Dead Island - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: Deep Silver
  • Genre:Shooter
  • Developer: Techland (Poland)
  • Release Date:Sep 6, 2011
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood and Gore,Drug Reference,Intense Violence,Sexual Themes,Strong Language,Use of Alcohol)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Dead Island is a non-linear first-person shooter in which you find yourself on an island plunged into chaos. It's a place where the word "dead" has an entirely new meaning. Face the nightmare and fight for survival. Use anything you find in your surroundings as a weapon. Make decisions that influence the entire world around you, take advantage of opponent behavior and game physics, and explore the secrets hidden in the darkest regions of the island.
G4TV Rating
3 / 5
  • Avg User Rating
    (152 Ratings)
    4.1 / 5
  • Rate This Game
Dead Island Hands-On Impressions -- Did Someone Say Slaycation?

Dead Island Hands-On Impressions -- Did Someone Say Slaycation?

By Stephen Johnson - Posted May 16, 2011

When the initial Dead Island trailer was released a few months ago, it completely blind-sided the gaming world with its evocative, emotional take on the zombie genre, but now publisher Deep Silver is laying some cards on the console-table, and letting us get our hands-on with the open world, survival horror RPG for the first time.

Our demo of Dead Island began with a cut-scene that had a very different feel from the previous one. Instead of the tragic undeath of a young girl, we get a scene set in da club. Hip-hop blares (a catchy number from game character Sam B. called “Who Do That Voodoo, Bitch?”), and we weave through the club with the results of our previous drinks evident on the screen. The scene devolves into a montage of blurred out images of destruction. There’s a cool tension created by the fact that the viewer of the scene recognizes that the dead are coming to life and attacking the living, but the main character is clearly too snookered to understand what’s happening around him. Each of the playable characters in Dead Island will be given his or her own intro movie to show off how they avoided suffering the fate of the hordes of zombies.

After the impressive cinematics, it’s on to the zombie-killing action. We saw two sections of the Island’s map – a resort area gone-to-hell and an urban area gone-to-even-worse-hell. In the preview we saw, we played as Xian Mei, an expert in edged weapons. The demo level opens with a group of survivors huddling together, in need of a repair for their radio antenna. You climb up there and take a look, then volunteer to brave the zombie-infested vacation resort to get the parts to fix the transmitter.

Combat in Dead Island is largely melee based. You’ll be getting up close and personal with the ghouls using homemade and found weapons. The safehouses we saw all had workbenches you can use to combine weapons, upgrade weapons, and repair old favorites. Weapons can be made more durable, faster, or more lethal, and interesting combinations include things like sticky grenades, a bat with nails driven through it, and an electrified machete. I started out with a knife and left the friendliness of the survivors to face the zombie hordes outside.

Dead Island

A trip down an impressively wasted resort lane quickly devolved into combat with the dead, as groaning shufflers detected me and headed in for a go-round. Distanced combat is possible, as you can aim and throw your weapons at a zombie and then pick it up after he/she dies. The majority of combat, though, will be in-your-face melee style.

If you’re expecting “whack a zombie” like Dead Rising, you’ll be disappointed. Combat in Dead Island is a more visceral, difficult proposition. Even single zombies will prove challenging until you get your bearings. It takes a bit of practice to get the timing of knife swings down, and while you’re whiffing at approaching zombies, your fatigue level is rising and undead are grabbing you to get at the juicy brains in your head. If you’re grabbed by a zombie, you’ll lose some health, but you’ll be able to push them away to take out your weapon and hopefully bury it in your victim. Combat also involves the judicious use of kicks. You swing your legs to put space between you and attackers, giving yourself a little breathing room so you can slide out a knife or gun.

You’ll need to keep track of your surroundings too. Propane tanks and other explodables litter the landscape, and you’ll be able to set ‘em off and blow ghouls back to Hell... just don’t stand too close. In my brief Dead Island vacation, I manage to create sticky grenades by combining an explosive and a knife then panicked and stupidly stuck a close by zombie with my IED. Blam – we were both blown to hell, forcing a restart at the last checkpoint.

Dead Island

The variety of zombies (slow, fast, and special) as well as the different kinds of combat will make for a deep combat game, but ultimately, I think I’ll try to stealth up as much as possible. Like good survival-horror, the zombies are hard to kill and the combat seems ultimately a last resort. If there’s an army of undead, what good is one person going to do against them?

Dead Island will also feature vehicles--working cars and truck can be commandeered and used to run down zombies. The driving is satisfying. Zombies are pretty hard to kill by hand, and finally having a means to just slaughter them outright is empowering. It didn’t last long for me, though. Bad driving resulted in a messed up car, complete with smashed out windshield and smoking engine block, so I took off on foot and hoofed it to the next safe house.

Once I arrived, I met an arms dealer, a profiteer who traded me a decent gun for some of the money I’d been looting off the living dead. Also, a survivor gave me another mission: Go look at some shipwrecks on the beach and see if there are salvageable supplies.

A trip to a once-scenic lagoon revealed a boss zombie and some nearby cronies hanging out around some crates. If that says “Boss fight!” to you, your instincts are right on. The boss was a roided-out nightmare, who was hard to handle by himself, and seems nearly impossible if his hench-zombies notice you. So I tried really hard not to agro the little guys so it was possible to fight zombie-bodybuilder mano-y-zombo.

After that battle, we flash-forwarded to a different setting: A blasted out urban area that was decidedly more menacing than the resort area where we began. After a quick tour of the urban blight, we moved on to a church, with some survivors barricaded inside. Outside is a special infected, a straight-jacketed creep who seemed to love ramming you and pushing you around. You’ll have to use strategy, and a variety of different entrances, to take this one down. Eventually, when you enter the church, and a friendly nun sends you on a mission. Back into the world, where a doleful rain is falling in the city.

Dead Island

The island’s varied settings and moods created with weather effects and whatnot as well as the different characters involved will no doubt create a variety of different moods throughout the Dead Island. We'll have to wait until later this year to see if the compelling parts can come together into a equally compelling package.

Comments are Closed

  • Zombieslayer117

    I think this is looking up to expectations. The same amount of creativity as dead rising 2 (combo weapons) but with the gore of dead space and left 4 dead put together. Yet even if it does by almost any means get bad reviews (which I don't think it will, but it is possible), I'll probably get it anyway just because it just looks like fun! I love a good story and all but in a bloody zombie game, I don't really care. I just want to chop zombies up whether it's scary or not. So this looks like it'll have a good story, but to me in a game like this I just want to kill some guys.

    Posted: July 31, 2011 9:39 PM
  • nico492

    This game will be nothing like left4dead 1 or 2 it basicly has the most awsomest gameplay.But if u were to rate this game i would rate it 5 stars because this game show us blood and seriously guts,cause any other games its just basic kill the person/zombie and their dead but this game has more than just shooting it has limbs falling off and xp point witch i like cause than its like a arcade game,there stranded on a beach witch is kinda funny lol,it atleast has bosses,and the trailer is realy funny if they came out with a second dead island i would probly crap my pant

    Posted: June 16, 2011 4:50 AM
  • jce12987

    Wouldn't it be funny/sad if this game would have multiple discs like L.A. Noire? :D

    Posted: May 22, 2011 12:18 PM
  • brtthys

    One think I would like to know is if your weapons break. Spend your time making a kick a** weapon it shouldn't break on you thirty seconds after using it.

    Posted: May 18, 2011 4:43 AM
  • sonicwind510

    left 4 dead and dead rising had a baby named dead island

    Posted: May 17, 2011 8:12 AM
  • Silky08

    I really hope they make the ideal zombie game using Max Brook's, "Zombie Survival Guide." It's a fun read on how zombies work. Or at least read the Walking Dead comics and use their drama as an inspiration. Although sometimes the Drama is a little heavy. Just a little.

    Posted: May 17, 2011 6:13 AM
  • nfoltz1020

    We have already seen a comical zombie game. You cannot beat Dead Rising in that category. I'll give this game a shot if it is a more serious take on the zombie apocalypse genre with a deep emotional story. That's why I like the original trailer so much.

    Posted: May 17, 2011 5:37 AM
  • ShinjiEx

    1. We know there are guns we've seen the images not sure why the guy in the video off plays that
    2. The dude on Feedback said the game was not serous he played a demo it's more comical

    Posted: May 17, 2011 2:48 AM
  • weirdness

    Game looks awesome from the screenshots. It seems like a realistic take on the zombie genre (that sounds like an oxymoron lol)


    Posted: May 17, 2011 12:20 AM
  • AngelsandDemons

    G4 is the only site that calls an article a preview without providing game footage on the most consistent basis.

    Posted: May 16, 2011 8:27 PM
  • SliQuid

    the more i read on this the more it seems like its gonna be another flop..seriously, the majority of the combat is melee which means the long distance they mentioned is probably gonna be so inaccurate, slow, and terrible that you will never use it..im a fan of variety..if it is mostly melee they better have some badass combos or something for the true gamers..punching and kicking gets very old very fast..too early to tell but its time to release some gameplay footage, slowly declining in interest in my book..

    Posted: May 16, 2011 7:33 PM
  • codmerced

    G4 would says its not on PS3 lol

    Posted: May 16, 2011 7:01 PM
  • JimDanD

    10 bucks says theres gonna be a zombie strip club easter egg with zombie strippers dancing and zombie patrons throwing money.

    Posted: May 16, 2011 6:55 PM
  • xFlamexOfxHellx

    PS3 gets awesome titles like Uncharted, Killzone and xbox gets stuck with "zombies" no thanks I have Left 4 Dead 2 for all my zombie needs.

    Also why is there no gameplay footage of this, not buying it cause I'm tired of looking at photo's and "talk" about it instead of seeing action.

    Posted: May 16, 2011 6:32 PM
  • Wozman23

    I could never get into Dead Rising because of the nonexistent AI and time constraints. This seems like it could be a step in the right direction.

    Posted: May 16, 2011 5:52 PM
  • Doomtastic

    This looks fantastic, I can't wait for this game to come out. Thank God I got an Xbox360 instead of Gaystation 3.

    Posted: May 16, 2011 5:35 PM
  • Bi-PolarBear

    I use to be a big fan of zombies when I was a kid ever since RE2 came out I thought man I wish we had more zombie stuff now I wish that they stop making so much zombie stuff before they milk the genre dry

    Posted: May 16, 2011 5:19 PM
  • Leigon666

    e.e He sais Xbox 360, Ps3 and Pc..... BTW this game looks great.... hopefully its a bit more serious and in depth than Dead Rising... the game is great but it didn't really get me all crazy about the story.... this game looks promising :D

    Posted: May 16, 2011 5:11 PM
  • Mystyr_E

    isn't Square publishing it?

    Posted: May 16, 2011 5:06 PM
  • dukeletoatreides

    Looks great. I was thinking about getting the 'repackaged' Dead Rising 2 but after reading this I might have to go for this one instead.

    Posted: May 16, 2011 4:52 PM