11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
An endless series of fetch-quests in a sandbox world,
This review is from: Dead Island (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Dead Island is set on Banoi, a tropical paradise. Our protagonist (whoever you choose) wakes up in their hotel having been left for dead [pun intended] and finds that the resort is overrun with flesh-eating zombies. Grabbing whatever is at hand, you proceed to bash, slice and hack your way out of the chaos, stumbling across survivors as you go.
Firstly, a little about my set-up: 2.66Ghz Intel Dual-Core, Nvidia 9600GT with 4gb RAM, the game runs well at 1900x1200, details are great, there is a little bit of slow-down at some points, usually when there are a lot of the undead on screen. The game allows you to adjust your preferred set-up for quality vs. performance with a simple slider bar - very convenient.
DI is simply a great game. The island of Banoi is in no way bland; all the environments feel as if they have had a lot of time spent sculpting them rather than a cookie-cutter standard layout, which given that it is a hotel complex could have been an easy shortcut. They took the high-ground. The character models are decent, you have weapon specialists (blunt weapons, throwers etc) and get to choose your character from 2 guys or 2 girls. The animation is fantastic as well, you have location sensitive damage on the zombies and the weapons splinter and degrade realistically too.
Unfortunately, the game is immensely repetitive; the story-progressing missions are nearly all fetch-quests of some kind and the only difference between them is whether you need a vehicle or not to bring back the items, be it fuel, water or a key of some kind. The side quests which earn you XP and cash can be completed at any point and don't even bother disguising the fact that they are a simple fetch-quests e.g. "I left my favourite necklace in bungalow 15 of the Silver section, can you get it for me?" - Very boring, and obviously as soon as you leave an area, all the zombies respawn, meaning you have to fight your way in. And then out again.
The XP system is great, it's similar to Diablo II in this respect, you can repair, upgrade and even customise your weapons and skill tree, making for a truly unique experience. For instance, collecting a load of nails and then combining it with a baseball bat makes a fearsome weapon, deodorant cans, duct tape and a lighter make a throwable incendiary device, the list goes on - it's immensely entertaining and causes you to scavenge every available item - a neat trick.
The cars however are a pain. Often the only difficulty scaling they can apply to each quest is the distance you have to travel between the locations, meaning a vehicle is essential, but the cars drive like a boat; you can move your head inside the cab too meaning that you are never quite central and will end up bashing into something, oh and they didn't bother to allow the cars to scrape off incidental minor blows, oh no - you stop completely.
I'm hooked though - the beautiful tropical resort milieu and the combination of bashing zombie's heads in is just too much fun - despite all of the missions revolving around NPCs inability to walk or go anywhere without you - you can also play the entire game online in co-operative mode. Recommended for a great zombie-based FP sandbox experience.