Tropical holiday hell
DEAD ISLAND RRP: $ 99.95 ( Reviewed on PS3) ★★★★■
CALL it ingenious marketing if you will, but before this game was even released, it shot to fame earlier this year through a compelling video trailer on YouTube that has since had more than seven million hits.
Wedged somewhere in between the other major zombie game franchises, which include Left for Dead, Dead Rising and Resident Evil, Dead Island manages to carve out its own niche through its unique tropical setting and role-playing game elements.
Set on a fictional island paradise called Banoi, the story sees your character waking up in a resort as an infection is spreading and claiming new victims. Fortunately for you, the growing number of walking dead are not able to pass the virus on to you, however, that’s not to say they aren’t still interested in making a meal of you.
As in any zombie uprising, the main aim is to survive and escape to safety. To do this, you need to seek out other survivors who have their own fields of expertise that can help you achieve some of your goals.
The start of the game presents you with a choice of four game characters, each with a slightly different skill set.
This initially offered hope that there would be some engaging character development as you progress through the game. Unfortunately, the options are limited to gaining a few new skills and some weapon customisation.
Surprisingly, Dead Island does offer a decent multiplayer mode. At any moment if there is another online player who is nearby the same point in the story, you can drop into each other’s game, in fact up to four can play through the game together.
This leaves you less open to surprise attacks and allows you to help each other when you fall or become injured.
Despite a genre that is already oozing with choices, Dead Island shows there is always room for more fresh scares and new surprises. But it is not without its flaws and the lacklustre cast could have been more developed. While zombie fans will nonetheless enjoy this holiday in tropical hell, for the rest of us, it’s far from the perfect getaway.