Dead IslandDead Island is an action role-playing survival horror video game developed by Polish Techland and published by German studio Deep Silver for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is centered on the challenge of surviving a zombie-infested open world island with a major emphasis on melee combat. It was originally announced at E3 2006, but was pushed back to 2011. It was released on September 6, 2011 in North America, September 9, 2011 in the PAL regions and October 20, 2011 in Japan. A sequel, Dead Island: Riptide, was released in 2013.
Dead Island GameplayDead Island features an apparent open world roaming, divided by relatively large areas, and played from a first-person perspective. Most of the gameplay is built around combat and completing quests. Dead Island is an action role-playing game and uses experience-based gameplay and character customization, though options are quite limited, it is more character selection rather than "customisation". The player earns XP by completing tasks and killing enemies. Upon leveling up, the player gains health and stamina, and can invest one skill point into a skill tree and level up one of their skills.
Combat is carried out through either physical attacks or through the use of melee weapons and firearms. Melee weapons are emphasized to the point that firearms are not available for the first quarter of the game, and consist of blunt and bladed weapons. Melee weapons can also be thrown at targets at any point in the game. Weapons are randomly generated and positioned in predetermined locations as well as found on some enemies; they have unique stats which are generally based on the player's current level. Each weapon can be upgraded four times to increase its stats, and most weapons can be "modded" - customized based on a blueprint to add special features, such as nails or electrified blades, and poison. These weapons will wear out from constant usage and require repairs and careful use.
There is also a stamina bar, meaning that after a set amount of physical action, such as running, jumping, or swinging a weapon, the character needs to stop to regain his or her stamina bar, meaning that having a fight with a high level zombie will result in you often running out of stamina and getting killed. The game features "special class" zombies, which are more powerful than the standard zombie. Players need to use flashlights in dark areas and during night-time sections, adding suspense.
Zombies in the game have different abilities, such as the Infected being 28 Days Later style running zombies, and Walkers being Romero style zombies. There are also other special zombies being Left 4 Dead style.
ReceptionDead Island received mostly positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 77.80% and 80/100, the Xbox 360 version 72.84% and 71/100 and the PlayStation 3 version 71.78% and 71/100.
IGN gave the game an 8.0/10, criticizing the game presentation, glitches, various bugs for the consoles, and texture loading, but praising the atmosphere and overall feel of the game and stating that the game's pro-points are significant enough to outweigh its cons. Official Xbox Magazine (UK) gave the game a score of 7.0/10, stating that while it falls short of its potential, there is more than enough to make up for the in-game issues, while the US version gave it 8.0/10. Computer and Video Games awarded the game a more negative score of 6.5/10, stating "This budget zombie thriller ain't too pretty but could manage to capture a cult following." However, Edge magazine gave Dead Island a 3/10 score referencing a very large number of gameplay and technical issues.
The Microsoft Windows version of the game also received many negative reviews from magazines and websites stemming from an accidental release of a development build of the game on Steam. This included features such as no-clipping and the ability to toggle third-person perspective. Rock Paper Shotgun also noted that the code revealed references to Xbox 360 version. Developer Techland released a first-day patch seeking to address as many as 37 issues. A patch for the console versions has been released and fixed many issues, including corrupted savegames. The PC version still to this day has many user reports of gamebreaking bugs including being unable to use savegames.
The game was not released in Germany, due to the amount of violence. Dead Island was sold in some German online stores such as Amazon Germany, for a limited time. It was indexed in November 2011. "Gender Wars", an unlockable skill for the playable character Purna which increases her combat damage against male opponents, was referred to during development as "Feminist Whore". Although changed throughout the game before release, the original name could still be found in debug code on the PC version. Publisher Deep Silver described the line in question as a "private joke" made by one of the developers, and regretted its appearance in the final product.
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