Dead Island: A Zombie Getaway
By Jackson Leung (Mepath), OnRPG Tech Wizard
It was Sunday night. My brother and I decided to go to our usual gaming stop; a cyber-cafe on the outskirts of town. It seems like those are the only places you can find them anymore. We were brimming with excitement over this new zombie game called Dead Island. It wasn't long before we fired the game up and assumed our digital identities.
I became Xian Mei, the daughter of a Hong Kong inspector, smart, lethal, and deadly. Who, due to the unfortunate circumstance of being a female in a male dominated society, had her talents squandered by being sent to this island resort to observe for criminal activity. Curses.
My brother assumed the identity of Sam B. An African American rap star (yes, he's American, the game said he grew up in New Orleans).
It was business as usual, I was partying it up at the resort. After a hard night of partying, I washed down some pills with my liquor and passed out on my bed.
I woke up the next morning, did my routine, and on the way out, there was something definitely wrong. The hotel's halls were littered with suitcases. Some of these suitcases were randomly dispersed across the floor. Some of these suitcases were piled on top of each other, and some of these suitcases were made into a wall, but for what? I pondered this question as I emptied the suitcases of their contents into my pockets-of-infinite-storage.
It was weird, there were hotel rooms left open, blood stains everywhere, and even dead bodies. It must have been some wild party. It was weird, but I was late for work. I took the elevators down, when suddenly; it came to an abrupt stop. The power went out. A sound. The elevator started plummeting down. The doors flew open, and I saw, a person lying on the floor. He was surrounded by people with gray, ashy skin, their bodies showing wounds that by any medical standards were lethal. Seconds later, I noticed that they had said man's intestines in their hands, and in their mouths. At the same moment, these cannibals took great interest to me, and started running towards me. Not a weapon in hand, stuck inside an elevator, and seeing these hoards of blood-thirsty gray people running towards me. I thought it was the end, I'm too young and beautiful to die; tear.
The elevator door slammed shut, another sudden drop, and the lights came back on. A voice from the camera offered help. They said I had to run into some maintenance room and obtain a weapon. It's the only way I'm going to live. Shortly afterwards, the elevator opened, and I was at the lobby.
I don't know where the maintenance room was, but I'm going to get there quick. Right after I empty these suitcases I found of their contents. But I didn't have enough time for that. It wasn't long until these gray people, which I'll call zombies, took notice of me. I ran as fast as I could, I saw a door leading to a room that didn't look like a hotel room. I made a beeline for it. I ran in front of the door, and then I dove inside.
When I came to, I was surrounded by people who were about to knock my head off with a bat. It wasn't until I proved to them that I was capable of coherent thinking that they left me alone. Apparently, I am one of the few people who are immune to the virus, and one of the few people that can be bitten, and not show the same symptoms as everyone else. Sam B is another person with this mixed blessing. The once tropical paradise is now a living zombie nightmare.
Together Sam and I took our first steps out into the world of Dead Island. Taking on requests by the islanders in hopes that we can help obtain and accomplish whatever they need to help us get off the island. It wasn't long before Sam and I were bashing in zombie skulls with whatever we could get our hands on. We had to resort to the oars from a boat, a shovel stabbed into the sand, and a kitchen knife pulled fresh from a downed zombie just to name a few of our odd ball weapons. Of course the zombie waves were endless and these primitive weapons wore out to a state of uselessness quickly.
We've recovered access cards, rescued wives, recovered medicine, salvaged car parts, and whenever we had a moment of rest, we'd improve our weapons. Whenever we came across some tools left out on some table, we'd use them to strengthen our weapons. Anything even resembling a weapon would quickly fall into our infinite-pockets!
We were on the way to restore the lighthouse power generator so that ships out at see can come to our rescue when we heard the sound we both dreaded the most. "Sorry guys, we're now closing. Please log out. I hope guys had fun." We grudgingly logged off the computers and proceeded home, excitedly sharing our thoughts of the game. We will definitely be playing this game again, in fact, I already bought two copies for our home PCs!
I am a huge zombie genre fan. So this review reflects mainly my opinion, and will be biased. I have a strong preference for George A. Romero zombie films and Dead Island sucked me into a world just like Romero would have imagined.
This game is like a mix of Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, and Grand Theft Auto. It had the need to obtain weapons, these weapons also get worn down and break, just like Dead Rising. It had the ability to mess with your weapons, just like Dead Rising 2. It had the zombies chasing you like Left 4 Dead, but unlike left 4 dead, avoided the campy unrealistic occurrence of sudden hordes of zombies arriving. You kind of have venture into areas where zombies are located for them to take notice of you, and then the chasing starts. Finally, there's the atmosphere of Resident Evil. You don't feel like you're going to die any time soon, but you're always concerned that something might kill you. There might be something around the corner, behind that bush, behind you! At the same time, not only are you scared of being killed, you're scared of wasting your precious weapon's durability on killing the damn thing. Finally it resembles GTA in that you can steal and take whatever you need to survive with little worry of legal repercussions.
I loved everything about this game, and in my book, this is a must play game for any zombie fan. It's a good single player game, but to get the full experience you MUST play it with friends. Some people say that this game brings nothing special to the table, but really, I'm not sure if there has been another zombie-genre game that has fulfilled this zombie-fan-gamer's desires any better. Dead Rising was great when it came out, Left 4 Dead was intense, and Resident Evil kept me awake at night, but this game has a whole different feel altogether! I feel like I've been on that island, and I've slain those zombies, and I desperately need to get back to the game so that Xian and Sam can leave that island! They need me!
The Verdict: Play me now (10/10)
* open-world environment
*zombie room service
* their first trailer
* the list goes on...
* I can't really think of any. Perhaps if the graphics were more realistic, then when that day comes where I finally bash my computer screen in after losing a match of Starcraft, I could use Dead Island as a reactionary excuse.
I'm always lurking the forums and redesigning OnRPG. Feel free to say hi.