Besides being a musician, I'm also an avid gamer. Here's some info on the latest games I'm currently playing.
Dead Island Review
Written: September 17th, 2011.
A Vacation To Die For.
Let's Bury The Past
If you've been waiting for reviews on Dead Island then you've probably heard about the buggy release and the fact some of the trailer scenes are not in the game. Truth be told, the original release on Steam was fine...some bad patches were released that caused some issues and have since been resolved within the first week of the game being launched. Secondly, and sorry for the spoiler if you haven't been following the game lately, but the scene with the family from one of the trailers is not in the game. If that is a deal breaker for you then sadly, you're going to miss out on one of the best zombie FPS/RPG games out there but also one of the best looking games out there period. All the cut-scenes and trailers use the in-game engine so don't let a few trailers with scenes not found in a game prevent you from enjoying an otherwise great game. Besides, if people refused to watch movies with missing scenes that they saw in a trailer...they probably wouldn't watch many movies or television shows then either. So keep that in mind when playing the game.
And Now The Fun Begins
Now that my rant is over here are some of the great features that set Dead Island apart from other zombie games. Each of the four characters have 3 unique skill trees to help provide a unique play through experience with each character. There is a bit of overlap for things like extra pack-space but most are specific to your character's weapons talents (thrown, guns, blades, or blunt objects). Once a play through is completed or if you just want to restart you have the option to continue leveling your characters up to level 50 which also adds a higher degree of difficulty since the zombies also level up whenever you do. Side quests abound and I logged about 32 hours in my first solo play through. During any solo or co-op play through you can join other people in your immediate area which is a nice feature. Future DLC content is in the works for arena play and also an additional story line.
Back From The Dead
Since your character is immune to becoming a zombie, you simply take a penalty to your in-game cash when you are knocked out. Also, being knocked out is not too bad since you usually respawn only a few feet away from your last location. Just keep in mind as your weapons are modified and you get higher level weapons...your repair costs also go up. I found myself low on cash in more difficult areas of the game and unable to keep all my gear repaired once I had completed the side quests in those areas. Co-op is a bit more forgiving since you have the ability to revive other players.
Does This Look Infected?
One minor gripe I have with the game is that it appears to auto-save screen shots which needs to be a feature that users can fully disable. After one play through, my SSD had lost over 4GB of space due to the 1500+ screenshots the game decided to take. That might be a nice feature for some but most players do not want a game wasting hard-drive space in the background. Until it gets patched, I simply delete them from the \DeadIsland\out\ScreenShots directory found in the Documents folder of Windows. Other than that one remaining bug, I think it's a great game with a lot of replay.
October 14th,2011 Review Update
After some recent play time using a controller I noticed that the screenshot issue has now been patched making this game worth playing even more than before.