Friday, January 27, 2012

First Impressions: Dead Island

I just picked up Dead Island today and am having a ton of fun romping through the zombie hordes. The game plays like a mixture between Left4Dead and Diablo. A first person dungeon(in this case "Island") crawler that mainly focuses on melee combat. The presentation of the game was the first thing that caught me. It has some pretty amazing visuals and really has that "Island Resort" feel to it. There is a quote towards the beginning of the game that sums up the design and feel of the world: "Who ever thought hell could look like paradise." The game really drives this sentiment home showing you some beautiful locales that have all been infested with the living dead.

There are two options for combat available "Digital" and "Analog" I chose to go with the latter. The difference between the two is pretty drastic. "Digital", Dead Islands default setting, allows you basically to wail away at enemies but lacks the precise aims and specific strikes of the "Analog" setting. You swing, only horizontally, withe the right trigger and the left trigger is used to aim before throwing your weapons it's as simple as that.

The "Analog" setting does have a bit of a learning curve but it is what I ultimately chose as the superior control scheme. The "Analog" setting has you holding the left trigger to get into a ready or combat stance before swinging. It's much like aiming down your scope in Call of Duty. After entering this stance you use the right stick to attack much like in any of the more recent Fight Night titles. Because headshots(even with melee weapons) can often result in a critical hit I found this control scheme to be much more useful. Dead Island also allows you to debilitate enemies by breaking their limbs. Again the "Analog" setting was much more precise in multi-zombie scenarios where I've needed to put some distance between me and the seething teeth of the infected trying to bite my face off.

So far it's been incredibly interesting and fun. I'll have the full review out soon and go much more in depth with the combat, RPG and online aspects, as well as the story.

Thanks for reading.

'Nuff out.

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