Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Three Hour...Life Span?

I don't often play single player video games, I enjoy the group atmosphere a lot more, but I just had to get Dead Island. Since the dead are stubbornly refusing to rise and consume the world I have to content myself with pretty pictures on a tv screen.

Anyways, I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying this game. If you like zombies and the apocalypse as much as I do (and honestly, who doesn't enjoy a good, wholesome apocalypse now and then?), then I think you'll definitely like this game. It has just the right amount of atmosphere and foreboding to scare the hell out of you if you're playing alone in a quiet room and it has enough zombie head smashing to entertain the action junkie in all of us. 

The story line is simple enough: You're on vacation on a tropical island and wake up to a nightmare scenario. A zombie plague has struck the island, turning nearly everyone into the walking dead. There are, however, numerous survivors that you'll need to help along the way as you struggle to find the source of the plague and find a way off the island before a monsoon hits.

The game is very open and sand box-y allowing you to wander almost anywhere you like, often stumbling on side quests or survivors to assist, but it also has an over-arching storyline to follow at your convenience. Of course, some of the side quests are a little hokey or head-scratch inducing, but you quickly forget about that when a band of zombies shamble out of a bungalow and try to eat your brains with some fava beans and a nice chianti!

I have to say, I jumped more than a few times when suddenly attacked by zombies I didn't see coming, or looking down to pick up an item and suddenly spotting a strange shadow behind me. 

The game mixes fast and slow zombies to good effect. The slower one are fairly easy to handle in small numbers and I think that would get tiresome after a while if they were all slow. Luckily, if you want to call it that because they freak the hell out of me sometimes, they added "Infected" which are basically maniacal running zombies that seem to burst out of nowhere to bear down on you faster than you can say What the Fu...

Pictured Above: What the Fu...!
On top of those, they add in what I guess you could call "boss monsters" that are tougher or have non-standard zombie abilities. A Thug is a super tough, super strong slow zombie that will knock you on your ass if you get too close, a Butcher is a creepy fast zombie with no hand but sharpened bones for arms, and a few others that are better discovered for yourself.

There is a level system with a skill tree that you can select from with each level you gain and equipment (read: weapons) that scale up as you level. And the enemies also scale up as you do to keep things fair. I'm not a big fan of the level system, but I guess it gives you a way to get new skills and enhancements

There are a few quirks to the game that were unusual, but not really game breaking, such as: every time you leave an area and come back later, all of the items and containers that you looted will be restocked and monsters will be replenished. I suppose you can justify the respawning of monsters by saying new ones have wandered into the area, but who is going around refilling all of those suit cases I just ransacked?

Overall, I would definitely recommend this game to anyone that likes any of the following: Zombies, action shooters, exploding heads, horror, post-apocalypse, shooting propane tanks, being scared by a video game or curb stomping the undead.

And for your nightmare-inducing pleasure...

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the game review, I really enjoy L4D & L4D2, I had given some thought about getting this game on Steam.

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  2. There's plenty I do with groups of people, including my regular gaming group. But video games is one of those things I rarely play with others, Halo 2 and a couple of Baldur's Gates games being the exception.

    But I love the alone time with single player games. It's sort of my "turn off my brain and just play" time. Resident Evil and a ton of othe PS2 items in the 90's were played late on many a night, and currently I'm pretty entranced by the game play of Fallout 3 (which I think would make a great MMO setting), and next on my sites are other games I'm a couple years behind on, including Bioshock and Dead Rising.

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  3. For some reason, when I play a single player game, I usually feel like something is missing because I'm not interacting with other people. And if I'm in a group setting I usually put on something that multiple people can play at the same time like NHL or a shooting game.

    Not to say that I don't enjoy a single player game now and again. I LOVED Fallout 3 and I'm really enjoying Dead Island, I just wish Fallout 3 was multiplayer.

    Dead Island does have a multiplayer aspect to it so you can have up to 4 people in your party at once, and that's sorta cool too tho.

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