If I had explain Dead Island in one sentence, Iíd say itís Borderlands, mixed with Left4Dead, with hints of Far Cry. Thereís so many influences in the game, so youíd expect there to be a lot of problems, but somehow, it works. Itís the biggest surprise this year, because who would have expected an open-world zombie game set on a tropical island to be good? Yet, itís pretty damn good.
Dead Island is nothing like the trailer that wowed us all earlier this year, but itís still a great game. Thereís no real introduction to the game, it almost throws you into a zombie situation immediately without much prior warning. The game takes place in a small island near Papua New Guinea, where your character, which you have choice of in the beginning, has been bitten by a zombie, but is somehow immune to the virus. Youíre then saved by a group of survivors and have the task of helping them and other survivors on the island, as well as trying to get off the zombie-infested island.
The story, to be honest, is quite lackluster, because it doesnít explain much. The cutscenes are also usually quite short and donít do the best job in keeping you interested, but thankfully you can skip them if you want to. The gameplay however is where Dead Island shines, and it totally makes up for the relatively simple storyline. As mentioned before, this game is an open-world game, where you can interact with most objects and loot dead bodies etc. Thereís no install on the PS3 version, and loading is pretty fast once youíre in the game. In fact, in the open world environment there is no loading, except when you enter certain parts of larger buildings.
Any object you can search will usually replenish itís stock within a few minutes, so if you have previously taken money from a cupboard, you can come back to it a few minutes later (I think you may have to leave the immediate area), and it might have something else in there again. In this sense there are Fallout 3-like aspects to the game, but the way the game plays is slightly different. Also, whilst many may say this game is a first person shooter, for a lot of the game itís actually a first person melee-er (donít know if thatís a word), because all the weapons you pick up are melee weapons in the beginning. You can also make and upgrade weapons at workbenches if you have the blueprints.