Another review, another remaster. I’m actually all for remasters, providing they’re done right. I know I missed out on a ton of great games from the last-generation, so I’m happy enough to give a decent remaster a go. So, is Dead Island a decent remaster, or just a lazy cash-grab?
I’m pleased to say, it’s actually really, really good. Unlike some remasters in recent memory, Dead Island improves upon just about everything in some way or another. Graphically, the game is head and shoulders above its original outing on the PS3. The game also runs a lot better, too, with the frame rate more or less locked to a solid 30 for the majority of the game. The original release was, shall we say, scruffy in that respect.
I had the misfortune of playing through Dead Island on PS3 so I’m all too aware of the common bugs that littered the game. While they’re not totally eradicated in the PS4 update, there’s definitely a lot less to complain about. Yes, sometimes a zombie’s leg will fly around after it’s parted company with the body, and yes, sometimes a member of the undead community will get stuck within a wall or some other object, but they’re not really game-breaking bugs.
The graphical overhaul may be pleasing but it’s not completely perfect, but then again, what is? Character models have been given a lick of digital paint to make them look a bit more wholesome, though the facial animations still make even the most lively of characters look like a zombie doing a decent imitation of a human.
Environments are presented in a much better light – quite literally, too, as the game features an improved lighting system over the original. Rather than bang on about how good the game looks, I’ll just say that it’s not quite on-par with what you’d expect from a new PS4 release, though it’s still one of the better remasters available.
As for the game itself, I can’t say anything that hasn’t really been said before. It’s an action-adventure RPG where you’re stuck on some sexy holiday island, but the guests have turned in their gin-and-tonics for a go on tasty man-flesh. It’s your job to survive by any means necessary.
The majority of the game is spent going from one place to another, smashing some zombies, going to another place, talking to someone, getting a task – rinse and repeat and you’ve got the game in a nutshell. It’s actually quite structurally similar to Techland’s other zombie property, Dying Light, though that shouldn’t really come as a surprise as Dying Light was originally billed as a sequel to Dead Island.
Gameplay wise, Dead Island Definite Edition isn’t really that much different to the original: you’ll craft weapons, collect stuff, level up, bully the undead etc, though, as I mentioned before, it’s much more enjoyable on PS4 than the last-gen consoles. However, what I will say is that is does drag on a little and the repetitive nature of going from point-to-point can get a bit tiresome, though that’s the nature of RPG’s these days…
If you never played Dead Island back in the day but you’re interested in the remaster, I’d say go for it. It’s a decent game with some solid mechanics, and now that it looks and runs much smoother, there’s really no going back to the original.
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