Zero Punctuation: Dead Island

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Oi!

Bad Company 2 wasn't brown and dull looking, it had the most vibrant color scheme I've seen in a modern warfare game. The warm autumn colors of Chile, the dusty, dried look of the desert, I already got the chills when looking at the snow maps and vibrant jungle maps all make for a very varied game in terms of looks.

Oh, yeah, Dead Island. Yeah I can't say it's good either, with it's crapton of bugs and all that. And yet, I'm still enjoying it. Caving zombie skulls in just never felt so satisfying. One storms at me, I hit it in the face with a baseball bat with perfect timing, he stumbles, I kick him on the ground, and while he's dazed I curb stomp his face.

image

What can I say, it's a satisfying thing to do after a hard day at school. Then again I haven't entered the sewers yet. Fingers crossed...

Zack84:
Agreed. I bought L4D2 on sale for $6.50 and I still think it was an utter waste of money. Repetitive, boring tripe.

Play Versus, that's a whole 'nother ballgame. Also, you can't deny that, mechanically, it works really well.

teh_Canape:
I thought combat in Zeno Clash was pretty good

Oh fuck yeah, Zeno Clash has some excellent combat.

For some reason Yahtzee doesn't like melee combat games with enemies that surround the player (this is also evidenced by his review of The Witcher 2.) I, on the other hand, love the frantic and exciting combat in that sort of game. I frankly don't understand Yahtzee's objection to that style of melee combat. After all, he likes that sort of thing when it's done in a shooter (see: Serious Sam, Painkiller.) Maybe it's a psychological thing.

Play Versus, that's a whole 'nother ballgame. Also, you can't deny that, mechanically, it works really well.

Okay, I have heard that the versus mode is more compelling. Yes, mechanically-speaking the game plays very fluidly. That doesn't change the fact that it's boring as hell. Guns are boring, melee has no real kinetic feel to it...I dunno, as far as I'm concerned, zombie games are a fucking copout for AI programmers...let's see, single-minded behavior: run directly at player-character.

Team Fortress 2 is still my fps of choice--balance issues, stupid hats, F2P noobs, and microtransactions aside. I wanted to like BF:BC2 and I bought it just after release, but I quickly got sick of the god-awful hit detection (yes, I did change the lag compensation), bugs, glitches, and generally sluggish performance over my (admittedly awful) 3.0 Mb DSL connection. I also just never got the hang of the way weapons handle in BC2. I just suck at it. And I used to pretty much own everyone in any public BF 2142 server. Rorsch sniping, mmm.

Sir Mate:
Oh ,its good to know that i can trust Yahtzee to rip pieces of shit like this a new one.
Why did the general public overlook so much flaws is beyond me.

Denial perhaps?

Funny review,though I don't agree fully with it.

I enjoyed it and haven't found any glitches throughout my playthrough when I started solo.No problems also whatsoever when trying to play co-op.I'm surprised Yahtzee hasn't touched on that,this is a game with a co-op play in mind.This whole thing was on the PC,wether I've heard that the console versions are more buggy/glitchy.

So there's that.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and consider it my favorite zombie game ever.
In what other game can you do something like this?


Though you are right about the sewer sections. They can go fornicate a garbage disposal.

Iron Lightning:

teh_Canape:
I thought combat in Zeno Clash was pretty good

Oh fuck yeah, Zeno Clash has some excellent combat.

For some reason Yahtzee doesn't like melee combat games with enemies that surround the player (this is also evidenced by his review of The Witcher 2.) I, on the other hand, love the frantic and exciting combat in that sort of game. I frankly don't understand Yahtzee's objection to that style of melee combat. After all, he likes that sort of thing when it's done in a shooter (see: Serious Sam, Painkiller.) Maybe it's a psychological thing.

maybe it's that when it's in a shooter, you can keep the mobs at bay, but when it's melee, you gotta take them upfront, where they do most damage =P

I enjoyed Borderland's MMORPG styled mechanics and range of environments but didn't feel any progression of the game other than finding and killing the next boss critter. I enjoyed Dead Rising 2's survival atmosphere, story and characters but hated having everything I did based on timers and an overall lack of depth in the gameplay. Dead Island sounds like it could take the strengths of those two games so my interest is piqued.

There's no _____ apocalypse games because nothing spreads more virulently and ruthlessly than well... a virus. Werewolves kind of work, but lycanthropy suggests that you turn back into a person at some point and are back in control. A virus that you can't see and can't treat that reanimates your body or infects you and corrupts your mind before sending you to maul and infect every other living person seems a little more "End of the World"-ly than having to spend the remainder of your nights in the dog house and taking flea baths. Mummies, as far as I can recall, don't actually threaten you with anything unique to them aside from a potential curse. There's also the entire question of ceremony behind making a mummy and that they're typically notable persons, which you would need to ditch entirely in order to make an army of them, at which point they're just zombies wrapped in toilet paper.

Although, as far as end of the world events go...
www.bearmageddon.com

As an aside: I once heard an interesting theory regarding trends in the monster genres.

When there's a depression/recession the world focuses on vampires. Beautiful (not in the Twilight way, in the deadly night stalker way) refined creatures who have a laundry list of weaknesses (Crosses, sunlight, crossing moving bodies of water, no reflection etc) showing great potential and power but always a step away from destruction.

When the world is in surplus it's Frankenstein (or man-made monsters). Man wants for nothing and takes the power of creation into his own hands.

They didn't reference zombies, but a dogged determination to continue surviving despite unexpected and life altering events, indicating a struggle to right the economy makes sense to me.

Klagermeister:
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and consider it my favorite zombie game ever.
In what other game can you do something like this?

LUZ! You are already dead.

Loved the animation at the end. Bread Island......NOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo...... Not the Whole wheat! Anything but the Whole wheat! Run away!

This game was far less polished than I expected and hoped it would be, but this review seems a bit too harsh, even for Yahtzee.

My major gripes out of the way first. Graphically (especially on the PS3) Dead Island can be eye gouging at parts, and 'pop in' is almost constant. Kinda like a powerpoint running on the horizon. The story is stale and super forgettable, major characters are brought up then (especially your own) neglected entirely.

Now on to Yahtzee's negatives, most of which I disagree with below.

Firstly, his complaint about the 'Boot' attack being over powered. In the beginning of the campaign this may be true, but by the time you get to the second map, you'll be dealing with too many special zombies as well as the "infected" type zombie that likes to zig and zag right beside you instead of in your line of fire, not to mention that the stamina of the zombies reaches a state that it takes upwards of 4 to 5 kicks to stagger one.

And if your having trouble spamming kick to kill a pile of grounded zombies, just take a whack at the head with your melee tool. Costs a bit of repair, but zombies bleed money, and quests pay obtusely well. You'll never have to decide between repairing, buying or upgrading after a few minutes of play. And I need to mention that these benches are everywhere, so if your shit breaks its really poor planning and management on your part. The game even hints in 5 paraphrased lines that you should repair early so its less expensive.

Targeting in FPM games has always been spotty, and this game i agree is no different. But keeping attention to the cross-hairs solves this. It locks onto limbs pretty decently meaning you can target shoulders, elbows, and heads effectively to deal with those thugs that you had oh so much trouble with. After a few minutes you'll me dodging and dipping away from attacks and decapitating in no time.

But I have no excuses for the escort mission A.I. and the design choice to respawn the enemies in only these cases, as in rare occasions (again due to poor planning) can lead to a cycle where you run down your weapons, but this should never happen. You have inventory spaces for days, and new weapons are always in reach.

Overall, Yahtzee's hate for the zombie genre I think made him hate a game that although had its fair share of flaws and bugs was enjoyable and in my opinion addictive.
If you like Fallout, or Dead Rising get this now, tons of content. But dont deny this game entirely because of one mostly irrational opinion.

A pretty funny review, honestly I found the game fun, playing it with a group of friends is really how you should do it.

People keep saying zombie games are overdone, but apart from Dead Rising I haven't seen hat many that really look worthwhile.
I don't play online games, so L4D's out of the question.

The game was boring. No wonder why he smashed it

Escort missions - how much of the game do they make up?

Because if they comprise even a quarter (hell, even 10% will be enough) of the campaign's missions, I'm not gonna buy this game. I cannot stand escort quests, no exception. They have almost never been done well, and if you lose all your used items and ammo for their stupidity, screw that. I've got no patience for that.

That isn't difficulty. That's just terrible game design.

"A comic book spreading awareness of tourettes syndrome."
I honestly laughed out lound at that one. Good review, I don't plan on getting Dead Rising, considering I have to finish:
Serious Sam (TFE and TSE, I have the Xbox version)
Deadly Premonition
I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

And I have RAGE preordered, so that's another one.

coldalarm:

Giest4life:
I found L4D2 very unimpressive and I never tried another zombie game after that.

Left 4 Dead 2 is a prime example of "If it isn't broken, don't fix it". Valve made a poor set of choices with L4D2. L4D is much better.

Hey I like L4D2. I bought it on Steam for $5, plus it came with most of the levels from L4D with the added Special Infected and melee weapons. I don't see why everyone is always hating on that game.

OT: This was refreshing, he really has been too nice to games lately. It's nice to see him tear a popular one apart.

At one point, Yatzhee showed three games in the video. One was Aliens Vs. Predator, one was Dead Island, And one was a game I don't recognize for the PC. What was that P.C. game? The cover art looks vaguely interesting.

sravankb:
Escort missions - how much of the game do they make up?

Because if they comprise even a quarter (hell, even 10% will be enough) of the campaign's missions, I'm not gonna buy this game. I cannot stand escort quests, no exception. They have almost never been done well, and if you lose all your used items and ammo for their stupidity, screw that. I've got no patience for that.

That isn't difficulty. That's just terrible game design.

Same here they always seem to make the escort AI annoyingly bad in games like why WHY do they have the ability to run faster then you and have the knack to run right into trouble. If they don't do that the stand WAY back and wait until you go back to them after you killed the zombies to do anything. Please, oh please don't use anything with fire knowing these dumbasses they'll set themselves on fire and of course their HP count is so low they can't strug it off like you can. that's bad design and when they die from them being stupid you get punished I guess the only reason why I can see its justified is why in the hell you took this mission in the first place.

God how I love Dead Island. Don't get me wrong everything yahtzee says is completely true its harrowing in parts, hilarious in others. It can look absolutely stunning at some points and completly ugly at others! For everything it does right it does something wrong and I love it!

The combat is so satisfying and the game has a kind of charm like a cheesy B-horror Zombie flick that I, as a zombie lover just can't ignore!

(Although I wish they would hurry and patch the bloody ps3 multiplayer already!)

Awesome was on the fence about this one but your description firmly put me in the not to buy catagory, now ill save my money for the DR 2 frank west reskin instead.

Game is amazing even though it has flaws. I agree with yahtzee, I hated te sewer levels and those fucking annoying infected zombies are too OP.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Snip

jakko12345:
Snip

There was a lot that wasn't mentioned at all and, my word, the amount of glitches my South African friend and I had experienced was utterly ridiculous. While we were in the sewers, at least two zombies had jumped into the water and just vanished. "Did you see that?" he asked me. "Yeah, that was... weird" we kept saying. "Creepy!" It wasn't even the poisonous water that had the green gaseous substance emanating from it. I saw the same thing happening to another infected running up behind my mate; he (the infected) fell into the water and was gone. It was almost as if there was a hole there but there most definitely was not.
Another somewhat major glitch that we encountered was whenever we had undertaken the fire hydrant quest to turn them all off. I turned off the second one, ran over to the nearest car to jump on top of to kill any approaching zombies with ease but once I did, the four or five ordinary/infected zombies and a suicider just stood where they were. "That's weird; why aren't they coming after me?" I thought. Suddenly, they fell to the ground as if they'd been struck down by an invisible force then completely out of the blue, the screen began to go absolutely ballistic; it went partially grey, briefly went back to normal, grey again, we lost control of our avatars and their life just went straight down but we could do bugger all about it. Our characters cried out in virtualised agony as they continuously re-spawned so I thought the only thing that I could do is to just go back to the dashboard and restart the game. Seemed to work just fine as my buddy endured the exact same thing but it was fine after I came back. Luckily, we didn't have to start the quest again but I won't lie; I was afraid it was going to happen again! Metaphorically speaking, the screen had basically taken a seizure.

Speaking of zombies just standing around doing nothing; Greg, my South African buddy whom I was playing co-op with, easily killed a Ram as he just stood there. He wasn't alerted to my mate's avatar whatsoever.

This isn't really a glitch per sé but more about me taking absolute advantage of the free roam feature of the game, and that was getting myself stuck between various environment objects. I'm not going to lie though; I do this all the time in most games though I found it was much more persistent and therefore incredibly bothersome in this game. You see, because I'm such a pansy (though I am a girl after all so perhaps I can get away with it (!)) I loved to test the boundaries with my car. "Ooh, I don't want to get swarmed by all the zombies so I'll just run 'em over with my car if any infected charge at me or if I run into any thugs!". There was one instance when I had to clear the thug out of Marlon's shack so I tried to drive up over the rocks (...shut up) really just to see if I could. Suddenly, no matter how much I tried to accelerate or made any attempts at backing up, the car profoundly refused to do a thing, so I got out. No joke; the car was bouncing away on the spot like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IX8krpGA_Y&feature=related

It was stuck in a bush. I had to sprint to the lighthouse. It also did it again when I got stuck in a rock. Don't ask.

Speaking of environment objects, you couldn't really interact with much of them besides the beach balls. I was running about on the beach and saw a bunch of sand castles. My initial thought? I wanted to jump on them to see if it did anything. Nope. It was like a stone; though completely rooted to the ground. That being said, back to me being a complete pansy and testing all the boundaries with my car, "Ooh, I wonder if I can fit through here!" Well, naturally I started driving about on the beach which, to say the very least, was quite the challenge as I kept crashing into things. Primarily sand castles and collapsible chairs... what. As a matter of fact, I almost got stuck between a few of the latter. It made me realise that I'd probably be ideal to test videogames for a living. Especially ones with the free roam feature. In saying that, I got myself stuck between environment objects and really silly places in "Brütal Legend" as well. With my car a lot too of course. Mind you, if I was able to actually jump, I'd have been able to get myself out of that ditch. Either that, or it should have been "Anya-proof", so to speak, heh.

I noticed a few things with the NPCs. One was glitched. He kept standing up suddenly then sat down again just as quickly. This kept going on in sequence. The following isn't a glitch but it distracted me all the same and that was to do with Sinamoi, the lifeguard when he sent me on a quest to get the juice from the garages. When I walked up to him before I'd completed the task, he'd ask, "Did you check both gas stations?" and for some peculiar reason, he had lost his Australian accent and had more of a Canadian dialect; as if a completely different voice actor had recorded just that one line. Eh? I'm confused...

One last thing about NPCs. Something that got my inner feminist wanting to burst out and that was the fact that every single female NPC on the resort was wearing the same kind of string bikini and necklace - including the zombies. Alright, it's a resort so of course they're going to be wearing the appropriate attire but I mean, they were all wearing the same thing, the pattern on said bikinis being the only exception and the exact style of their bobs of hair. Anyroad, what I noticed was how all the male NPCs had a much bigger degree of individuality. Some had swimming trunks, some had stereotypical American tourist outfits on, some had full safari gear going on but all the females were the same for the most part. I wouldn't be caught dead in a g-string bikini. Nah, not even as a zombie featured in Dead Island (maybe with a shawl though, like the little character picture for the infected description in the wee booklet). Though, I did make a huge point of it whenever we found Jin for the first time then onward.

I was thoroughly disappointed over the graphics, more specifically the layer damage mechanism as I was so hyped up over it. Honestly, it was pretty boring. It was good, don't get me wrong, but the hype just ruined it by far. The way their ribs stick out just looked like the work of a make-up artist on the set of a low-budget film. I saw this about a month or so before the game's release:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJMdPwnAY28

It didn't look quite as good as that, however, I haven't even reached the jungle just yet so I'll keep my mind open for a wee bit longer in this regard. The skinned bodies scattered all over the map just get a bit repetitive but it doesn't change the fact they're still a bit gross. Which is a good thing, I suppose.

I saved the, ahem, "best" thing for last and that's the game's general technical mechanisms and features such as the auto save & checkpoint feature and the online co-op. I don't mind the actual auto save feature but the checkpoint's pretty annoying and, personally, I feel it should have been made clearer where all your checkpoints are and as well as that, make sure they're in decent places! I.e. I do NOT want to go on my Xbox for the first time all day to load up the game to find that it has planted me RIGHT in the middle of one of the garage stations and AS the screen fades in from black, I have upteen infected charging at me. With no car close enough to jump on, drive away in or whatever because they were [i]already closed in on me. This happened twice and the first time was because I had to reload from playing co-op with strangers and I had expected to be dropped off at the one of the safe zones. The second time it was simply loading the game from the day before and I was lucky this time because the zombies were preoccupied with their dinner (or lunch. I mean, it's pretty bright like) so I was able to sprint away before they noticed me [Phew].

The co-op. Good Lordy. I can't [i]stand how it bloody well works. Don't get me wrong, I mean, I don't mind playing with people online provided they aren't overly competitive nuts, but they can hop in and out of your game willy-nilly even when you've [i]paused the bloody thing. I had it paused to chat to a fellow escapist pal and I suddenly got two achievements completely out of the blue. It was pretty funny at first because it was my first day of playing it but it's very easy not to notice that people have joined your game and I found that it disrupts the general game a quare bit. For example, I had a few quests that I wanted to do. Other players joined in my game automatically and did a ton of my side quests. Sounds like it saves labour, yeah, fair enough but I bought the game so I want to actually play it, thanks. Oh, sure, I can always change it to single player or make all the slots private. Oh, alright. Pity I can't change that around while I'm IN the actual game; I have to restart the whole thing to change that. As I said, sometimes I like others joining my game but I'd prefer more control over it. For example, in Fable 2 and 3, I was able to adjust how I saw other players and how they saw me at any time I wanted which was good. However, with this, I can't even pause it to go make my dinner and come back without finding half my quests completed. Not only that but I've missed quite a lot of cut scenes from the main quest and the fact that other players can skip NPCs dialogue when I'm the one trying to talk to them. There's no fun in that whatsoever. This is also a wee bit nitpicky but when other players have joined my game and I want to kick them out, I pause it and it has the cheek to say "Drop out". Uh, it's my game.

Anyroad, don't get me wrong; I'm really enjoying the game right now and I've been playing it a quare bit. I tend to really enjoy playing free roam, melee-based RPGs with my buddies so it's going well enough. I'll just have to try to look past the glitches and I'm sweet.

x

EDIT: Oh aye, about the escort missions. I loathe them as well because of how stupid the escortee is but at least in this they run on ahead. They hadn't died once. We never bothered with the car primarily because it was just too bloody awkward to drive around the slums, seemingly to my sheer disappointment according to my mate who also stated how he's [i]never going to get into a car with me if I'm the one driving.

N.B. I haven't the foggiest what's going on with the italics S:

Frankly it's one of the most atmospheric zombie games I've ever played.

I think I'll wait. To me there are far better and more interesting games out right now, so Im just gonna spend my time with those instead.

jpoon:
Hah, hilarious review. I get the feeling you suck a bit at FPS games ZP? I really had no problem with this game, I thought the battles were pretty awesome! Torturing zombies can be a load of fun and you didn't even bother to mention how fun it is to beat the shit out of zombies with some backup in co-op. What gives? Negative nancy?

Wow, he's totally never gotten that comment before. Yoink! http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/37-Mailbag-Showdown

It is good to know that even NPC in games want to stay fit and detest motorized transportation.

Ending that never seems to come? I must of beaten this game 4 times in the last week, and I don't say that to brag, it's just too many of my friends request my assistance in their games. Completely ignoring the side-quests and enemies you don't need to kill, the game is far too short. Though, it was a bit satisfying smashing through countless heads when I was having fun.

I'm surprised that Yahtzee never tackled the biggest pain-in-the-ass the game has to offer: getting stuck in the environment! Seriously, what seems as a harmless shortcut becomes a ten minute struggle to escape a bush, or a reloaded checkpoint.

Now if you excuse me, I've got a parasite to deal with. -And, then a virus. -And, then I'm going to do some light gambling. -And, then I'm going to check out a cold stream.
Too many zombie games..

Wow, those ads are getting longer and longer.

30seconds for a 4minute long video which ends as his doorbell rings or something.

Seriously ?

Was anyone else reminded of the borderlands review here?

I think I must be completely missing the hatred with this game as I'm thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

I apologise for being a zombie fanboy, but I haven't played this yet. After the phenomenal preview movie that made everyone cry, I had a terrible feeling the game wouldn't live up to the preview movie.

I will play it eventually ... but I'd have to upgrade my PC first. So maybe sometime in 2013, presuming I'm not fighting off actual zombies in 2012 sometime.

He is right, All in did was use that Kick of Power move most of the time, I just hope they don't patch it cause it's a easy little tactic. IDK I'm playing alone a lot I wonder if it's better Left 4 Dead Style with 4 players.

Also, A Wolfman Apocalypse?

Me Gusta ^______________^

I have yet to see the review, as I am at work, but the comments have inspired me to make a few as well. First, I'll link the brief review I wrote a while back.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.313700-My-two-Kina-on-Dead-Island.

Since then I've played well into the 3rd act, and I've gotten more accustomed to playing around the wonky hit detection (and teleporting zombies) and such. I still don't hate it. Its solidly average. It's flawed but entertaining. Its clearly not the best purchase i've ever made but also far from the worst. (smash brothers brawl/tao feng)

As far as L4D goes. The first game was superior. The second game was better on paper but in practice it lost...something.

I'm with Yahtzee, enough of the fucking zombies already! ...though that might come from my general disdain for the living dead.

Favorite Line: "And you'll do a lot of standing over a pile of dead bodies frantically doing the can-can until they stop moving."

Huh, why did he include Zeno Clash on the list when it was a first person game that focused on 1v1 melee combat, and implemented it well?

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