Dead Island is the zombie game you have in your head. It’s the conversation you’ve had with your mates in which you discuss whether you’d be better off grabbing the hedge trimmer or the cricket bat from the garage in the event of a zombie attack.
Dead Island doesn’t make you double-hard like Left 4 Dead or ready-qualified for zombie-fighting like Resident Evil. It doesn’t make light of the fact that zombies want to eat your brains, like Dead Rising does.
Rather, Dead Island chucks you into a scenario in which zombies are on the rampage (or amble, depending on which zombies you encounter) on an island with a believable level of resources and an open map to go at and challenges you to survive. Fortunately, developer Techland has substituted whatever slightly dull town you’re from with a tropical island resort.
This is the structure of the game – talk to folk, get missions, complete missions, wander the island of the dead. It’s a case of finding your own way to survive, including what weapons you should use. Don’t think you can arm yourself with a bat and a shotgun at the start of the game and be on your way – for starters, that kind of desirable equipment is hard to come by, and secondly it wears out. Slightly reminiscent of Dead Rising, though, is the inclusion of work benches where you can mod, repair and upgrade your weapons. There’s also a skill tree for you to navigate, so you can hone your zombie fighting skills.