The hype for "Dead Island" raged after the trailer advertising the game quickly became one of the top video-game trailers ever created. Despite not fulfilling the sky-high expectations, the game will appeal to anyone who loves bludgeoning the undead.
Banoi is a Polynesian resort island where bacchanalian delights have devolved into zombie bloodlust. Gamers choose to play as one of four main characters, and though they appear to have different skills, the game plays the same no matter which one is picked. Don't expect a well-told tale, because the dialogue, voice acting and cutscenes are horrendous.
Most of the game is a blend of first-person action, role-playing and fetch quests. To discover how Banoi descended so quickly into flesh-eating madness, a ton of fetch quests, survival missions and more awaits. It's a solid mixture, as some are rather easy tasks to break up the longer, more detailed setups. With few load screens, the entire island feels open and available for exploration, though with this openness comes technical glitches and frame-rate problems.
Banoi is filled with multiple zombie-thwarting weapons -- boating oars, steel pipes, diver knives, baseball bats, wooden planks. Weapons degrade quickly, however, which means unless they are repaired at the limited number of stations, it's best not to get too attached to any one item.
Besides playing solo, players online can jump in and out of co-op groups, creating little survival communities that give "Dead Island" an experience that feels more natural and flowing than other games with this feature. It definitely makes the action feel less lonely and it's certainly the best way to enjoy the game. "Dead Island" does not strike gold but its blend of action, RPG and small bands of survivors makes for a game any zombie-apocalypse fan will enjoy.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Publisher: Deep Silver
ESRB Rating: M, for Mature
Grade: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
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