Monday, June 11, 2012

Techland's Gem - Dead Island

Techland is a developer that has not provided the industry with the greatest quality of games throughout its history with rare exceptions given to its western-themed shooter Call of Juarez and, most recently, Dead Island.
Dead Island, zombie-island shooter taking place on a glorious tropical paradise that can be compared to a wonderful vacation spot... gone wrong.  The game pits you, one of four survivors, in a situation where you must use your skills (ranging from a knife specialist to a gun-toting fem fatale) to defend you, your teammates, and whoever you encounter along your way. Overall, the game delivers everything that it promises: a unique multiplayer experience where you and your friends are pitted against hordes of flesh-eating zombies. Sounds good, right? Well, yes, it delivers, however, it fulfills all these aspects to varying degrees. For one, the game looks beautiful with Techland putting my average-powered i5 PC to the test with impressive visuals and amazing use of lighting. Due to the fact that it is an online game, lag occurs occasionally but, for the most part, the game pulls through for tens of thousands of gamers daily. My roommate and I enjoyed playing this game for a few hours a week in the midst of exams and homework why, you might ask? Because the game was fun! That is all that should matter, right? Wrong!
Don't let the game's teaser trailer fool you, this title is in dire need of constructive criticism!
For those of you who have purchased the game, I hope that you have not had the same luck with the game that me and many of my compadres have encountered. Game-breaking bugs that seriously diminished the experience and forced you to literally give up after a good while of rebooting the game and your computer. For example, I once found myself, quite literally, stuck inside a safe house early on in the game's campaign only to find that I had to join another player in order to advance - a choice that was not prompted to me in any way. Another game-changing bug that occurs infrequently (but always at the most inopportune times) is the inability to retrieve projectiles that are thrown at enemies - a game mechanic that I heavily employed. The game includes a throwing mechanic that allows the player to thrust knives, machetes, daggers and the like at the undead in an effort to inflict damage; however, this ability's practicality goes hopelessly awry when a glitch in the game makes your thrown weapons disappear! Imagine your disgust after having thrown your prized, fully-modded dagger at a half-witted undead only to find that your weapon has vanished from sight! It would make anyone burn with rage. Whatever my opinions may include, I can only speak on the existence of these bugs on the PC as I have not played the console versions of the game; but for an otherwise great title these bugs made it an average title to me. A must-buy until it went awry.
Until next time... so long.

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