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Rising from the grave
For zombie fans and lovers of RPGs, this is a fun little romp to pick up but for more casual players or those looking for depth and richness of narrative, you're better off looking elsewhere. There's no denying that there's fun to be had here but it's a shallow experience which suffers from tedium and some strange design choices, so anyone entering this island should beware. You play the part of a young party-goer who's had a great time on a fictional paradise island near Papua New Guinea but who wakes up to find the island overrun by zombies. As you explore, you find other survivors who have banded together in settlements, and your goal becomes one of survival and eventually, escape. What follows is a free-roaming action RPG, as you explore the island, carrying out quests for survivors in return for items to help you get out of this nightmare. You can choose from four different characters, and it's here the RPG elements come in as they each have different stats and specializations and by completing quests, you earn EXP to level up. You've got a range of ranged and melee weapons to use while the environment itself can also be taken advantage of to take out zombies. Dead Island is initially a blast and there's a lot of fun to be had killing the undead in very gory fashion. There isn't much of a story but it's not a big deal when the action is this much fun. However, there is a lack of variety which soon becomes dull and there are frustrations elsewhere so ultimately this is a game which comes cautiously recommended to fans of Far Cry and Dying Light.