- 28 Apr 2012
- Reaction score
Martok and I started Dead Island last night. I know we're late to the title but we're working through our shelf of shame.
As most of us are aware zombies have grown from their shambling form of the past into ravaging screaming running nightmares of the human visage. The metaphor of what constitues a zomebie has also grown from the uncaring State controlled slob of the 70s into the raging violence of an anarchistic regime. I'd go so far to say that they have become a parody of those fighting against the State for social change, a change so radical that humanity has to rebuild from scratch.
Dead Island takes up the mantle of hedonism gone badly wrong, a paradise island turned into a free roam hell hole. I've played a good number of different survial horror games but never one that was free roam. Even the early Silent Hill's play areas whilst being vast where heavily objective locked so being able to wander about a beautifully rendered island makes for a refreshing change.[prbreak][/prbreak]
The gameplay draws parralells to that of the recent Fallout series with character/skill progression, weapon creation and also weapon degradation with the added addition that it seems possible to play the entire story co-operatively; each player using one of the four characters that are immune to infection. Immunity is handy but it's not going to stop you from being eaten by the hoarde a point the game makes clear very early on.
The weapons degrade as you shoot, pummel and slash your way through the island's former occupants eventually breaking. So far we've not encountered a limitation to the availability of lead pipes and oars which are handily scattered throughout the play area so their degradation has not yet been much of a problem. Plans can be discovered or gleaned from "quests" that enable you to build specialist items the extent of which is yet unknown. We do however have the plans for modified knuckle dusters equipped with some form of poison spike. Each plan requires a vast array of items to be used in their construction so whilst they are prospectively powerful they are also difficult to create.
Graphically the game is pretty good although it suffers from the screen sheer apparent in many PS3 titles. The free roam elimant is handled pretty well with only the occasional pause whilst an approaching area is loaded. Although due to the free roam if you start creatively traversing the scenery and find yourself on a major boundry there is some appaulingly bad scene draw/popup; thankfully we've only been confronted by an empty hole quickly filling itself with pologons and textures on one occasion. Character detail and animation is very nice and there is a strong physics engine handling the movement of everyone including yourself. Visually we both laughed when we discovered that our very own AceGadgets had managed to get himself into the game as the main mission giver.
I can't as yet give very many details on the story arch due to only playing for a couple of hours. Each mission itself is detailed to you on a rather cutely blood splattered "hand written" piece of paper. Objectives can be declined so I suspect that there will come a point where the game covers moral choices as well as the standard "go get", "protect" and "clear out" missions.
So with only a couple of hours played so far I'll draw this to a close. Suffice to say I'm enjoying the game and Martok has enjoyed laughing at me jump when something unexpected happens; receiving a text in the early hours.
Images sourced from the Dead Island Wiki