‘Dead Island’ offers Halloween funWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Few things put you in the Halloween spirit better than to bash in the skulls of a few zombies. Since Harold Camping was wrong once again about the world ending, “Dead Island” serves as a nice consolation.
The open-world gameplay of ‘Dead Island’ takes you everywhere from a beach resort to the slums to deep in the jungle, and the environments are beautifully designed. Banoi, the fictional island located of the coast of Papua New Guinea, looks like it would have been a nice place to visit before all hell broke loose.
The highlight of the game is its immersion into emotion and they psychology of battling a zombie infestation. This includes insanity, contemplating suicide and debating how to deal with infected loved ones. A character who killed her own infected father tried to reason with another character facing a similar situation with his wife. She said, “It’s easy killing a million faceless nobodies, isn’t it? But what about killing someone you love?”
Unfortunately, the game’s biggest strength is also its biggest shortcoming. It does a great job of getting into the emotion and story of secondary characters, but the main characters and their backstories are almost untouched.
There was potential for great flashbacks with four main characters each from unique backgrounds. Sam B is a one-hit wonder with his rap song “Who Do You Voodoo.” Xian Mei moved from Hong Kong to work at the Royal Palms Resort on Banoi. Logan Carter is a former NFL star whose career ended after crashing in a street race. Purna is a former Australian police officer turned body guard.
The characters’ stories will be further explored on the big screen after Lionsgate announced Sept. 27 it optioned the film rights to “Dead Island” from Deep Silver.
The decision was based largely on the success of the game’s trailer, which reached more than 10 million views within two days of its release and earned several awards such as the Golden Lion in Cannes at the International Festival of Creativity.
The first-person combat in “Dead Island” makes it feel like you’re immersed in a classic zombie movie. The limited amount of stamina available to characters helps create a more realistic feel.
There are a wide variety of weapons available for disfiguring zombies including bats, crowbars, axes, knives, explosives and a small amount of guns. Each character has their own specialty with weapons. Sam B prefers blunt weapons, Xian Mei uses sharp weapons, Purna is a firearms expert and Logan Carter throws weapons. Weapons degrade with use, eventually breaking, and can be repaired at work benches throughout the game as well as modified with enhancements such as barbed wire, electricity and poison.
The storyline could have been put to better use, but the emotion, environment and realistic feel of “Dead Island” make it stand out as the best zombie game to date.