After an opening video that reminded me of my usual Saturday night, I came to the title screen of Dead Island — a view of nothing but a cloud of blood slowly dispersing in the water while somber music played in the background. It was at this point that I started to think I might like this game. Then I hit the start button and those feelings went right out the window.

At the character select screen, I flipped through my choices of Asian ninja girl, half-black half-Australian mercenary girl, a black rapping dude, and Chuck Liddell. These characters give a sob-story voiceover about why they are on the island, and quite frankly this was the moment where I stopped giving a fuck whether or not any of them survived what I knew was about to happen to them. Thankfully, once the game actually started, they stopped talking.

So I make my selection. Anyone who knows me would also know that the obvious choice is the Asian girl. I may be a huge sexy white guy on the outside, but on the inside, I’m an Asian woman through and through. This one knows martial arts. She’s good with a blade. She’s in all of the advertisements so she must have some kind of hidden perks. Now I just need to find some other hot girls to go make out with.

The first hot girl I run into chases me down a hallway and punches me in the face. Not cool! You know, she wasn’t even all that hot anyway. Her body was alright, but she had some serious kind of skin condition. Whatevs. I’m sure I can find some more girlies. Hey, there’s one! Oh, she’s in a bikini just like the last girl and– eww! What is up with that skin!? Turns out, she’s on her period or something. This is not why I came to this tropical resort, so I’m getting upset.

A lifeguard informs me that these women aren’t on their periods, they’re just zombies. Oh, and somehow I’m immune to the zombie virus, so it’s up to me to go do EVERY GODDAMN THING THERE IS TO DO while all of these pussies hide out in a shack. Alright, just give me that broomstick so I can go beat some bitches up and save your collective asses. I didn’t want to share any of my XP or energy drinks with you jerks anyhow.

I head out of the shack in search of Lifeguard Cinnamon’s I.D. so that we can move all of the pussies from the shack to the lifeguard station, which I’m told is a more secure location. So I go find it and open the gates, and they all roll up in a pickup. You guys had a pickup this whole time and didn’t bother to let me use it while I was out here doing EVERY GODDAMN THING FOR YOU? You know what, that’s fine. Just give me the XP, you dick.

It’s at this point that Lifeguard Cinnamon tells me that I can get more XP by helping all of the other helpless pussies besides him, and BOOM! I now have a bunch of quest options. I help some girl find her teddy bear. I bring some other girl a few bottles of water. I escort some other girl back to the lifeguard station. They all give me XP, but still none of them make out with me. They’re probably just racists and don’t like my Hong Kongitude. Or maybe they work for The Network.

All of this took place over the course of about 2 hours, and when I stopped to think about it, I realized that I was having a pretty good time. During the prologue, I was a bit unsure if I was really going to like Dead Island. The controls just didn’t feel all that tight and I already noticed some graphical hiccups, like if I look down at my feet when I jump I can see through my body. The prologue was short, though, and after changing the look sensitivity and bashing a few zombie brains, the controls started to feel more natural.

My only gripe here is that the same button is used to enter Fury mode and to heal myself — holding B enters Fury, but just pressing it uses a medkit. Sometimes I try to use Fury before realizing that my meter isn’t the whole way up yet, so I let go of the button and it makes me use a medkit. This has only happened maybe four times, but I feel it was four times too many. Fury mode, by the way, is different depending on your character. My Asian chick goes into a chopping frenzy with a kitchen knife, Chuck Liddell throws a bunch of stuff, etc.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I feel the same, a lot of reviews made it sound like this game was microwaved shit but im loving it so far. Hopefully people give it a chance.

  2. Dead Island is lame- it’s too cliche (like at the intro with all the ‘sob stories’ from each character) and it’s of poor quality in general. The graphics are good, but there are glitches almost everywhere. It’s not very interactive (main character barely speaks and when it does, it’s the same few lines over and over again as it bashes away at zombie heads). It looks like someone wanted a lot of profit for only a little effort. I played it for all of about 45 minutes. I give it 2 out of 5 stars. I’ll have to have beat L4D2 seventy-five times before playing Dead Island again.

    • “I played it for all of about 45 minutes. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.”

      If you only played it for 45 minutes you don’t really have a right to give it a review score.

    • “I played it for all of about 45 minutes. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.”

      If you only played it for 45 minutes you don’t really have a right to give it a review score.

    • I haven’t played it and I give it a score of 1 out of 5. I mean, I looked at the box art and could tell that it was totally lame. Like, super totally lame.

      That was sarcasm by the way.

      I have to admit that I nearly didn’t make it past the 45 minute mark either. Everything you say is true. The game is absolutely horrible… until you venture out and actually get to do some stuff around the island. Are the characters trite and two dimensional? Yes! Does it really matter? No! Dead Island is a game where the thin plot and lame characters just aren’t part of the equation at all. I highly recommend giving the game more of a chance, especially to give the co-op a chance.

      But everyone has their own taste in video games and maybe the story is very important to you, but I think you’re missing out on some great game play if you can let some of the rough edges slide a little. What do I know though, I had more fun playing Tenchu than I did playing Final Fantasy, so my opinion on what makes a game “fun” is obviously wrong in comparison to the rest of the world’s.

  3. This game is great except for one thing, I have had 3 characters corrupted once I reach lvl 40+, I get the message “save game file corrupt”. when deep silvers tech support was called about this they either hung up once I explained the problem, or they said a patch was coming out soon for the 360.  nothing has come out to fix the problem and I’m still waiting.

  4. Playing through it right now has given me some joy, but a lot more frustration. Throwing weapons without killing their durability has definitely brought in more strategy, but the inventory system is completely lacking. I go to equip an item, but it only shows me the stats of the item I’m trying to equip and I’m left to back out, find the weakest item in my equipped slot, remember the slot it is in, then place my better item in that slot. Since I have a terrible memory I’m left guessing sometimes and just get it plain wrong. I’m about two thirds through the complete game, all side quests before main quests, and I would have to give it a good 7.5 so far.

  5. Playing through it right now has given me some joy, but a lot more frustration. Throwing weapons without killing their durability has definitely brought in more strategy, but the inventory system is completely lacking. I go to equip an item, but it only shows me the stats of the item I’m trying to equip and I’m left to back out, find the weakest item in my equipped slot, remember the slot it is in, then place my better item in that slot. Since I have a terrible memory I’m left guessing sometimes and just get it plain wrong. I’m about two thirds through the complete game, all side quests before main quests, and I would have to give it a good 7.5 so far.

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