Dead Island, Zombie Apocalypse with a Thousand Names and One Resort

Dead Island

Can Frankenstein’s monster be considered a zombie? And what if this monster is made from parts of zombie bodies?

The bloody massacre with the living dead is one of the most pervasive trends in global pop culture. There is no hiding from the slicing, shooting, and burning of zombie heroes in numerous books, movies, and games, whether in a forest cabin, a space station, the Wild West, or a tropical island. It is safe to assume that the last straw (for gamers) will eventually be a zombie add-on for one of the Total War game series, but for now, welcome to another zombie land – Banoi, the setting of the first-person cooperative action game Dead Island.

The premise of our resort romance for four is as follows: the main character wakes up in a hotel after a night of drinking, only to find that there is no one around, everything is turned upside down, and zombies are falling from the sky. That’s it. There are also backstories for the four protagonists, theoretically interesting and shedding light on something or other. Practically right after starting their arduous journey through dismembered corpses, our heroes, who, as it turns out, are immune to the zombie disease, come across other survivors of the disaster, um, lucky ones, and try their best to escape from the tropical paradise somewhere far away. Or pretend to try.

Let's go swimming.

Let's go swimming.

And I recognized you right away!

In general, the new part of Dead Riseland came unexpectedly. Despite such an unplanned visit and bad weather, the old gameplay is instantly recognizable: we have the same endless zombies, the same requests-tasks from the survivors hiding in a safe place, and the same machines for attaching circular saw blades to baseball bats. However, everything has changed a little.

You can row through the sea of ​​undead flesh with bare hands or with various paddles, wrenches, machetes, Molotov cocktails, and other firearms. Swinging baseball bats left and right gets tiring, so in the midst of a heated brawl, your character will definitely want to rest at any cost – after all, that’s why he came to the island – he will drop his hands and pretend to be a punching bag.

It’s good that the protagonists have all undergone Chuck Norris Army training before getting drunk on Banoi. No matter how poorly equipped and tired the combat unit is from waving their hands, zombies can always be kicked. This kick is the strongest method of getting rid of 80% of the undead in Dead Nukem, it can practically counter all enemy attacks and knock down representatives of the two main types of living dead, weak Wanderers and deranged Infected. The tactic for dealing with these types is simple – we kick them with boot heels (yes, there is a diva in Dead Island who exclusively roams the sand, roofs, and sewers in high-heeled shoes) and then work on their heads with whatever comes to hand. However, you can also aim for other body parts: when using machetes, you can have fun cutting off the undead’s arms and legs and watch them struggle further, like that schoolboy with a fly.

Such tricks don’t work well with higher-ranking dead. The tough ones can still deliver good punches with just one head, even though they walk barely, it’s better not to stand near suicide zombies at all, and the butchers-drowned from Banoi won’t let anyone hit them for free.

So, we stock up on blunt weapons; Dead Riseland wouldn’t be Dead Riseland without machines for collecting insane dismemberment tools. The spicy moment is that the local workplaces for the “Skilled Hands” clubs do not run on the enthusiasm of improvising carpenters and electricity, but on money. To feed the voracious furnace of Banoi’s machines, one must constantly methodically plunder. You can only somewhat calm down your usually very fragile set of undead dismemberment tools after robbing half the island.

Here with such a cheerful bat, people pretending to be the game are running along the Bana.

People who pre-ordered the game walk around Banoi with such a cheerful bat.

In The Dead Scrolls: Oblivion, there is also leveling up and synchronous level increase. If you level up, you may not be too happy because all the zombies within kilometers of you also level up. The only relief is the skill points obtained for leveling up; unfortunately, they only work to make the game easier. In some third-person action RPGs, new skills need to be applied in order to easily deal with tough bosses, but our new abilities allow us to defeat hordes of zombies without thinking about new tactics, techniques, or anything else.

With the help of a reliable hammer with an oar, the player will try to honestly help the people in need without using the scattered boats on the beaches to escape from Banoya. However, the heat-stricken resort visitors ask immune rescuers for some nonsense, and despite the generous gifts of experience points and shock machete blueprints, no one wants to go looking for teddy bears in zombie-infested bungalows. However, there are some good sides to the NPCs’ stupidity – presumably due to the mass sun strikes, the island hostages forgive the heroes for their thieving habits and even encourage them to eliminate competitors. Yes, besides zombies, the gamer will have to shoot down dozens of living people who have also decided to take advantage of the situation.

Personally, I don’t understand why in the midst of a zombie plague, the player defaults to dealing with helpless islanders instead of joining groups of marauder heroes who know how to handle a gun. Do we want to survive or what? The gangs of bandits will have to be dealt with in the second act of Marauders vs Zombies. Unfortunately, the scenery will change along with it, and instead of a truly beautiful resort that is interesting to wander around and explore, gamers have to wander through already tiresome destroyed slums and sewers. Who would have thought that the developers would abandon such a successful setting so quickly?

Either way, in the new Left 4 Dead Island, everything remains the same – the brave quartet managed to escape to the resort only a little, and then they move forward on a beaten path. The cooperative mode has hardly changed from the old days, except that the focus has shifted to close combat.

If you try, then there will be a lot of blood.

If you try, there will be a lot of blood.

Beetles of the Dead Island

DI is quite buggy. Zombie body parts constantly break through walls and closed doors, time in the game behaves strangely (and I’m not just talking about the unnecessary and insane bullet time that kicks in at the most unnecessary moments), the controls of the local vehicles are also messed up, people behave strangely not only in the context of the zombie attack, and so on and so forth. But the main flaw, which is the developers’ responsibility, is the serious tone with which the new Grand Theft Zombie tries to present the idiocy happening on the island.

A couple of prominent examples have already been mentioned above, and one could endure them if such nonsense didn’t appear every five meters. While the 3D dummy NPCs try to depict panic, horror, drama, and apocalypse, the heroes can’t simply take a couple of boats, load them with looted supplies, and escape. And for some reason, almost no one wants to stay in fortified coastal bunkers, where it’s easy to defend against everyone, including zombie kamikazes. Instead, half of the hostages from Banoy still want to continue their resort banquet, with plenty of alcohol, and for the surviving wives not to know that their husbands are having orgies in bungalows behind barricades.

Against the backdrop of all this chaos, the player is offered to care about the fate of people and do great good deeds, but who will seriously delve into it when you can first cut off one arm of a zombie lurking around the corner, then the other, then deprive it of its legs, kick the carcass like a football to some cliff, then go and give one of the survivors so much whiskey that he vomits on camera, and finally crash some car into a mountain, since they won’t let you just sail away.

Our gamer monster Frankenstein plays cheerfully during the first act, while around there are those same beaches with palm trees, blood-filled pools, and other resort joys. Exploring the area adjacent to the hotel is not tiring, battles with zombies have not yet become boring, the graphics are pleasing – everything is wonderful. Then everything is taken away from us – bungalows and sand are replaced by slums and slums (and slums, and sewers, and repeat), any novelty in zombie fights becomes tiresome, and the shootings meant to diversify the zombie carnage become uninteresting, it becomes impossible to listen to or read the NPCs.

Back to the City.

Back to the city.

If zombies haven’t bored you enough to spend at least a dozen hours visiting the beaches of Banoi, then feel free to take Dead Island: the first couple of evenings with the game you will most likely enjoy, after all, it’s a tropical cocktail mixed with not the worst games, and the controversial presentation and sometimes questionable quality of the ingredients don’t become apparent right away.

Dead Island
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Action, RPG
Deep Silver
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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