Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tis but a flesh wound

I am aware that I have posted the European cover. It looks better.

Dead Island has the misfortune of existing in the same general space as Skyrim. It is not as big, but it is a free roaming, quest based, first person RPG, complete with somewhat awkward first person melee and a shortage of ammunition for projectile based combat. Replace all the monsters with zombies, the frozen north with sunny beaches and the fully clothed character models with bikini clad flesh eaters and Dead Island arrives.

It's really not a fair comparison, but Dead Island doesn't try very hard to do anything different or better than the 800 pound dhovakin in the room. I can tell that a lot of effort was put into hand to hand to head violence, but it still doesn't have the sickening crunch of Condemned or the refined feel of Breakdown or Zeno Clash. If anything asking me to aim while the camera bobs up and down increases the difficulty, but it still isn't much fun. I would still rather shoot things, so I took the gun specialist. Of course she doesn't actually start with a gun; she can't even use one until level 10. So much for that idea.

What Dead Island nails is the atmosphere. I got tired of everything in Skyrim being in a state of decay and disrepair. A lot of would have been more interesting a thousand years ago. Dead Island features a catastrophe that has just happened. Everything looks normal, save for the pools of blood and half eaten torsos. This juxtaposition of the every day with the impossible works very well, making even random zombie encounters disturbing. Again, it is not the first game to do this, but it takes it self more seriously then Dead Rising, so this is about as close to World War Z, the game, as we are liable to get.

(until the movies comes out)

It is fun and I do want to play more. Dismembering zombies looks good, especially when you knock off both of their arms and they just keep coming. I should reach the arbitrary gun level tonight, so I can see if popping heads from across the room is better than lopping them from up close. I would imagine so. Less laundry to do that way.


Damn, why are all the American Psycho 'Hip to be Square' excerpts not embed-able?

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