Grinding meat has never been so entertaining
Dead Island is an open world, melee focused, zombie themed game that has completely caught me off guard. The game is a really weird hybrid and plays very different from what one would expect by watching footage of the game.
Dead Island might look like simple survival game at first but underneath all the running away from zombies and bashing in skulls are dice throws. The game is heavily driven by a set of underlying RPG mechanics that most people will know from games like Diablo, Sacred or even recent MMOs. You level you character, invest earned skill points in stat bonuses as well as active skills allowing you to slash, smash and shoot zombies in increasingly hilarious and effective ways and the weapons you find have different base stats, rarity levels and additional attributes allowing you to electrocute zombies or setting them on fire. Another thing that will also easily remind you of the games that I've mentioned above are the tons of fetch quests you will receive from NPCs that will reward you with weapons, mod blueprint, money and additional experience points. So as you might guess the game is pretty grindy but still very enjoyable.
The main reason for this is the great atmosphere of the game. Houses are deserted, bodies lie everywhere on the streets and the only thing you hear are the angry screams of zombies. As soon as you leave the safe areas you get the feeling of being truly alone and lost. Every time you approach a dead body you can't be sure that it is truly dead or just a zombie waiting for an unsuspecting survivor to lunge at. The mood is really tense especially in the later stages of the game where you are often literally surrounded by zombies. The combat also adds to the atmosphere, most weapons you'll find are melee weapons so you have to deal with the zombies in a very close and personal matter. The combat is fast paced, satisfying and very gruesome allowing you to break and sever limbs.
So basically if you like zombies and can look past the grindy character of the game you will be rewarded with a great atmosphere and intense gameplay that you can enjoy on your own or with up to 3 buddies that will assist you in killing all those undead sons of bitches on a tropical island.
Enjoy and thanks for reading.