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Dead Island may not be what some expected from the initial trailer (disproving the common misconception that slow piano music always equals something deep and meaningful), but that's not necessarily bad. There are plenty of flaws, such as the iffy aiming, average graphics and poor story, but Dead Island still claws back ground with the variety of weapons, the scope and the pleasant progression path. Zombie aficionados won't be wowed, but they could also do a lot worse.
RPG Site, 80%.
For all of its flaws, Dead Island succeeds at what it clearly set out to do: deliver a game with an exciting, if not downright hilarious co-operative multiplayer experience. The story was barely surmisable, the character animations were janky, and there were texture pop-ins aplenty, but there are enough key ingredients in the pot to keep gamers coming back for more, especially with Techland promising more DLC (after it fixes all the problems the game currently faces, of course). Plus, it's just so much damn fun breaking each and every single bone on a zombie's body before delivering a flying boot to its face off the nearest pier. With nearly 30 hours of solid gameplay to be had and a character progression system that adds plenty of replayability, Dead Island is a rough but amiable affair wrapped around a fascinating experience that is well worth your time. All it takes is the wearwithal to endure the game's many technical headaches until things can be smoothed over by the developers.
Koku Gamer, 8.5/10.
Dead Island does nothing new for the genre, but what it does is take some of the best aspects of many other popular games and wraps them up in to a enjoyable zombie killing experience. There are quite a few bugs that plague the game, but they very rarely take away from the overall experience. (It should be noted that by this time developer Techland has issued a patch to address many of the issues of the game but I have yet to see what kind of changes were made.) Any person who has enjoyed any first person RPG games like Fallout 3 or Borderlands and enjoying lobbing of the heads of flesh eaters will feel right at home.
USA Today, 3.5/4.
Aside from the fact Dead Island heavily "borrows" elements from other recent games er, namely, first-person horror meets RPG, a weapon-crafting system, four unique characters to choose from and four-player co-op there's still plenty of gory fun at every turn.
There are other niggles, too, like graphics that are a bit behind the times and some random issues (such as showing console controller instructions in the PC version of the game), but for the most part these shortcomings don't add up to much.
Quite simply, Dead Island is a deadly good time.