I never got to play the Dead Island games the first time round so I was excited that I would get the opportunity on my PS4. What intrigued me about it was that it was made by Techland, the same people who brought us Dying Light, so I was interested to know whether there were any similarities between the 2 and whether some of the style from Dead Island had been brought over to Dying Light.
There are loads of similarities to the games. The feel and movements within the game, the collecting items, blueprints and crafting. The main difference with Dead Island is that you can’t run and jump parkour style.
When you first start the game and get out of the hotel and go to the lifeguard tower, what you will notice is the wonderful graphics and beautiful the game looks. This is no meager 360/PS3 upgrade, no sir, this has had the full treatment and Techland have done a wonderful job of it.
There’s a crispness to the world that I saw in Dying Light, the detail and effort that has gone in shows this was a labour of love and not just a cash cow for the company. The lighting flow brilliantly through the trees and reflects off the water giving you the sense that you are indeed on a beautiful tropical island, that you could just pull up one of those sun loungers and chill out… If it wasn’t for the hordes of zombies around that is.
I love how the game feels, when playing there is a fluidity moving around the world, you don’t feel lumbered just plodding around, I’m not sure if that was just the character I was using and I’m not sure whether other characters do feel the same when moving as I only used the chinese lady… My theory for this was that she has heels on those shoes… Kick a zombie with a heel when down…. Straight through the face…. Dead… Not sure if works that why though, but it’s nice to think of 😀
Weapons within the game are varied from Automatic Weapons to a Boat Paddle. The good thing with the weapons are that you can upgrade them easily which ups the level required that you need to be to use it, or you can create something different with it by using the blueprints you have collected.
I love the sharp objects, and mainly the machetes within the game, I’ve managed to change my Machete into a Blazing Rod as well as one that is electrified… All good! What is best with sharp weapons too, you don’t even have to get that close and personal to the zombies sometimes, especially if there is a horde. You can just through sharp weapons at them and it is so satisfying getting that instant kill…. However you will need to retrieve your weapon, which if you come up against a big thug, and it wasn’t a first shot kill, your weapon is more than likely sticking out of him… Issues…
Which now brings me onto the combat section, and the different Zombies within the game. From Dead Island to Dying Light you can see there hasn’t been much in the way of evolution of types of zombies that are within the game. From your normal slow plodding zombies, to the runners, exploders and huge thugs. It does annoy me sometimes when developers do this and you can clearly see that there pretty much 98% designed the same in 2 games and do exactly the same in both. Obviously this works back that Dying Light’s zombies weren’t as imaginative as we thought, and probably for this game was breakthrough for it’s time.
You also collect XP within the game which goes towards levelling up your character and adding extra perks/skills from the menu. There are 3 different sections which you can level up from which is Combat, Survival and Fury. Fury is basically your full retard mode, anger ensues and you can just go wild and take out zombies. Combat and Survival is basic, it allows you to get extra perks to help with extra stamina on kills and other things such as that.
There are way points within the game to help you find your way to the next mission, however I have found these to be a little unrelaible and a bit stupid as times. I was driving to a mission and I had to go past the petrol station at the bottom of the lighthouse, now, instead of telling me to drive around in the tank/armoured vehicle I was in around the petrol station, it asked me to drive through, which there wasn’t enough room for me to get through, so I nearly got the vehicle I was in stuck, which I would have messed up the game, and would have had to re load the check point.
So there are times where it doesn’t seem to take into account that you are in a vehicle and whether that vehicle will fit through the gaps its telling you as there are some pretty tight spots with the way the other crashed cars etc have been laid out in the game.
I have noticed this happening a fair bit, you’ll be following the way point, and suddenly it will change and send you on a wild goose chase. Annoying.
I found that co-op in this game is very fun, and also quite helpful, played a lot of the game with a friend of mine and it is very smooth gameplay still, you may think that it might be a bit jumpy at times, especially with up to 4 people in the game and hordes of zombies coming after you, but nope, all was good and didn’t really notice anything that affected the gameplay. Nice!
One thing I felt that did let the game down where the side missions. Some of them could have been better, some of them I don’t think should have been there and there is a lot of back and fore with the game. It’s the same for all the different areas, lots of back and fore between places getting items for people. Variety was a bit lacking.
In the first area, there are a couple of people with missions, one is to get water and the other is to find a girls teddy bear… Now this girl looks in her 20s… Why am I getting her teddy bear? Then the girl im getting water for, its a continuous mission so you can go back and back and back just giving her water… Got bored and annoyed so didn’t go back after a couple of go’s. 😀
Overall, the game is a good one, bit repetitive in places but the wonderful world you get to play in will have you aching for that summer retreat to lay on the beach… Without the zombies!