Updated Wed, Sep 14, 2011 by Stow
Like its spiritual inspiration in Borderlands, the co-op of Dead Island is difficult and fun. Enemies and the number of them increase accordingly, but one of the interesting things is that experience points scale ridiculously to help lower level players get into the fray better. So much as punching a zombie once on a high level boss-type can get you 100+ exp per punch, so don those brass knuckles and beat the tar out of some high level buddy’s zombie horde to get ahead quickly. Is it a flaw or a feature? That’s up to you to decide.
Just hope you don't enter close quarters like houses with a crowd behind you, because you never know when you'll have to back up and get out of the way of a nasty ambush!
Value70OkayWhile the game does allow for second playthroughs, with the story being more or less complete in 15 hours tops I found myself lacking any kind of incentive or desire to play through again. As I’m sure some of you have heard, the PC version launched pretty much broken, and has had 3 patches now to get it up to speed and playability. It is now stable and fun, but some stupid decisions like being able to hold 15 boat paddles but being forced to consume an energy drink on the spot still exist, or why a steel dagger breaks in 10 stabs on zombie flesh. The good news is that the silly design decisions do not really detract from the fun of the game once you get used to them… if you last that long.
This whole game just feels like a really well done mod rather than a full-fledged game. It has lots of stupid design choices in the durability and lack of a fast travel system (respawning zombies DO get old after a while) but the core gameplay is fun as hell and who doesn’t like tag teaming a zombie wave with a buddy? The amount you get out of Dead Island beyond the single player lies completely in your friend circle. If you guys can get together and do zombie killing sprees on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself embracing this for a long time to come, and it will only get better as it gets patched with more bug fixes, and hopefully, more lasting content than some fetch quests.
It’s a wonderful concept and the core gameplay is executed beautifully, but it really doesn’t do anything new or interesting. You get weapons, you shoot zombies, blah blah blah story you skip through, and you do it again with a friend. A laundry list of silliness like lack of a soundtrack and the durability system (no seriously, it is THAT bad) have no place in a zombie survival game, and in the end, make Dead Island nothing more than a mediocre co-op killer. These games are still a ton of fun, but it’s nothing I would run out and buy at full price, especially when the product still needs patches every few days!