Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Bloody Pulp: Dead Island First Impressions

In the making for about five years, Dead Island is finally out.  Read on for my first impressions of the game after about seven hours of play.

Let's get this out of the way first. Reviews for this game are all over the place.  High scores are generally going to console versions, while the lowest scores are typically for the PC version.  As mentioned here, publisher Deep Silver accidentally pushed what may have been a dev build of the game to Steam. By all reports, this build was unstable, glitchy, and just kind of a mess in general. The proper version has since been added and OH MY GOD!  It's pretty incredible.

Funny, from up here you can't even see the flesh-eating monsters....
The tropical island of Banoi serves as an immensely intriguing setting, given its sparkling blue waters and sun-bleached sands.  The game is bright and colorful, very new for a zombie game, and it's a very strange contrast when you inject zombies into this world.  Zombies, typically sticking to an almost purely nocturnal cycle in other games, are pushed right out into the sun here, and they're no less frightening.  I'd stumble upon a group of them feeding, or worse, hear an unseen zombie scream and charge at me.  Fast.  Fast zombies scare the shit out of me.  So far I've only encountered a handful of different types of zombie, but the fast ones get me every time.

That oar's not for paddling... well, paddling asses maybe...
Luckily, the game provides you with a massive array of melee weapons with which to beat a zombie about the face and neck. From wrenches, hammers and pipes to oars, machetes, knives, and about a bajillion others, I never felt like I wasn't capable.  When I first heard about this game back in 2007, the one part that stuck out to me was that combat was melee focused. That pissed me right off, because I wanted to shoot some zombies, dammit! Not hit them with a flashlight or something!  I stand firmly in opposition to that statement.  Beating zombies to death with hand implements is so intense, I had to go and get my blood pressure checked (it's 40 psi, for those interested)! So far, coming up against even a small group of zombies feels dangerous, because they will mess you up!  You're not a superhuman, and you get tired easily, so you really need to be careful. Check out the video as I put the hurt on some fools

Hoo yeah! In case you missed that last bit, I picked up a meat cleaver, chucked it at a zombie, and it CUT HER FREAKING ARM OFF!  So excellent!  So far, I like this game a lot! Open world, brutal melee combat, and some awesome RPG elements too!  That's right!  This was an element of the game that didn't really seem to get much publicity.  The game actually plays much more like an RPG than I expected, with damage and EXP numbers flying up, weapon degradation and modification, and honest to goodness skill trees!

That's all for my first impressions. I'll be playing the game for the next week or so, and I'll post my review shortly thereafter.

          Rock and his family actually have a zombie apocalypse 
          survival plan

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  1. God.....this....Starfox 64.....Warhammer 40k

    september is out for my wallet