Hands-On Impressions of Dead Island 4 Player Co-Op

One of the few games that I was really looking forward to seeing this year at E3 was Dead Island. There is just something about Survival Horror that I can’t get enough of, but recently the genre has been falling into the lines of camp and parody. Luckily, developer Deep Silver is looking to breathe some new life into these walking dead.

The game takes place on the fictional island of Bonai. A lot of the scenery in Dead Island is quite beautiful and looks like it would be a nice place to visit, if it weren’t for the flesh eating zombies. The controls for Dead Island are your standard FPS layout. Left trigger to aim and right trigger to shoot or throw. Since there’re not many guns on the island, you will be throwing more than shooting. Taking a cue from Dead Rising, you can construct various melee weapons using different parts. While there isn’t much friendly-fire, you can damage your friends if they get too close to a grenade or a sticky bomb that you’ve thrown.

You have one of four characters to choose from; Xian Mei, Logan, Sam B, and Purna.  Depending on which one you choose, your character will have unique attributes different from the others. I got the Xian Mei, so I was good at knives and short range weapons. That game takes stamina into account, so you can’t just go blindly flailing your arms. At one point, I picked up a sledgehammer and when I tried to use it, my stamina dropped drastically. Clearly this weapon was meant for someone else.

Obviously, teamwork is a must. Break away from the group and you will find yourself in a world of trouble, because there are zombies literally EVERYWHERE. From your average walker zombie to your 28 Days Later runner, there is no shortage of enemies to fear in Dead Island. At one point, from a dark seedy alley, a figure came running towards me. Not even thinking twice, I threw everything in my inventory at the oncoming attacker. It wasn’t until I examined the dead body, that I realized it was a human. As if the zombies weren’t enough to worry about.

The one thing I really like about Dead Island is that it really takes into account the mood and feel in the game. You can just take one look at any of the NPCs and know that person has been through hell. The 4 Player Co-Op offers something uniquely different from Left 4 Dead. Left 4 Dead was more about just mowing down zombies, while Dead Island focuses on the interaction between characters in a massive setting. It’s almost as if the Fallout 3 developers were huge fans of The Walking Dead and decided to make a zombie video game. This is definitely one game to look foreword too.

Dead Island hits stores September 6, 2011.

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Mike Villarreal
Mike Villarreal 1360 posts

Mike once killed a man with a plastic butter knife. True story. #ViolentGentlemen

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