By Sam Coles:
When I first played Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide in 2011 and 2013 I absolutely hated it, due to the poor controls, muddy and blurry graphics and tons of bugs. When Techland were working on a new zombie property Dying Light, I sighed but it turns out I love that game, so I took it upon myself to try Dead Island again and unfortunately I still haven’t changed my opinion.
So what do you get in this package? Well you get Dead Island, Dead Island Riptide and a fun little beat ‘em up game called Dead Island Retro Revenge it is fun but does get repetitive over time. They’ve updated the lighting and visuals by using the engine from Dying Light which gives it an extra sparkle. Does it solve the technical and gameplay issues from before? In short no, no it doesn’t. I really wanted to give these games another chance but I didn’t enjoy my experience as it’s frustrating and boring, maybe it’s my fatigue with zombies, but who asked for this remaster?
Dead Island and Riptide take place on an open world holiday resort or jungle in Riptide which are infested with the undead I have to say that the environments do look good in this game. You must pick a character, each character have specific skills in combat and this can range from blunt weapons, edged weapons or firearms, don’t pick the firearms expert because you rarely come across guns in both games and when you do you have barely any ammo.
Gameplay is mostly first person brawling with melee combat which you would think would work because games like Condemned made melee combat brutally satisfying, but the it works like gun physics. Hear me out because when you usually swing a weapon in most games you can generally hit two or three at the same time, but Dead Island requires you to have your reticule aimed directly at the zombies and this can be a pain because you’re failing your weapon around with no impact. You can also craft weapons to have over the top effects like a baseball bat with lightning capabilities this a nice feature as it keeps things fresh during combat.
Graphically the game looks pretty good with the environments they’ve injected more colour with the lush tropical jungles by adding in more foliage and upping some of the textures. I can’t say the same for the character models as they look very stilted and stiff with flapping jaws every time they speak. There is a very annoying effect with the visuals and that is the blurry effects that will sometimes happen, I don’t why they added this in but it’s very distracting an option to turn it off would have been nice. Another graphical annoyance was the noise film grain effect it makes the game look terrible in some areas especially in poorly lit ones, why do developers continue to use film grain it makes the game look worse not better.
Overall I just didn’t have fun with this game it’s boring, repetitive, buggy and laughable with the voice acting. I feel that these games were Techlands very rough drafts before they made the game they wanted to make Dying Light. I wouldn’t recommend playing these games if you want something engaging because these games are not go play Dying Light instead.