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Dead Island: Score 3/5.
played on 360

Dead Island throws you into a story filled with many questions and even more zombies. But the number one thing I got from Dead Island is a reminder to never let the hype over-weigh the reality.

Dead Island seemed to be one of the most anticipated RPG/ Survival games releasing in the zombie genre and I was caught up in the excitement. To my chagrin however the game is flat-linning. 

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Dead Island has a solid base; simple buttons, lush changing enviroments, and lots of blood/gore. On one hand you have a nice RPG element with upgrading and creating weapons, deciding how to exactly make the undead dead again, and a complex story. But on the other Dead Island doesn't really add anything new to the genre. There's no new ground being played, no innovation, just a basic solid game with drunken hack-n-slash, lazy NPCs, and missions that seem more like a chore than entertainment.

Graphics are pretty, but nothing compared to hit titles such as Uncharted or Fallout/Elder Scrolls. Back-drop enviroments are colorful but not important. Few objects scattered around the island can be moved but mainly everything looks like its just painted on the floor or wall. There are many glitches and bugs, but most of them were fixed on the "Day One" patched issued through Xbox Live.

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Gameplay is annoying and frustrating. I'll be blunt; Dead Island's gameplay mechanics are not terrible, but they will test your patience. Melee attacks can miss your opponents frequently, running and walking seem to be difficult for your character, and looting every single peice of luggage everywhere can drive even a brainless zombie mad. There is fun to be had herel Dead Island isn't a worthless play, but most of the gameplay is fumbling through bags and suitcases, driving haphazardly around the jungle, and losing money everytime you die.

I'm summarizing my final thoughts on the game and I'm split. Dead Island lets you roam freely on an island full of zombies, but doesn't have much to do other than search endless containers for money and random items. I'd kill for a mini-game. Traveling around island puts you in a vehicle where you drive like a madman, or makes you walk with nothing but zombies to entertain you. Repairing, crafting, and upgrading weapons is fullfilling, but everything costs money, and money is hard to come by. 

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NPC are worthless cowards who can't do a damn thing for themselves. Missions almost immediately become mundane, unimportant, and will make you skip all of the conversations with the NPCs. The difficulty scales to your level, but always throws in a special zombie or a surprise wave of infected, which keeps you on your feet. Melee combat is bloody fun, but throwing weapons is way more satisfying. Game length is longer than most games so you will get your money's worth, plus the DLC that will release.

Overall I give Dead Island a 3/5 and thats being generous. Dead Island is a solid hack-n-slash zombie survival drama that uses RPG elements to create your own way of playing. The enviroment is never changing as well as the NPCs' lack of courage. CO-OP lets you play with your friends and zombie games are almost always playable.

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+ Zombie Survival +1
+ Level Progression and Difficulty Curve
+ Upgradable and Modded weapons
-  NPCs are worthless
-  Combat is Annoying
-  Looting is time consuming and almost not worth the effort
-  Missions feel more like chores than quests.

???- Why the hell is there Online CO-OP but no Split-Screen 2 player action? 
???- WHERE IS NIGHT TIME!? Fighting zombies in the night would be great.

 


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