A Mind Lost

Anything and everything.

Dead Island Sucks

My son got this for his birthday for the Xbox.  Being a fan of zombies and RPGs, I’ve been playing after he goes to bed.  I’m 60% into the main storyline and I finally shut it off for no reason other than it’s a terrible, terrible game.

A quick list of why it sucks follows:

– I run my Xbox in 1080 on a 24″ monitor, and the game still looks pretty crappy.  The soft blur on outdoor areas is annoying, indoor textures are bland, and overall the whole thing just looks kinda “meh” for a 2011 title.

– Weapons degrade too quickly.  The constant need to repair after smacking a dozen zombies around is both unrealistic in some cases, and irritating in all cases.

– Firearms suck.  Really badly.  Kicking is more effective than a shotgun blast to the face.  At least the kick has a chance of knocking them down.

– The focus on melee combat would be wonderful, except that it’s often difficult to judge when an enemy is range, resulting in a missed attack (while the zombie then proceeds to smack you around).  Two foes can easily swamp you.  Also, the introduction of “Floaters” (a zombie with a ranged and AoE attack) makes forays into the sewers (a not infrequent thing once you get to the city) frustrating rather than challenging.

– Even though you level up, you don’t actually get any tougher.  It seems that while I’m spending hours whacking zombies and doing quests, these same zombies must be doing quests themselves (Retrieve three brainsssss for me?).  They level up when I level up, and the amount of damage they do isn’t quite proportional to the health gained.  As the game has progressed (my “character” is mid-20’s now), it seems to take fewer hits to kill me than it did when I was level 1.

– Chugging endless drinks to regain health is boring.  Seriously.  A drink fills one bar.  An apple or snack fills half.  Medium medkits heal two.

– Mediocre to terrible voice acting.  This one speaks for itself.  There’s nothing good to say about the voice acting.

– Cut scene dialogue is pretty bad too. And in every cut scene, the black guy looks like he’s retarded or something.

– The audio system could use some work.  In many looped sounds there’s a noticeable pause between each loop that ruins the immersion.

– Human opponents are often even more frustrating than the dead.  The first time I got jumped by a Punk, with full health, I died without even injuring said Punk.  I tried to bash him, but apparently he was immune.  The only reliable way to kill a Human is to shoot them in the head.

– Finally, with firearms you can Iron Sight to improve your aim.  This would be great if only the gun (a pistol mind you) DIDN’T WAVER ALL OVER THE PLACE!  Again, firearms suck.  Badly.

Overally, I give Dead Island a 35/100 score.  The idea was great, the implementation not so much.  I was hoping for a Diablo 2 meets Left 4 Dead, instead it’s a turd that just gets worse as the game progresses.  I should mention that I only played solo as I don’t play online on the Xbox (and can’t justify paying for a Gold Live subscription, screw Microsoft).  Perhaps it’s more enjoyable as a multiplayer co-op game, but I doubt it.  I just can’t understand why my kid loves it so much (he’s only 12, maybe that’s it).

An amendment: I came across this video review based on the accidentally released developer version on Steam.  I almost pissed myself laughing.

And Zero Punctuation.  This one has an advert at the beginning, but it’s worth it.  I forgot to mention the horrible follower AI.  He does not.



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