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Just beat Dead Island: Definitive Edition. A really fun zombie game that doesn’t try to take itself too seriously.

I played most of the campaign in Singleplayer mode, so my experiences are based only on that. I actually didn't know there was a multiplayer until halfway through the game lol. I was wondering where all of a sudden this random "NPC" came from and why they were helping me with the mission. Even when it's not with friends, destroying zombies with another person is a great deal of fun, though even if you play solo, the game is still great if you can get it on sale!

The story is pretty generic and nothing special, and the voice acting is of B Movie quality. But this is strangely why I loved it – it's like a crappy zombie movie from the 1980s and the characters matched the roles. They are pretty bland, generic and there is not much interesting about them, but at the same time, this is not the focus of the game – the focus is killing them zambies.

So how does Dead Island do in that regard? Pretty great! The combat is mostly melee focused, and you can craft a plethora of weapons for smashing and slashing zombie heads. In the beginning you can also pick between 4 characters – each with their own specialty. You have Sam B, a New Orleans one hit wonder rapper who is adept at blunt weapons and is the tankiest of the team, Xian Mei who is a Chinese spy assassin great at bladed weapons, Logan who is the more balanced character is better at throwing weapons than the rest, and Purna who is the best with firearms (which you don't get much of until midway through the game). I played as Sam B and I just loved hearing his punchlines. The voice acting was so bad and corny, I laughed a lot while playing, exactly what I need in my zombie game!

Also, the game is semi-open world, where you have different sections which are mini open areas, where you can do the main quest but also branch off and do side quests or just explore and loot whatever you can and gain XP. In some of the areas, you can even drive a vehicle to get from point A to B a lot quicker, though the driving controls are not really great (which is not a major issue, since it's an FPS). As previously mentioned, there are loads of weapons you can craft, and you do that by gathering materials, doing quests and by finding blueprints throughout the levels which lead to some pretty absurd stuff. If you have ever dreamed about slashing through zombies with an electric katana or bludgeoning them with a spiky hammer, you can do it right here!

That being said, the game is obviously not perfect. The story while hilariously bad is still bad, the voice acting is corny, the characters are absurd stereotypes, and the biggest issues I have are the weapon durability and the pacing of the game. Weapons break waaay too easily, and it's especially annoying in the beginning where you don't have much money but you need it just to repair the good items you have. After a while, even after money doesn't become an issue, it's so annoying having to put away your weapon after 5-6 hits, even when it's fully upgraded, just so you can spend hundreds to fix it later.

As for the pacing, I kind of feel like the game should have been a little bit shorter. In the later segments, the quests just drag oooon and oooon. There aren't even many interesting ones, just "I want this, go there and bring it to me" or a fecking annoying escort mission where you have to protect a hilariously dumb NPC from getting themselves killed. Also, there are only so many ways you can make zombies interesting. You have regular zombies, fast zombies, exploding zombies, puking zombies, giga zombies and… agile "ninja" zombies which appear towards the end and then just disappear. Most don't need any special strategy, just wait for them to attack, dodge and hit. So the game decides to make the game "difficult" later on by throwing a shitload of zombies at you in a tight area. It's just incredibly lazy game design imo, you can make any game hard that way.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time with the game, and it felt like a breath of fresh air after playing so many games that take themselves incredibly seriously and force you to watch dozens of hours of cutscenes. Dead Island is stupid, absurd, hilarious and fun, and while it's not a masterpiece, it is a great time.

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