Definitive editions are a new gen console staple, and they aren’t going anywhere soon, however they aren’t always fair to the consumer. And here is the big question, can zombie RPG slash-a-thon Dead Island translate well onto new generation software? Well here’s my Dead Island Definitive Edition review to help you make that choice.
First off let’s have a quick overview of the franchise so far. Dead Island came out after one of the best (and probably most misleading) trailers of all time, it is a fun, rich and massive world where there is always something to do and/or kill.
The second game is Dead Island Riptide, a game that is stand alone, but felt more like large piece DLC, where the original characters and a newbie tackle the effort to escape with their lives intact.
The bundle also includes all the DLC from the originals, and a new bonus piece of content called ‘Dead Island Retro revenge’ – a perfectly serviceable time killer, I will say that it is worth noting that the absolutely god-awful Escape Dead Island is not present here.
The first noticeable thing that has changed from the original to the definitive version is the change in menu design, I am not sure why this would have happened, and it does seem to be a purely cosmetic change, but it kind of through me a little.
The game play is unchanged from the originals, and breaks down into four key elements.
The quests in this series aren’t that varied, mostly fetch quests or ‘kills X zombies’ quests (albeit with a variation of veneer) – most of these will require you to go to point A and then B, before returning to the quest giver to get a bonus in XP and some form of goody (be it a weapon, mod, or in some cases cash)
A fair portion of the quests in this collection (as with many in games involving XP) are filler, but the core story lines are fun and endearing.
As with many games that have weapons that are as resilient as Aston Villa’s defence, scavenging for parts, pieces and ammo will be a large part off the reason so many of the ‘fluff’ missions are under taken, and don’t get me wrong, I like loot (stares lovingly at Diablo 3).
Dead Island also incorporates cash in a similar vain to many great RPG experiences, in that weapons need repairing, and this will account for the vast majority of the cash you can acquire, as well as buying, which leads us handily to…
Now I know this seems a silly thing to note, but weapons are a big driving force behind the engine of Dead Island, and here that notion is maintained – because some of the DLC are weapon modifications that are otherwise unavailable.
Weapons can be upgraded, sold, repaired, thrown, blown up. Weapons can lacerate, disembowel, dismember, decapitate, puncture, blow up, burn, electrocute and even freeze.
To say that there is some diversity in weaponry in this game would be a gross understatement, some characters have perks that better suit certain weapons, and some weapons are fairly useless in the earlier stages of the game before you unlock perks and such.
The skill trees of each character vary because of their core skills, as well as their unique special skills. Mostly these involve the capacity to unleash a lot of kills quickly whilst racking up huge XP boosts.
The skill trees are important as the skills range from being able to make weapons last longer, to being able to heal quicker, whilst drunk (no, really).
Dead island is still a lot of fun, I have very little really to say about the gameplay in any constructive way that might sway you as a gamer, because it is still just as fun as first time around. And if you missed it the first time then it’s a must play if you are a fellow lover of smashing up some zombies in an open world environment.
That said I have found a tiny, almost insignificant gripe, but I just can’t let it go. Graphically this game is immense, it has transferred well, but… BUT the blood that spatters from a decapitated zombie doesn’t look red enough….
Look I love violent games as much as the next guy-with-daddy-issues, but the blood in this game really bothered me, maybe they are trying to make the blood look thicker and more … dead. If that’s the case then great, but it really bugged me. Anyway that is a tiny (and totally patchable) niggle to have, in an otherwise well achieved and compelling definitive edition in a generation of definitive editions.