- This game never seems easy. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing either. At the very beginning, we're a level 1 rookie player and the baddies are suitably easy to kill. There are lots of them though! Not only that, they seem to attack in groups making our meagre health bar drop quicker than seems fair. That's all well and good, if we persevere then surely these groups of creatures will become quick and easy to slice through, right? Well no, actually. Every time WE level up, THEY level up too, so once you become a level 10 player you only encounter level 10 enemies which is a bit unfair - it doesn't give us much respite or a chance to earn any easy XP (experience points). The resort is quite easy after a few missions though as we have access to vehicles. It's not often we need to get out and battle a mob of zombies when you can drive straight through them. The town and jungle levels, although there are still vehicles around, are a serious challenge! Unless you can find a route using ladders, it's unlikely you'll be able to get around without losing a few lives. Luckily, every time you 'die', you re-spawn at the same spot (or at least very close by) just with a slight dent in your wallet, as it takes a slice of your cash. Health pick-ups are easy to come by in the form of cans of energy drink or snack bars. Sadly they need to be used immediately as you find them and can't be taken with you for a rainy day - only health packs can be carried and they are as hard to find as hens teeth! The challenge is heightened by adding new enemies to defeat. Early on there are a great number of low AI zombies and not much else, but as the game progresses all manner of baddies spring up! Walker: Slow and stupid zombie, no AI to speak of and will give up the chase quite easily. Not tough to kill and won't put up much of a fight when attacked. Infected: Not quite human but not quite a full-on zombie. These creatures are much closer to the '28 days later' zombies in that they are fast, powerful and relentless. Usually announcing themselves with a blood curdling scream giving you a few seconds warning! Not too tough to kill but will defend themselves against attack and often carry weapons of their own. THUG: As it sounds, a huge brute of a zombie. Slow and easy to sneak up on, but with a devastatingly powerful punch or kick which will knock half a players energy bar off in one go! These Thugs can be heard from a good distance as they let out a ground shaking guttoral roar when a player gets close. Suicider: A large bloated zombie which will explode (voluntarily) when nearby to kill anything in its immediate area. Impossible to kill hand-to-hand but easy enough with a ranged weapon. Bloater: A bloated zombie which spits an acid like substance. Again, not easy to face close-range! Butcher: A terrifying powerful monster with no hands which attacks with the sharp ends of the bones of its forearms. Awful looking, incredibly tough to kill and one to be avoided frankly! Ram: An escapee of the prison, this enemy is an enormous and fast zombie in a straight-jacket which attacks using a super powerful headbutt or an equally powerful kick. Tough to kill as it is invulnerable from the front, meaning it needs to be snuck up on and attacked from behind! There are also various street thugs and soldiers to tackle in the later levels, as well as hidden enemies such as 'Jason', a character based on the horror movie character from Friday the 13th. Avoid him if possible, I've never managed to beat him yet! Even up the odds; -------------------------- As you'd expect, weapons are plentiful - thankfully! 90% of the weapons are hand-to-hand things such as shovels and axes, but later on there are guns (but very little ammo!). All weapons can be maintained and upgraded using craft benches; a necessity since they degrade at an alarming rate. Low durability means that most of your money will end up spent on repairing tools and weapons in order to keep them effective. Blueprints are available to craft special pieces providing you can find the components hidden about the game, and unique weapons are scattered around the place as well (often as gifts for completing missions). Bare fists and kicks have some effect, but frankly you don't want to be caught without something big and pointy when up against some of this lot! Luckily you can carry up to 16 items in your inventory. CARmageddon; ---------------------- As mentioned, vehicles are dotted about the place amongst the burnt out wrecks. The handling is atrocious, and there is only one camera view available which makes it tough to control, but they are there and it makes getting from A to B a lot quicker and a lot safer. It's done very well I think, with the little chalet resorts and beach impossible to get to with a vehicle but essential to explore, meaning you have no choice but to take to your feet despite feeling nice and safe in the cab of a big 4x4! Running over zombies is a breeze, and it's a nice easy way to rack up XP just driving around squashing the undead! I bought this game on release, and like the reviewers I was a bit put out with the whole package after the promises that had been made and the hype surrounding the game. This week, with the sequel (Dead Island; Riptide) around the corner and a ten pound note burning a hole in my pocket I picked up a second hand copy to re acquaint myself with it. I was blown away! Whether it was the disappointment blurring my reckoning the first time round I'm not sure, but the whole package just seemed somehow better. The visuals are gorgeous! Despite the zombie kill-fest going on I found myself wanting to be there, to experience the sights, sounds and smells of fictional Banoi for myself, in fact at times I felt like I WAS there. The rendering is just great too, and unlike Fallout New Vegas, the scenery loads 99% of the time with no lag and none of the blocky/clunky graphic disturbance. The sounds are, well, terrifying - but in a good way! The howls of victims, the screech of the infected hoards and the groans of the zombie mass lift us out of the seat and place us right in the middle of this hell-in-paradise. I think that's the key to a good game actually, and it's in evidence here. We allow ourselves to become the character and put ourself in their shoes, so that every zombie bite becomes an injury inflicted on US, not the pile of pixels on a TV screen. A couple of years ago I'd have hopped on the critical bandwagon and rated this maybe 3 out of 5. Now the hype has died down though, I appreciate this game for what it is rather than what we were promised it was going to be and it's a solid 4/5. Easy to pick up gameplay, longevity and a beautiful backdrop make this a game I'll keep coming back to, and for those who let this pass them by I suggest my fellow gamers pick up a copy and sample the same delights I have! It's cheap and fun, easily worth the £10 asking price (in fact, the Game Of The Year edition with lots of add-ons and downloadables is only £14-£15) so give it a bash if you get chance. Single player mode carries maybe 30 hours gameplay with the potential for double that and more in side-missions. I haven't played co-op (multiplayer) so can't comment, but it has had great write ups and looks a blast with a friend or 4. If I get my x-box live connected I may update this! Note - the game is rated 18 and for good reason! Even the trailer for it was a post-watershed only affair. This game contains blood, guts, gore, shocks and foul language by the bucketload - please use some caution and take note of the rating! K
Let's be honest ~ Zombie games have had their day and kind of been done to death, right? (no pun intended). I mean Resident Evil is now on its what....sixth installment with lots of little spin-offs along the way? Not all of them good either. Left 4 Dead and its sequel were creative and refreshing for a while (not to mention fun to play in multi-player) but woefully short.....surely its about time that Game Producers moved on and tried something different, right? Well, with Dead Island, that is exactly what they have done by producing what is probably the best Zombie game...ever! Anyone who watched the trailer couldn't help but be disturbed. The scene opened with a dead girl lying on the ground then started moving the action backwards in time from that moment to show how she got there. Turned out her and her family were staying in this hotel and were running down the corridor to their room pursued by Zombies. She fell, got bit and turned. At which point she then leapt on her Dads back and proceeded to attack him. He fought her off, moved to the window and threw his own daughter through the glass....at which point she fell several stories and landed right where we find her at the beginning of this trailer. This little vignette has nothing to do with the main story of Dead Island but by showing her story in reverse, this trailer worked as a highly effective, visible appetizer for the game. Fans interests were piqued and, inevitably, Dead Island went on to sell by the bucket load. But is it any good? You play one of four playable characters staying in a hotel at a Caribbean island resort, hundreds of miles away from the mainland. You wake up with a hangover having over-indulged the night before and with vague dreams of people attacking each other last night down in the bar. But that was just a drunken dream right....? Wrong! The island is the scene of a viral outbreak that causes its infected victims and the recently dead to attack the healthy and the living. Quickly you realize that it is up to you to stop this infection from reaching the mainland and to get the word out to warn them of what has happened but first you need to survive. And the only way to do that is to team up with other survivors and undertake missions to get them to help you along the way.... You can either play in single-player or, if you have XBOX Live, you can play with up to three other people. The resort is huge and the game takes you across several locations: so far I have discovered the resort, the city and the jungle. There are lots of weapons that you can pick up and use, though guns are in short supply at first, and all of these can be modified with Mod Blueprints that you find scattered around and which require certain pieces of equipment in order for them to be utilised. Weapons quickly depreciate the more you use them and the only way to repair them or to modify them is at work benches that you can find at key locations, which then costs you money to use. Luckily money can be found everywhere ~ on dead bodies, in suitcases etc as can the various pieces of equipment that you might need for modification such as batteries, barbed wire, etc etc etc One of the many ways that this game excels is in the number of Mods you can find! There is everything from a Blueprint that runs an electric charge through your weapon to one that sets Zombies on fire or poisons them with toxic chemicals for extra damage. There is a vast array of different melee weapons for you to find as well! Every time you attack or run somewhere though, be warned ~ it costs you stamina and if you run out of stamina, you have to wait a few seconds for it to replenish meaning you are vulnerable to attacks! Killing enough Zombies gives you Rage, and this can be triggered by holding down the B button ~ sending you into a kill frenzy for several seconds! There is so much about this game I enjoy! Achievements are gained by killing Zombies in various different ways and by attaining set goals throughout the game. And these can be lots of fun to try and get. The graphics too are very realistic and intense and the tensiin rarely lets up as often you find yourself fleeing a scene rather than trying to fight your way through it because there are just too many Zombies charging at you all at once! Later in the game, you come across transformed Zombies (like those in Left 4 Dead) and this just makes things harder. Thankfully, as you progress you can level up and gain perks, much as you would in say Fallout 3 for example. Unfortunately, the Zombies level up with you! One of the few things that is annoying is the way that Zombies respawn in areas you have been through. So, if you have cleared an area, don't be surprised to find it full again when you go back that way later. It is one of the few flaws in an otherwise near-perfect game. Other than that, there is very little here to be critical about and it plays absolutely brilliantly! This is one of my new favourite games of all time and right up there now with GTA! I have the Game Of The Year Edition and this comes with the Ryder White missions (which I haven't played yet so can't review), a Ripper Modification Blueprint to start you off when you get your first weapon and The Arena download which is basically an Arena where you get to fight hordes of Zombies for Experience points and money that you can use in your main game. So far, the GOTY Edition is proved to be well worth getting as The Arena is a great place to level up quickly and get you used to the fighting styles you will need to develop in the main game. And the Ripper Mod is one of the best of the Mods too ~ changing your weapon into one with a circular blade that quite literally does as it says and rips Zombies apart! There is very little more I can say about this game except that it is absolutely awesome! If you like Zombie games but been disheartened until now, you really need to check this out!
Ok, this review may not be much use to some people, after all I am a 38 year old woman, who rarely gets to use the xbox, due to her 16 year old son (who lives on it) and her fiance who is on it when he isnt working or my son is at school or in bed. I am not aware of adverts for many games, I rarely look forward to them coming out, my sons/fiance will rave about a game for a while and either for birthday/christmas or because our ears are bleeding, either my finace or I will give in and buy said game. Dead Island was mentioned a few times, I yawned a bit and thought I may have a go when the xbox becomes free for a bit. I watched both my son and fiance play, cringing over the gore and hiding behind a cushion when certain zombie monsters appeared (thug, ram, god I hate that ram!!). However when I started playing it myself I really got into the game. I will try to give a rough idea of the game, although if you are reading this far you will probably know what its about. You can be one of four characters, each one has their own strengths. You have to travel around different areas of the island, helping survivers and killing zombies to get off the island at the end. During the game, unlike other zombie games, you do not start with a gun! These are rare and ammo is more so. You start with knives and bats and things you collect for completing quests for people. You can collect money and upgrade your weapons making them do more damage. This is a unique idea and very worthwhile. Much better than randonly running about with a gun. Your weapon gets damaged overtime and you need to repair it before it breaks, clever! The noises during the game freaked me out, the ram scares the hell out of me and I did spend a lot of time jumping on cars, attacking people from there, as a lot of them cant get you. The ram however loses interest and walks away. The sewers were horrible and the hardest area I found. I have played with all four characters and enjoyed all of them, I keep forgetting to use the fury, which when used helps a lot, if only I could remember to use it! I have cringed and screamed my way through this game but have really enjoyed playing it. I havent played it online or with others, I have just done a single player version but very worthwhile. Svetty is most annoying though!!
Dead Island is a first person/RPG survival game which pits you as one of 4 characters trying to escape from a so called "paradise holiday"... which has now been infested with millions of zombies. To survive, players have to complete a variety of quests to help people survive and eventually find a way of the island. The controls at first seem very simple, arrows to select your weapon, a to jump, right trigger to attack... The trigger to attack button gets furiously boring after a while; killing a zombie by furiously pulling on a trigger provides little entertainment as you have no control as to where you cut, slice or bash the opposing zombie. However, there is a option in the game to change the attack button to using the analogue sticks. By flicking the sticks in the motion you wish to attack, your player will attack in the desired way. This results in a lot more accuracy and fun in killing zombies, as you can carefully and tactically choose where to attack, be it an arm, a leg, or the head.. you get the idea. Later on the game you access firearms which control much like a typical first person shooter, although it is easily much more fun to kill a zombie by cutting of each body part rather than a simple shotgun shot to the face. The RPG aspect is well.. ok at best. By completing quests and killing zombies you gain experience to level up, and with each level up you gain access to better weapons and also a skill point to put on your skill tree, granting you various perks. The perks I think could be improved, as aside from the ability to stomp on zombies, most perks are very basic, such as increased life or increased damage, which doesnt leave the player much of an incentive to level up and gain new abilties. However, the first person aspect of the game more than makes up for this. The best feature of the game though is easily the multiplayer option. Playing single player can be fun for a while, but the real fun begins when you get some friends together to play. Unfortunetly the game does not support local multiplayer, so unless your friends have online and a copy of the game, your pretty much stuck with the single player. However there is a option to join other random peoples games if there game type is set to open, so even if your friends dont own the game it is still possible to play online, but people tend to kick you from their games farily frequently and lets face it: Its much more fun to kill zombies with your friends then complete strangers. Overall Dead Island does have some downfalls and isnt worth buying brand new, but if your able to get it preowned for £20 or less, its a worthy buy if your a fan of good old zombie killing fun.
After plenty of hype leading up to the game (mainly thanks to its first advert), Dead Island appeared to end up being little much that a first person hack and slash game with a bit of shooting involved. However, that's not to say that I didn't enjoy the game. The environments look very good, there is a good range of different weapons, as well as a variety of different zombies and infected that you must battle through. The trouble with the game is, as there are only a few locations, the game can become a big stagnant if you spend too long doing missions in one area, especially the hotel resort, the first location of the game. Some missions can be extremely fun and challenging to do, although the vast majority of them consist of just fetching items for different NPC characters, who will reward you with a variety of different things, ranging from XP points, money, weapon mods and weapons. The acting in the game isn't the greatest, although it doesn't really take away too much from the game play, as you can easily skip through the talking sections and cut scenes and still have a good idea of what you are supposed to be doing just by checking the quest section of your menu. Driving can be somewhat problematic, as the first person views means you can only see out of the windows of the car, this means driving can be especially difficult in vehicles that have small windows or armour covering the windows. While playing single player is enjoyable, it is defiantly more fun to play the game online with friends, especially in sections where you have to clear large hordes of zombies. Playing alone against these hordes, especially later on in the game when you are a higher level, usually results in quite a few deaths, and while the only punishment for dying is losing a percentage of money (which can be easily made back) it can become extremely frustrating.
In a small nut shell... I really dislike this game. It's not bad, but neither is it good. The main issue I have with the game is the overall difficulty. It is a bit easier with two or more players, but playing the game solo is a suicide mission. It's frustratingly difficult when playing alone, getting constantly bombarded by zombies from every direction. Sooner or later, you start getting killed with like, two or three hits from a zombie. You will just die, and die, and die, and die.. and die. Trying to kill the zombies is just as frustrating. Very often, you can swing your weapon more than early enough to strike a zombie, but it seems like the weapon just passes through them, since you miss, despite the zombie being right in your face. Also, you can swing your weapon and hit the zombie, and instead of the zombie staggering backwards, they actually manage to attack you right back. You strike first, and you hit first, but they just hit you back, without being stunned or anything. Because of this, the zombies can get a good FIVE hits on you, in the time it takes YOU to swing your weapon twice. And then.. you are dead. Another annoyance I have with the game is the almost endless back-tracking. I know many games do this, but this game seems to take a step further. The only saving grace is the Fast Forward maps, where you can instantly move to certain areas of the island without having to walk. But still, back-tracking to places with NO Fast Forward maps, and without being to drive means you having to walk for ages to get to your destination, as well as encountering a horde of zombies in the process, getting killed over and over. And another is the map/GPS. The map almost NEVER shows you where to go, other than with a destination marker, such as a flag. It doesn't lay down a line along the map showing you HOW to get to your destination. What you have to do is go to your map, choose your destination and the destination line will appear, showing you where to go. Other times, I've had tracked quests NEVER give you a destination at all... after about 5 minutes, the destination will all of a sudden appear on the map. I've also had the waypoints take me to many dead ends, where I can't move past, making me backtrack to a route that has no dead ends. When you die, you lose a certain amount of money every time. The more you die, the more out of pocket you'll be. There are upgrades that decrease the amount of money taken, but it's still pretty high. Sooner or later, you'll find yourself without the money to repair your weapons, and then you're totally stuffed. Another piss-f*ck when you die, is you get put back in the level, somewhere random. You may re-spawn right near where you died, other times you'll re-spawn about 200m away from your previous location, making you walk all the way back. I hate the Thugs. It seems they always manage to hit you, even if it looks like you are no where near them. You'll move up to them, swing once and hit them, then back up to make sure you don't get hit.. but you DO.. all the time. It just seems that the zombies were made to be far, FAR more stronger than your characters will ever be, so it doesn't feel like an even challenge most of the time. One of the most frequent problems I've had so far is near-constant crashing. So far, the game has crashed on me FIVE times while playing online. I had to reset my console, load the game again, reload the checkpoint and invite my friends again. Another online problem I've had is trying to connect to friends' games. While it occasionally works fine, I have had moments where I could not connect to any of my friends games, nor could they connect to my games. I'd send an invite, they'd accept... but it just says the game is no longer available or that they're playing alone. Same thing happens if they send ME an invite. Both me and my friends spend more time resetting our PS3's than we do actually playing the game. Online play is VERY buggy and glitchy at the moment. In fact, I can't say I've played a game THIS glitchy... ever. I've also had saving issues, which I think many people have had, where it doesn't save when it's supposed to, or it just doesn't save at all, causing you to lose your progress from the last save. Okay, I know I started with many bad points, but that's because this game has a lot of them. When I first bought the game, I was excited to play it, especially online... now, however, I cringe whenever the game starts. I'm only playing it because I want to complete it.. once I've finished it, it's being sold ASAP. The goods points? If any... well, although it's rock hard when playing solo.. it IS a fun multi player game, as with a second.. or third and fourth player.. it makes the game that much easier. And running over zombies in the jeeps is fun as well. Hmm... in all honesty, I can't see many good things with this game, only plenty of bad things. I have played it a lot, I'm about 85% through... but from what I've seen so far... it just doesn't do anything for me. It doesn't excite me when I play, I don't find it an even challenge (not too easy, not too hard), you die WAY too much for it to be called 'fun', getting gang-banged by 10 zombies at once is annoying as Hell as there's nothing you can do about it other than die, loading times/screens are a lengthy pain, backtracking is too long and often, the map/GPS is a mess, it's full of bugs/glitches... I'm sure you get the idea. Granted, I know this isn't the best review I've written, and it's more of a bashing than a review... but these are my honest opinions about the game and what I've experienced with it so far. Don't get me wrong... it's not an appalling game by any means, I just fail to see how a game this hard and frustrating could be fun. As long as you are able to play with a second player, it's not that bad. But playing solo... it's a goddamn nightmare. This game should only be played if you have a second player to play with, and you have the patience of several saints in order to play it.... if you do, I say.. good luck to you sir.
Released in September 2011, Dead Island is a open world FPS set on the fictional island of Banoi. Developed by Techland, it was going to be a chance to push their name into the world of games, as their other title (Call of Jaurez) was not received brilliantly as it was plagues by modelling and performance issues. Similarly it was going to be a push for producers Deep Silver, who are more know for lighter titles such as Horse life and X factor games. The basic plot of the game centres around the player waking up in a hotel on the Island after a night out, and on hearing the warning system telling them to evacuate, as well as the group of zombies chasing you down the corridor, they soon find out that bar a small group of survivors the entire island has been infected. And in true gaming style, it's your job to go out there and save the world, whilst the rest of the survivors hand out tasks and not help out at all. You progress through the game by completing these quests, allowing you to meet new characters and challenges. The quests tend to be quite repetitive and are generally go find/kill/bring back this, only increasing in completion difficulty based on what level the zombies in the surrounding area are, and so you can get a little bored, however the game makes up for this lack of ingenuity with its wide range of melee weapons and firearms. Integrated alongside the quests is an experience system. Whenever you complete a quest or kill an enemy, you gain XP, and once this reaches a certain level you can level up your character. This occurs through a tree system based around fury, combat and survival. In order to unlock the next level of the tree you need to put three skill points into any of the previous row. The skill tree allows the player to build up their character in a certain way, for example, putting points into fury will help cause more damage and use less stamina. Combat increase weapon durability and increases the chance of critical hits. Survival allows you to pick locks and decrease the damage you take. Dead Island really puts an emphasis on the use and modification of melee weapons. Weapons can be picked up throughout the game, be it on the ground, from a seller or as a quest reward. But by far the best way of getting a weapon is through the Fallout style weapon mod system. As you go through the game you find mod blueprints, these then unlock a weapon you can make and once you have the right basic weapon and materials, you can create a great piece of zombie killing machinery. Ranging from crowbars strapped with a battery to give it an extra kick, to katana swords ablaze with fire, there's definatley going to be something there to catch your eye. Also available are secondary weapons or aids such as molotovs or my favourite, the meat grenade (great for when your surrounded by zombies and want to cause a distraction). The game also contains firearms which you start seeing about 30% of the way through the game, these are less varied and are often handguns, although some assault rifles do appear. These too can have mods but they are no where near as fun or gory. Weapons do not last forever and so do need to be repaired, this is done to a cost dependant on how damaged the weapon is. Weapons can be repaired at workshops which are placed well around the map and weapons can also be upgraded upto 4 levels in order to cause better damage and last longer. The more you use your weapons the more your stamina goes down, so it's always important to keep an eye on it as you don't want to run out just as a load of zombies are running towards. This also applies to the kick attack, which is one of the most effective as it instantly knocks down the zombie attacking you in most cases, giving you a little breath space. If you are down to a low amount of health, the game provides plenty of energy drinks and energy bars laying around, as well as fruit for the healthier zombie killer. Although seeing as their trapped on an island, the characters show little care for resources and they drink or eat a small amount of the item and then throw it aside. Also available are Med-packs to give health boosts and revive teammates. You can also find alcohol laying around, which induces a GTA-esque blurry screen for a minute. There is also a rage mode which becomes available after taking a certain amount of damage, this puts the game into black and white, with enemies showing in red. Here you are almost unstoppable for as long as it lasts, it allows you to swing your weapon and take down as many enemies as possible to build up combo points. The weapons your best at using depends on what character you play with. Their are 4 characters to play in all : Xian Me (Sharp weapons) , Logan (Throwing weapons), Sam B (Blunt weapons) and Purna (firearms). Because of the way the game plays, your best options are to play as either Xian Me or Sam B, as you dont get firearms until later and they aren't too effective against zombies, and also if you get a good weapon, the last thing you want to do is lose it by throwing it away. I was really disappointed at the lack of character development in the game, considering the whole island is crawling with the undead and these people are stuck there, there doesn't seem to be any real care at all. At most some of the support characters are just mildly annoyed, and it is all too wooden for my liking. Not only that but choosing a character is so arbitrary because you don't discover anything about their back story and you wont have too much of a different experience playing through with a different character. Another issue with this is that their is a single player as well as online story mode. If your playing on the single player you go through the game on your own, however once you reach the cut scene's suddenly the other 3 characters appear and the game pretends they've been with you all long. This breaks up the story and takes you away from what's going on. As well as characters , there are several types of zombies in the game. Going from the garden variety walker up to the most dangerous, The Butcher. Walkers come in three types, normal, infected and toxic. The difference being that walkers are the typical slow zombies, infected are more the 28 days later style, and toxic are walkers covered in toxic gas which can cause more damage (but are also more flammable). Then we have the special zombies : Thugs, which are bigger than the average zombie and can knock you down by flailing their limbs around. Suiciders, which explode if your too close but are useful for luring towards groups of other zombies. Rams, which are big zombies that try to run you down but are slow on the turn and so open to attack. Floaters, fire slime which causes lots of damage. Butchers, are the hardest zombie to fight and are better described as super infected, butchers are capable of leaping and making quick attacks and make it hard to get them with melee attacks. If the walkers get a hold of you, the game switches to a very slow quick time event which requires you to punch the zombie to get you away from them. I thought they could of tried to have come up with a sleeker system as this feels out of place. Also making an appearance in the game are punks, these are gang members who have taken over parts of the city, they tend to use firearms and are generally hard enemies to fight. The game is set across 3 main areas : The resort, The city of Moresby and The Jungle. Each area also contains other sub areas, such as the hotel in the resort, the sewers and infected zone in the city, and the lab in the jungle. The area's all have good level design, but by far my favourite place is the infected zone. This is full of zombies, and so especially in online play with friends, running around inside it away from the zombies is sure to cause some good laughs and a lot of fun. Whilst we know zombies aren't the most intelligent enemy a gamer will ever face, Dead Island brings this to a new level. The AI at points in this game is so scripted its unbelievable, for example, having played plenty of games and watched lots of films, most people know if you kick open a door there is probably going to be a zombie on the other side. So if this is done carefully, players will get to see the zombie staring blankly at you while it waits for you to take the extra few steps forward, so the game can allow it to react. similarly, the zombie will give up the chase if you move to far ahead of it on a roof or even a straight road, as well as many having issues with cars, steps and even small gaps. The gameplay and controls at their heart are simple and effective, but the game around it limits how fun it is. For example, once you unlock the knock down move and the curb stomp move, walkers become pointless as they can be dispatched within seconds. But the controls are easy to pick up and the game doesn't have a very steep learning curve, so it is easy to pick up and play. The graphics aren't great but their not terrible either. There are issues with skin textures which is clearly something the developer struggles with, but the city design and jungle is good and doesn't take too much away from the game, although maybe in the hands of a different developer, could of been very nice. For example, the inclusion of weather is done really well and the rain effect does add a layer of excitement, but the game is usually played completely in the daytime, so the inclusion of night sections would have been nice. Sound is used well, but it never gives the atmosphere it really aims too, hearing the scream of an infected only causes minor panic and the whispering never gives enough fear. This also applies to the use of the flash light in dark areas, where it is always obvious where zombies are going to come from in an enclosed area. The games online mode works well and is simple to navigate, it allows you to play the campaign through with friends and even suggests the character you should play with, depending on how much you've already played through. The game thrives with online play as it brings a lot more team work and the chance for more fun than on your own, and personally i'd say this game really needs to be played online for it to be truly enjoyed. The game also has DLC available, including the bloodbath arena, ripper mod, sonic pulse grenade and Ryder white's campaign. The bloodbath arena is free if you had the special edition, or 800 MS points. Taking up about 1GB, the DLC begins with you meeting a group of military survivors and then offering 4 areas to travel to. The four areas vary in difficulty and is a survival mode more than anything, a good addition is that all XP and weapons can be bought back into the main game. I thought it really lacked the defensive element of Call of Duty's zombie mode though, and things like barricades would of been very helpful. This DLC is also available to play online with 3 other players, and adds 10 achievements to the game. I think it's a nice addition but I don't know wether the game warrants buying it. The ripper mod can be gained through the DLC and is essentially a buzz saw connected a baseball bat, and yes it is as awesome as it sounds. Also available is the sonic pulse grenade which clears the area on impact. A new piece of DLC is also recently available called Ryder White's campaign, which involves the story of one of the other characters in Dead Island. Whilst I havn't played this, I have been told that it is a big improvement on the original game and is worth the money. There are several little extra's in the game you can run around and collect, to add a little longevity to the game and to learn a little more of the story. Overall the longevity is good and there are plenty of hours to be had playing this game and finding the different pieces of news and skulls. Dead Island is available from Amazon for £27. While it is a fun game online, it's not a game i would completely recommend, I'd say it is one to look for pre owned more than anything, as i don't think its the GTA with zombies that many hoped.
If you, like I did, watched the launch trailer for 'Dead Island' before playing the game you might be surprised to find that it's not entirely what you would expect. This is what makes reviews of games such as this so important. Back to the beginning though, in the truly heartfelt and disturbing trailer you would be forgiven for thinking that 'Dead Island' is a gritty horror title. In fact the premise is that you wake up after a heavy night's drinking on the intellect and fictional island of Banoi to find that Its inhabitants are all mindless bloodthirsty victims of infection (they're not zombies apparently). You have, by whatever grace, and immunity to this affliction and in traditional role-playing game style have to find out what is going on through the use of missions assigned to you by the various other survivors. It is a well integrated mix between action and role-playing games of the style of 'Deus Ex'. The combat is mainly with blunt weapons and where the in conventional games a few hits would be enough to silence your enemy, here you have to resort to frenzied and repeated attacks on even the most basic of foe. This pseudo-realism makes for some frenetic moments of gameplay especially considering that you have a finite amount of stamina with which to swing your weapons or one away. Later in the game you are given conventional guns but by then you are so accustomed to swinging a modified baseball bat that you find yourself in a situation of preferring to use the up close and personal method. One great selling point is that you can play through the entire game cooperatively either with your friends or other people of similar skill. This is of great appeal to me and in honesty it seems to be an area neglected by many games. The games realistic combat and gory damage physics are let down slightly by the mawkish voice acting and plot exposition but if you're willing to look beyond that you will be pleasantly surprised by the game seems to have slipped under most people's radar. A masterpiece this is not but it is well worth the investment.
Dead Island is a first person survival horror multiplayer set on the tropical island of Banoi. You pick one of four characters who each have different combat specialisations and begin adventuring through the island. Starting off in a hotel you find survivors around the island and complete quests for them. The setting, zombies and characters are all brilliantly realised in the game's engine. The environments feel deserted, with abandoned boats/cars etc but there is still movement with trees blowing, newspaper flying around and so on. The zombies look disgusting, there is a wide variety of them and the gore and limbs that fly around when you hit them is excitingly visceral. The game is truly nerve-wracking when you hear the roar of a Thug (a big zombie) or the screeching of an infected (a really fast zombie) and you don't know where it came from. The only thing that breaks the impressive immersion is the awful voice acting. If you've played Borderlands then you'll understand the gameplay of Dead Island. It focuses heavily on combat, killing baddies awards XP, and skill points can be earned and spent on improving the abilities of your character. You can also repair and improve your weapons, and craft special weapons like in the Dead Rising games. I found I had the most enjoyment ignoring all quests but the main one, and just exploring. Weapons deteriorate over time and if you're on your own you'll need to be very careful. It can be a very tense experience exploring a dark police station when you're low on health, your weapons are about to break and you can hear zombies around. You can also join a game with up to three other people which can be a lot of fun. There's lots to discover and you don't need NPCs whining at you to enjoy it. You will need an internet connection for this game, as there's no AI players like in Left 4 Dead. If you choose to play only single-player, you can either play very carefully and wait until your character is quite strong before venturing into the more dangerous areas, or you can chance it and die a lot which is what happened to me. I have played the majority of this game single-player only, and have still found it great fun and it increases the nervous tension of being surrounded in a very dangerous place.
This is an amazing game! I have been looking forward to this for months now and it did not disappoint at all. I love all things zombies so when I heard about this I got really excited. After playing so much of Left 4 Dead one of the things I really love about this game is all the missions. In Left 4 Dead you are just trying to get from one place to another but this game goes in to a lot more detail than that. As well as having the main story line there are hundreds of side missions which range from finding somebodies teddy bear to putting up posters all over town. These extra side missions mean that I have had this game for two weeks now but am only 35% through the actual story. One of the features I also really love about this game is getting to modify your weapons. You get simple modifications like sticking nails into a baseball bat but also more complicated ones like making your machetes be able to electrocute the zombies (which is great fun!). The graphics in this game aren't amazing (like Assassins Creed) but they are still good enough to frighten the life out of me now and again :)
After releasing a rather excellent debut trailer, Dead Island rapidly built up a surge of hype for it's September release date. With promises of 4 player co-op, combined with an idyllic island setting and plenty of gruesome zombies, there was already enough reasons for players to get excited about it. The trailer may have already successfully heightened expectations, but now that the game has been here for a few weeks now, was this hype justified? Well, to put it shortly, mostly. Whilst the majority of the game is excellent, it just does not feel completely polished. Dead Island follows the same fun co-operative gameplay that has been seen in Borderlands and Left 4 Dead respectively, but thankfully, it is not a straight forward copy. Sure, inspiration has definitely been drawn from other RPG titles, but Dead Island thrives frantic survival element. Combine this with great combat, and a variety of intriguing missions, and you've got a well-packaged game here. The storyline is simple enough. A zombie outbreak has hastily spread through the idyllic island of Banoi, leaving a trail of distraction in it's wake. Many of the inhabitants have joined the hoard of walking dead, but thankfully there are some who were lucky enough to avoid the virus. You play as one of the four key survivors, who, somehow, is immune from this infectious disease. The game follows your chosen character as he or she help out the fellow survivors, whilst searching for a way off of the island. The story is prone to predictability at times, but the story is not what matters here. What matters is the gameplay itself. Combining the typical elements of an RPG (levelling up, looting items, etc) with the type of frantic and intense game play found in other zombie games such as Left 4 Dead, Dead Island's gameplay is incredibly fun. Bashing in decomposing zombie brains is satisfying, to say the least. What works the most is the feeling of survival being held constantly by a tether. Weapons constantly break, leaving players searching for more, first aid kits (which are very similiar to Fallout 3's Stimpacks) are at times very sparse, and other factors definitely add to the "fight or flight" format that is being adopted here. This survival element is what makes Dead Island so appealing. It adds a touch of realism, as even though your chosen character is immune, this does not stop them from being taken down by the intense infected. Players are free to explore the island as they wish, and the map adds a little structure for this exploration. The game is broken up into a series of maps, which divide the island into different explorable areas, such as the resort, city and jungle. Each area allows the player to discover new survivors, who, for the most part, have a few missions for you to complete. Players can stick to the structured storyline only if they wish, but the real fun comes in the exploration. Several surprises lie in exploring, so missing this opportunity seems like a real shame. Missions range from the typical collecting quests which so many RPG's have dealt with before, to clearing zombies in particular areas, helping the survivors to rig up explosives or communicative devices, and then, unfortunately, there are a few escort missions. I for one have never been a fan of escorting missions, and I know there are many that agree with me here. The escort missions provide a few frustrating moments in the game which tarnished the experience a little for me at times. NPCs have a habit of getting stuck during journeys at times, and refuse to follow the player as they are guiding them to their destination. I had to restart a mission due to one of the characters I was supposed to be guiding refusing to climb a flight of stairs, for no particular reason. Upon researching this, it appears that the escort missions seem to provide the same frustrations to many people. Dead Island's combat is primarily melee based, which forces the player to get up close and personal to the undead. Melee weapons are found all over the island, and there is a large variety to choose from. Players will start with the more basic weapons of paddles and broomsticks, but they will gain the ability to combine or create weapons as more objects are collected. The challenge comes in the constant need to repair or replace melee weapons. You cannot go through the whole game holding the same broomstick you picked up at the very beginning. Due to this, players will constantly be on the lookout for new weapons. Weapons breaking during a fight with a bunch of zombies creates an incredibly intense, and at times, scary game. Those who are used to blasting zombies away in games such as Left 4 Dead will be surprised to see that firearms are overshadowed by melee weapons here. Guns and ammo are available, but they are much more sparse, and tend to deal damage much slower than most of the melee weapons do anyway. Taking on the role of a blades specialist, I found the game to be much easier when relying on knives and sharp melee weapons than the handguns and shotguns found later on in the game. Unfortunately, where Dead Island suffers a little is in the single player mode. It is evident that this game is aimed more towards co-op players. The missions seem far more challenging when played alone than when completed with a friend or two. Also, the fun gets a little stale after a while when beating it solo. This lack of split-screen single console co-op is also a downer, as playing it on the same TV screen as a room-mate, friend, partner, etc, would have been excellent. As previously mentioned, there is a feeling of Dead Island not being completely polished. The graphics can at times be a little poor, especially during the cut-scenes, where the characters look expressionless, somewhat lifeless. Zombies or NPCs often get stuck on scenery (something which makes completely certain quests a complete challenge at times). It is hard to ignore the glitches when they hinder the completion of a quest. I had to reload my game several times over the course of the game in order to complete a quest. The game also suffers from an anti-climatic ending, which is a little disappointing, especially as the game builds up to what should have been an action-packed crescendo. Dead Island can be fully completed (achievements and all) in around 30 to 40 hours. Playing it solo may be a little boring by the time these hours rack up, so it's definitely recommended to find a friend or two to plow through it with. There is no denying that Dead Island was designed as a multiplayer game first and foremost, which successfully manages to be an enjoyable and satisfying experience. The mission related glitches sour the experience somewhat, so I only hope that these are patched up soon enough, but overall, the game is a joy to complete. Also on 8-Bit Girl: http://8-bitgirl.blogspot.com/2011/09/dead-island-review.html and Ciao under "MonsoonBaby88"
== DEAD ISLAND == Dead Island finally arrived after months of waiting for what we all knew would be a survival horror game similar to that of Left 4 Dead but with more quests and a better story. Dead Island is a first person survival horror game as is Left 4 Dead and its available for the PC and PS3 as well as the Xbox 360. This is yet another horror game that involves zombies and its becoming a regular thing and I absolutely love zombie games. The games publishers are Deep Silver and the developers are Techland who have barely made a game worth mentioning except Call Of Juarez until now. Dead Island features a main quest which can be followed really well but there are side quests which in turn lead to different parts of the story to the game. You get the choice of four characters at the start of the game. The game is also set on a fictional island by the name of Banoi which is located just off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Your character who you pick at the start wakes up in the Palms Resorts hotel to find the hotel has been overrun by endless zombies. Upon exiting the hotel you find its not just the hotel and it is in fact the entire island that has been overtaken by these flesh eating zombies. You character is immune from being turned into one of these and now your character must explore the entire island in search of remaining living survivors and help them whilst you also look for a way off the island. === GAMEPLAY === Dead Island is a really enjoyable game to play but there is only one game mode available which is story mode but its not at all disappointing because its fairly long compared to some story modes in other survival horror games such as the Left 4 Dead series or the Dead Rising series. There are 4 average looking characters to choose from who barely look the part. Each character is good at certain things for example one of the characters will have advantages to using firearms whilst another character will have advantages at using blunt weapons. This doesn't mean you have to just use those weapons for those characters because any character can use any weapon what so ever. Whilst on the subject of weapons I have to mention that there are absolutely hundreds of different weapons available scattered throughout the island in which you can pick up and use against the hordes of zombies. You can use weapons such as paddles, wrenches, daggers, axes, scythes, hammers, guns, even your fists and there are a lot more. You can also find mods scattered through the island which enable you to create special weapons. For an example you can create a machete and add electricity to it to fry zombies. To create weapons you also need the parts which can be hard to find. Your weapons can only withstand so much usage and will get damaged. Damaged weapons wont do as much damage either. You can repair weapons at workstations that are also all over the island usually in safe places. You have to search everywhere on the island for items. There are also many other items scattered through the island which include things like med packs, food and snacks which heal a certain amount of lost health and you can also find different files all over the island. There really is lots of different items. The quests in the game are really good and you can see the developers have worked a lot into this with the variety of the side quests and main quests available. To take on a side quests you have to find survivors who require your help. They could ask you to do absolutely anything from collecting food supplies, delivery items to other survivors, transporting survivors to safety, stopping looters and many more. Basically surviving quests that will involve survivors living longer. The main quests are also varied and some of them are extremely long but they are really good and enjoyable. Completing quests can earn you bonuses such as experience, money or even special items/weapons. With the experience you earn your character can automatically level up. In the top left corner of the screen is your health but just underneath is you experience points and how far you need to go to achieve the next level. Gaining a level gives you one skill point. You can use the skill point to increase an ability on your character or learn something new. There are three different groups each with different skills. There is Fury, Combat and Survival and all of them have different abilities and I also have to say the leveling up is fantastic and works really well. There are endless amounts of zombies on the island and there are also so many different types of zombies. You will come up against the runners in which will run at you and these are my worst because sometimes they come from behind to get you. There are the usual gormless zombies which barely cause any problems unless they are in massive groups. There are also Thug zombies which can take a massive beating before you can kill them. There are also the zombies I like to call nutters because they wear straight jackets and come at you like maniacs by charging. If they hit you they send you flying and do severe damage. There are also suicide zombies which explode if your near them and it can instantly kill you. There are a lot of different zombies and I think this works really well. The best thing is you can break zombies legs or arms with blunt weapons like clubs or baseball bats and you can also cut limbs off with axes or other sharp weapons. The island is fantastic because you visit a huge city there which is very challenging and you will also visit the beach, a jungle and many other places. To be honest at first I thought it was a really small island but its not. Its incredibly huge. I would also go as far as saying the game is almost realistic except for the zombies. You have to do everything you can to survive and at times it seems very real. The way the game plays is great at times but the game has millions of glitches that does ruin the game sometimes. Sometimes the game feels like it has been rushed and pushed for release by the company. I also think there are a few faults in the game. However the game is still really enjoyable and its definitely one of the best survival horror games out there today. === GRAPHICS === Upon seeing pictures of the game it really looks impressive and beautifully designed. I would even go as far as saying its brilliantly designed. The characters are a little disappointing because they look extremely boring and nothing like main characters but to be fair you don't hardly see your character because its a first person game. The island is magnificently designed in every way. The beaches look stunning and you can certainly tell it was once a great holiday destination (if the island actually existed). The zombies are also really well designed and very well detailed. Even the characters have really good facial expressions and it works well. Now for the reason why I have marked the graphics as just okay. Well the game features way too many glitches in the graphics and its very disappointing. The first day playing the game I barely noticed them but the next day things were really bad. I was playing online with my cousin for most the day and with a few other people at a different time as well and each time the game had major faults. For example there were zombies getting stuck and not being able to move. My cousins character had turned invisible on my screen whilst on his he wasn't. Also someone else's character was stuck in the floor with me only being able to see half there body. Then there was silly parts where we had done a quest and all of a sudden the game would lag really badly (both connections are fantastic) and end up crashing our systems. Its really disappointing because the game could even be a contender for Game Of The Year if it didn't have so many glitches. === SOUND EFFECTS === I really like the sound effects to the game and feel they outshine the graphics because of the glitches and its really rare to find that sometimes. Every character in the game is voiced and they all sound fantastic. I am also very impressed with the sound effects that all of the zombies make especially the runners because they go ballistic and you can always tell when your near a bunch of them. The suicide zombies are the worst because the only time they make a noise is when they explode. Half the time they explode on you which is annoying. The music in the game is actually really good at times and definitely fits the mood of the game. I have to say most of the sound effects really impressed me and there are only a few bits that could be improved so overall it was great. === DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY === The games difficulty actually varies as does most games. You cant actually pick a difficulty setting with this game so if you find it hard your going to need to learn quickly. I found the game fairly easy to follow and I also found the game simple to start with but as you progress further in the game it does get harder. Also the quests tell you how hard they are. Some will say very easy, some will say very hard and there are also other difficulties but its always best to do them all anyway. Doing harder quests will result in more experience and money plus items. The controls to the game are fairly simple but for some reason I keep using the Left 4 Dead run button so I guess it is confusing sometimes. The different types of zombies also have different difficulties. Of course the runners are one of the more trickier zombies because if you run they're just going to run after you. The game overall is good in my opinion in terms of difficulty. It may take a while to get the hang of it but once your away you should be fine. The length of the game is really pleasing. When I realized that the only game mode available was story mode I had guessed it was actually going to be a long story mode and it did please me. There are far too many games with numerous game modes but they only last a couple of hours. In Dead Island there are 4 acts with several chapters to each act. Along with this is over 100+ different side quests and there is also a massive island to explore. With Dead Rising your looking at a 30 or even 40 hour game maybe even more if you enjoy exploring as much as I do. === ACHIEVEMENTS === There are a total of 48 achievements in Dead Island and most of them are time consuming which is great. Most of the achievements are very much like the Left 4 Dead achievements and involve killing so many zombies with different weapons or in different ways. There are a few achievements that are acquired as you progress through the games story. There are also different achievements for travelling so far on foot and so far in a vehicle. There are also a few secret achievements but most are simple as long as you play the game a lot. === PROS === *Lots of quests that include over 100+ side quests. *Customize your own weapons and make special weapons. *Play co-op story mode with 3 other people at once! *The island of Banoi is beautifully designed and its massive! *Some of the sound effects to the game really shine. *There are an endless amount of zombies in the game and they just keep coming! === CONS === *The glitches and the faults the game has are seriously annoying at times. *Could be quite a difficult game to some gamers. *No other game modes other than story mode. *You cant kick people out of your game and you cant stop them joining unless you alter it in the main menu. *The game is rather addicting and time certainly zooms on by! === FINAL THOUGHT === Zombie games have always been something that interest me and I would most certainly say I would do okay if we were infested by zombies here in real life. I love any kind of survival horror game but when zombies are involved on a beautifully designed island then what more can you ask for. I love the fact the game is a little like Left 4 Dead but not an awful lot a like. It does also have a resemblance to Dead Rising with the huge amount of survivors that you have to help. I have to say the way in which the weather changes is brilliant and also the way the wind blows the trees is beautiful. I did find that the graphics would of been a perfect 10/10 if there wasn't any glitches but that is where the game is severely letdown. The game has so much potential and has so much to offer. I love the game and I would never let glitches in a game put me off too much. I would seriously recommend the game to any fan of the Left 4 Dead series because its a lot better than that series. I would also say its better than the Dead Rising series but its still early because this is the first one but it looks like there will be a second that's for sure. I would also like to see a better company take over in the next game. If your a fan of survival horror games and FPS (first person shooter) games then this is definitely for you and you wont be too disappointed because the overall gameplay is a masterclass. The game has an age rating of 18+ because it contains strong bloody violence throughout and some extremely strong language. The worst part of it is the gore because there are flying heads and limbs which could put some people off. The game manual is really good and is definitely one of the surprises to me. Its perfectly designed with all relevant information and help inside. I bought the game on release day and it cost me only £32 from ASDA which is fantastic for a new and popular game. The game is retailing at £39.99 in Game and Gamestation and is much cheaper from supermarkets or even on eBay and Amazon. Dead Island is a great game and it would be even better without the glitches. I would give the game a solid 8/10! Would of been a 10 if it never had the glitches and faults and at times didn't feel like it was rushed for release. Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!