“Dead Island,” the new game developed by Deep Silver, transports players to the lush and beautiful world of Banoi, a fictional island off the coast of Papua, New Guinea. The story begins as players choose one character out of four, each with their own specialties. As the same starts, it does very little to explain how the zombie infection actually started, essentially throwing the player into a world filled with horror and confusion as the dead walk the earth.
One of the games’ main strengths is its beautiful world of Banoi. From the start, players fight for their survival at a beach resort near the jungle, which showcases the lush landscapes, as well as the dark and dreary city-scape, rivaling many games in terms of graphics. The graphics don’t just stop with the landscapes. One of the bigger features stressed when announcing this game was the realistic gore both in and out of combat. Walking down a dark alleyway, hearing zombies screaming just around the corner while seeing their previous meals lying everywhere sends an eerie chill down the player’s spine.
Another strength of “Dead Island” is the plethora of quests offered throughout the campaign. Despite the main quest line players can follow, other survivors may ask for the player’s assistance in helping them, their families, or helping other survivors. While playing any quest throughout the game, friends or random players online can drop in and out of your game (or vice-versa), despite difference of level or main story progressing.
While “Dead Island” has many positives, there are still numerous pitfalls that take away some of the realism of the game. For instance, like most games with large open worlds, textures take a little time to load, and there are numerous bugs within it. Another weakness is the poor voice acting and character design. The characters within the game seem flat and carbon-copied with unoriginal backstories. (This can cause players to lose interest in the survivors, refusing to help them survive.) Along with poor character construction, the story feels underdeveloped at times, and has players constantly running form point A to B, causing the game to feel repetitive after playing for a long time.
While “Dead Island” does have its problems, the pros outweigh the cons. The story, while being a bit underdeveloped still gives players the feeling of being stranded with no way out while managing to survive and help others along the way. The beautiful level design, paired with an addictive (but a little tough to get used to) combat system gives players a new way to experience the zombie horror genre.