If you’ve read my Pumpkin Beer Power Rankings, you know I love zombie video games. If you haven’t read my Pumpkin Beer Power Rankings, go read it and come back. DO IT NOW!
Dead Island is a first-person RPG of zombie-killing joy. It borrows elements from similar games, such as the first-person and RPG elements from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, the multiplayer element from Left 4 Dead, and the creation of custom weapons from Dead Rising 2 and the Fallout games. Dead Island isn’t exactly original, but it is a lot of fun.
The game takes place on an island resort off the coast of Australia. At the beginning of the game, you choose from one of four unique characters. Each character has a special skill set. One is skilled at blunt weapons, one at throwing objects, one at firearms, and one at sharp weapons. As you earn experience, you progress through each character’s unique “skill trees” and acquire additional perks and abilities. The game progresses through several distinct areas, from the island resort to a city to a jungle and beyond.
Dead Island plays very similar to the Fallout games. You progress at your leisure by completing quests. There are main quests that you have to follow to beat the game, and then there are side quests that are purely optional. Usually you are tasked with finding food and supplies for the survivors. Along the way, you will find a variety of weapons, from broom sticks to boom sticks, many of which can be modified for maximum carnage. For example, you can make barbed-wire bats, flaming bats, and electrified machetes. As long as you maintain your weapons, which costs money, you can keep them indefinitely.
Ultimately, Dead Island is all about killing zombies. There aren’t any other enemies to be found. There are several different types of zombies, including the slow, lumbering kind, the “Infected”, which are reminiscent of the fast zombies from the Dawn of the Dead remake, and “Thugs”, which are incredibly powerful and take repeated blows to take down (Hint – chop off their limbs with edged weapons). The island is crawling with the undead, and they’re just begging to be slaughtered.
Overall, Dead Island is a lot of fun. The uniqueness of the characters and their skill sets gives you a reason to play through the game multiple times. My biggest complaint is that there’s no real penalty for dying. The game is difficult, and you will die often, but you just respawn at a checkpoint. The only penalty is that you lose some money. If there is a Dead Island 2, I hope they fix this issue. Don’t let that minor issue keep you away, though. It’s Halloween time, so settle down with some pumpkin beer and Dead Island. — Pedro Moreno aka The King of Pumpkin Beers
Score: 4.25 out of 5
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.