- Developer: Techland
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Release Date: 31/05/2016
- Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
- Game Supplied by: Koch Media
It’s good to be back! I loved the Dead Island games when they were originally released and now here they are again fully remastered for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Dead Island Definitive Collection includes Dead Island, Dead Island Riptide and Dead Island Retro Revenge, however Retro Revenge isn’t released on Xbox One until 01/08/2016 so I won’t be talking about that in this review.
In case you haven’t come across the Dead Island games before, they are developed by Polish-based Techland who also developed the more recent Dying Light. Whilst Dead Island and Dying Light are both first person survival horror/zombie games and feel quite similar in terms of quest structure/progression, they are quite different in the sense that Dead Island is played out on foot with minimal climbing whereas Dying Light focuses on a more vertical approach thanks to its emphasis on parkour. I do believe both games can exist and still sell side by side, but who knows now if we’ll ever see a Dead Island 2 (apparently we’re going to see some news at E3, fingers crossed). If I was in charge I’d take Dying Light down the more serious route, and have Dead Island as a proper comedy zombie game, similar to Dead Rising.
It’s sometimes quite difficult to appreciate remastered games without comparing the old and new side by side, and admittedly just based on playing the Xbox One versions I struggled to put my finger on exactly what it was that had been updated. So I booted up my 360 and to be honest, Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide both looked pretty good for their time, however it’s clear that the remastered versions are great visual improvements over the original releases. Aside from the visual upgrades the games remain the same as the originals though.
Most of my time was spent playing single player with one punch mode enabled which was great fun at first, but as I’ve played the original games in their entirety I actually got a little bored after a while. I did manage to get a session or two in with friends which was good fun though as it’s hard not to like four player co-op when you all get to jump into a jeep together and run zombies over. Single player does have its benefits, I find the game is much more atmospheric when you play on your own because you can hear the faint screams of zombies in the distance and the game generally just feels more intense. When you look at it like that, it’s actually worth playing both ways ‘cos they can be quite different experiences.
One of the fun things about Dead Island is the weapon modding, it’s not quite up there with Dead Rising which is hilariously ridiculous, but Dead Island does have a decent variety of different mods which you can do to your weapons such as the Ripper Mod (a rotating circular blade attached to the end of a baseball bat) or the Shocking Sledge Mod (a large, double-handed hammer charged with electricity). You can also repair your weapons when broken so you don’t have to worry about losing any favourites.
Some of the quests are a bit boring (the usual go here and fetch that) but the majority are really enjoyable and it’s always great when you come across a thug (bigger, badder zombie) or one of his pals. One particular section that stands out is the sewers, that was really intense and enjoyable! As for characters, I can’t say anyone particularly stood out, but overall the voice acting was pretty good.
If you haven’t played the Dead Island games before then it’s a no-brainer (excuse the pun), for the relatively low price I’d definitely recommend the Definitive Collection especially if you’ve got friends to play with or you just love zombie games.
If you have played them before, then I could only recommend this if you’re a huge fan and don’t mind playing through the exact same games again just to see the prettier visuals.