Dead Island may be the best worst gaming experience of 2013 so far (and it came out in 2011)!

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With the recent release of Dead Island: Riptide, I noticed that the original Dead Island has been sitting on my game shelf since 2011 collecting dust. Being the kind gamer that I am, I figured now was as good a time as any to finally pop that sucker in and start smashing zombies in the face with nail bats, then decide if I liked it enough to pick up Riptide later on.

I know I’m a whole lot of late to the game, but after 4 or 5 hours of trekking the island of Banoi I’ve come to a few conclusions that I’d like to share.

Who do you voodoo, bitch?
Who do you voodoo, bitch?

1 – It’s funny to watch North Americans play Dead Island because we always go to the wrong side of the fucking car. There was a quest or two that I was stuck on so I checked YouTube and noticed both of the players, myself included, heading to the right side of the car.. to us. We’re creatures of habit and we all know that the United States isn’t one for conforming (hello, metric system and the letter Z!), so even while being chased by zombies I still head to the wrong side of the car every.. single.. time..

2 – No one plays Dead Island anymore. Banoi is a massive open-world environment full of hungry and attentive zombies, but unfortunately the player-base online is non-existent. I check the server every 20-30 minutes, fingers crossed for that one other person who decided to play Dead Island 2 years too late, but every attempt ends in disappointment. I can’t help but feel like it’s me.. well, Sam B., against the world, playing the role of prison bitch to every zombie within earshot. No bro-op for me. Forever alone.

3 – There is no way to reallocate your talent points. Gaming has come a long way in 30 years, but you seriously mean to tell me that there is absolutely no way to reallocate my talent points aside from starting over? In the immortal words of Wall Ball All-Star, Bob “Balls Deep” Taylor, “What the fuck, Buffalo Bill?“. I can magically touch a map and fast travel all over the island. I am one of only four people in all of Banoi that isn’t affected by zombie bites. I can die and become reborn via some form of in-game necromancy, but I can’t decide that I’d rather give up the increased stamina talent I chose in favor of swinging that flaming wrench just a little bit harder?

4 – Not only does the Dead Island wiki suck a sand castle full of dicks, but so does tracking a majority of the side quests. Go this way.. NO, THAT WAY! TURN AROUND!! Ugh, make up your mind, dammit! This seems to happen whenever I decide to track a side quest unless, of course, it doesn’t point the way at all. Having such good luck with the Dragon’s Dogma Wiki, I figured Dead Island would provide a similar experience; if by similar experience you mean being completely barren of useful information. I get lost, look up a specific quest, click the link and.. that whole being helpful thing never happens. “So and so is an optional side-quest in the game Dead Island, released in 2011.” – Thanks, buddy!

5 – Chasing NyQuil with creme soda tastes exactly like coffee. Not exactly a gaming factoid, but it’s how I ended my most recent sit down with Dead Island and I felt like sharing it because we don’t have secrets.

Even after all of the WTF moments concerning Dead Island, I still find myself compelled to finish it out. The character models are awful, the voice acting is sub-par, and the difficulty seems to spike at random intervals, but I’m completely addicted to wrecking zombies, pillaging bungalows and creating some deliciously devious spiked weaponry that would make any church burning black metaller from Norway jealous. It’s one of those games that are full of technical flaws, yet has such a solid foundation–in this case, the exploration, combat and item creation–that you can’t help but enjoy it.

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2 thoughts on “Dead Island may be the best worst gaming experience of 2013 so far (and it came out in 2011)!

  1. Well, you may have come late to the party, but you stayed a lot longer than I did. I sat down with the game one weekend, played it for about an hour or two, and never touched it again. That game — or games, thanks to Riptide — is not for me, it seems. Glad you got some enjoyment out of it, though.

    That first trailer was something else, though…but it only made the opening minutes of the ACTUAL game the most tonally-jarring experience I’ve had in a while. Who do you voodoo, indeed.

    And that’s why I don’t watch game trailers. Unless they feature Phoenix Wright, of course.

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    1. This is the 2nd or 3rd attempt at playing it, really. The first time I couldn’t stand the characters and their character models were so bad I just laughed it off and played something else. I still hate everyone on the island, but I’m a sucker for scavenging, exploration and item creation. It’s the JRPG-addict in me, I think.

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