PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
November 18th, 2014
Fatshark, Deep Silver
Set in the same universe as the previous Dead Island (and the upcoming Dead Island 2) but running as a completely different type of game, Escape Dead Island tries to be something different in the series. Sadly though it falls extremely short in every category.
In recent memory Cel-shaded graphics are been hot in gaming. With big hits such as Borderlands and Telltale’s games making a big splash and working well with the look Escape Dead Island tries to emulate their success. From first glance though I thought I might have been playing a game from the Playstation 2 era, not even a game on that systems final run of titles either. The game looks horrible. Some backgrounds and moments when looking at a wide shot of the island look nice almost everything else is bland and tiresome to see. The large sections of unimaginative rooms and corridors do nothing to distinguish themselves from each other.
You’ll really start to notice the graphics once you start to notice how glitchy and choppy the game is. Frame rate sometimes dips for no apparent reason. You’ll see enemies glitch around or get stuck in the environment or an invisible barricade as does your character.
They do try to push more of a story into this game than past ones in the series. At no point in time did I find myself caring. You play as Cliff, a man with the means to be able to go to a deserted island in the hopes of finding out about a mysterious zombie infested island and to also show off to his dad. Soon though the story just gets tossed out the window in a slew of hallucinations and general lack of care or interest. The writing and dialog during the beginning of the game alone will make you wonder why anyone in their right mind would try to pay attention to the rest of the game anyway.
Game play wise it’s about as stale as it gets. The game tries to be a mix of a stealth game, a survival horror game, and an action game doing all 3 wrong. The stealth sections don’t have much thought to them based off your character being one the least stealthy people in history. The stealth scenes turn into your character simply crouching around and doing the same kill animation behind a zombie over and over. You won’t know if the zombie sees you or really where its looking though until you either kill it or it kills you. It boils down to a crap shoot suicide mission.
You have regenerating health (even if your guy can die almost instantly), supplies aren’t limited at all as you are constantly finding ammo and if you get stuck and die the game will respawn you with ammo right next to you, and the game itself just doesn’t feel like a threat. Don’t expect the action to be any better. Most of the game you can plot through by just mashing the light attack even if with the faulty stamina meter and delay on the attack makes it less than favorable. Guns after a while become pointless to use anyway.
The game oddly doesn’t have a difficulty. For the most part it is a walk in the part till out of no where it seems enemies become stronger with more health and you guy becomes weaker. You’ll be seeing a lot of the same zombies as well. The specialty zombies themselves are almost rips right from the Left 4 Dead series.
Overall Escape Dead Island is one the worst games released in 2014. Not a redeeming quality to it and even for a discount title I can’t recommend it as even a rental.