It is kind of nuts to think that the original Dead Island is now the better part of a decade old at this point. Before the game was released, many people were thinking we had a Left 4 Dead clone on our hands. That turned out to not be the case at all as Dead Island is more of an RPG than a straight up first person shooter.
Some people say that the story in Dead Island is not that important and to be honest with you it is not going to blow you away However, I do like some of the characters that you deal with and think that the idea of the world going to hell, but in a tropical paradise is a pretty neat idea.
It is not going to win any prizes for originality, but I found that the story did keep me invested and like I said I did enjoy the characters. Actually, the characters must have made an impact as when the two spin-off games were released the fact that characters from this first game were in them was cool to me.
It is easy to look back at a game originally released in 2011 and say that it is rather ugly, but I do not really think that is the case with Dead Island. I really cannot think of another horror style game that had a tropical paradise for its setting. The game being on Papa Nui Guinea certainly is something that I think is cool.
Dead Island does have a fair bit of variety to the levels you will be exploring. You have the beaches and the lush, green environments you would expect from a place like this. However, hotels, a jail and the sewers help keep things fresh and each one has a very distinct style to it.
If you try to play Dead Island as if it is a game like Left 4 Dead, you will hate it! This is really more of a survival horror/RPG game than anything else. You need to level up, spend your points wisely and you always need to watch your stamina! You cannot just run around like a maniac swinging your weapons. You need to conserve stamina and also watch the health of your weapons.
It makes getting into a situation with a lot of zombies at a time very tense. However, the progression of leveling up and getting skill points evens the playing field and drives you forward. While there is a lot of action in Dead Island, I like to think of it as the thinking person’s zombie game. The campaign is a solid length and it is rather challenging. It does take a while to get the hang of things and you have to keep in mind that this is not just a standard FPS game. You can play it with a buddy in online co-op, but may this would have been awesome with a friend sitting next to you.
As someone who played Dead Island back when it was first released, I am willing to overlook some of the flaws in the game. Playing it again recently it is a little rough around the edges and the controls in some places can feel a bit on the clunky side so there is certainly some perseverance you will have to do with the game.
Final Thoughts On Dead Island
I still think that Dead Island is a solid game. It is full of blood, violence and gross creatures. I love the RPG elements that the game has and it genuinely does make you sweat as you play it as it can be very tense. Just know that there is a bit of a learning curve here and you need to stick with it in order to see the best that it has to offer.
- The setting is very cool
- Interesting characters that you do care about
- The RPG aspects of the game are interesting
- Lots of action
- Plenty of variety in the environments
- It can be very challenging in some places
- The whole game is showing its age now