The game that turned heads earlier this year with its provocative trailer is finally out this week, but sadly, the game has been met with a rather mixed response by critics so far.
Set on a tropical paradise, Dead Island presents itself as a first person action-adventure-horror game, and is being released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Players will be tasked with surviving the zombie-infested open world island and presumably finding a way off.
So far reviews have been mixed, and while the game currently sits on a not altogether terrible Metacritic score of 72/100, it has been panned by heavyweight publications such as Edge Magazine, Joystiq and Eurogamer. Having said that, it got a thumbs up from the likes of IGN, Destructoid and Gamepro.
Dead Island debut trailer
Here’s what some major publications have had to say about Dead Island.
If you don’t step off the boat expecting a taut horror experience, a masterful gun game, or compelling characters, you’ll have a bloody good time. Read more
Edge Magazine 3/10
The world doesn’t have the charm to warrant forgiveness, and progress-halting bugs prevent it anyway. With regular AI freezes and vanishing items, a mistimed autosave can prove fatal. Ultimately it all invites the refashioning of another line from Romero. When there’s no more room in development hell, the dead losses will walk the Earth. Read more
Presentation doesn’t make a game, experiences do. And they are packed into Dead Island.
Probably the most realistic recreation of the inevitable and oncoming zombie apocalypse in video game history. It’s typified by desperation, sacrifice, frustration, terror and the overbearing sense of hopelessness. But there’s a catch. Though the zombie apocalypse may occasionally be grimly satisfying or fleetingly triumphant when you survive another night, there’s one thing it almost certainly won’t be…Fun.
Missions generally consist of bludgeoning your way from A to B; sometimes you’ll have to retrieve an item, sometimes you’ll have to flick a switch. Take away the specifics though and it boils down to walking across an island of hungry corpses and back again nine times out of ten.
Strategy Informer 6/10
An injection of human drama could have brought the game’s reality into line with our expectations, which were so cruelly raised by that teaser trailer mere months ago. Read more
An open-world zombie game has far more potential than what Techland is putting on display. There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had on Dead Island, but don’t be surprised if tedium sets in once you’ve murdered a zombie in every way imaginable (estimated time: 20 hours).
It’s inspired, but turgid. Brilliant, but flawed. Fun, but infuriating. Like the living dead itself, Dead Island is a contradiction from beginning to end. However, I feel you need to play it, because despite copying so much from infinitely smoother games, there’s nothing quite like it on the market. That, itself, is yet another contradiction in the confused, conflicted, often completely beautiful mess that is Dead Island.
Dead Island probably won’t redefine the survival-horror genre, but it’s putting a fresh spin on things by demonstrating how online multiplayer can be used to make a fantasy world really feel inhabited by those with a common goal: survival. And the freedom to explore, exist, and eviscerate the undead the way you want is what makes Dead Island worthwhile.
Dead Island review roundup << Comments and views