Escape Dead Island
Developed by Fatshark
Published by Deep Silver
*I Don’t Know What I Believe Anymore*
*Please Note: This Review is for the PlayStation 3 Version*
Escape Dead Island takes place 6 months after the events of Dead Island 1 with Banoi still cut off from the rest of the world. Cliff Calo, Son of a well known reporter heads off with his friends; Linda Waterson and Devan Marvropani set out on an adventure to get the scoop on what really happened so Cliff can try and earn the respect of his father and proving whether or not Zombies really exist however Cliff makes some startling discoveries on the Island which not only test his ability to survive but also his sanity.
Escape Dead Island is a third person action adventure title which utilizes Stealth & Melee gameplay mechanics. As you explore the island; you will find that the shadows are your best friend since pretty much like the other Dead Island games, If you go rushing in to action you are more than likely going to be swarmed upon. In order to avoid this fate, you can sneak up on your enemies and perform stealth kills using multiple stealth weapons which you pick up as the game progresses (Screwdriver and Knife). The game is designed to be a survival horror with guns being accessible to the player however Ammo is extremely limited. In addition to this, the game is great in terms of finding equipment with certain equipment being needed to continue on with the story such as a Torch to light up dark areas and a Gas Mask to help protect yourself against toxic gases to name a few. Another new element to the Dead Island franchise is the ability to take pictures with your camera similar to the Dead Rising series; This allows you to not only get photo’s as collectible items but also gives you some info on the surroundings, enemies and characters you come across. With all these new features however comes the loss of some old features starting with (As mentioned above) the changing of the camera perspective from first person to third person. In ways this is quite a good thing since it allows you to get a better view of areas where you could perform tactical kills aswell as scouting out the area for Zombies. Another loss which truly is a loss is the games lack of RPG elements where you can upgrade your character’s abilities through a skill tree which added tactical element since you had to pick the skills which you thought would help you survive the multiple hordes of Banoi. The game did crash a few times but nothing too serious and another thing I found quite bad about this game was the lack of Fast Travel as traversing the world could sometimes get a little bit boring.
In terms of a soundtrack, the game isn’t memorable at all with no real soundtrack to it yet the game does feature some good sound effects from the Zombies groaning to the simple sounds of the wind and sea blowing away however the sound quality which truly redeems this game is the voice acting which features some great voice actors such as Joseph May (Lego City Undercover) who plays Cliff Calo; The protagonist of the game who sets out to find evidence of a Zombie Outbreak, Jules De Jongh (Mirror’s Edge) who not only voices new character; Linda Waterson who is one of Cliff’s friends who accompanies him on his journey but also reprises her role as Dead Island Regular; Xian Mei and Ako Mitchell (Aliens vs. Predator) who portrays Cliff’s best friend; Devan who gets roped into tagging along by Cliff & Linda.
Escape Dead Island exchanges the realistic look for a cel shaded graphic style which looks like it takes influence from Borderlands with the visuals looking decent enough for the style of game it wants to be however there is a few occasions the graphics look like they were ripped from a PS2 game; especially in terms of the environment. There is also a few visual references in the game to other video games in particular Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead with one of the collectible postcards being written to the main protagonist of that series; Clementine.
Escape Dead Island can last quite a while if played in moderation but it doesn’t last as long as quite a few games out there. The trophies for this game can be obtained rather quickly which means if your a trophy hunter this game shouldn’t last you too long but the open world is pretty big and without fast travel makes you traverse the world which can take a while, Once you complete the story once there is a new game + mode but other than that there is not much reason to replay the game.
All in all, Escape Dead Island is a decent title with a great story, decent gameplay styles, a great voice cast and well used cel shaded visuals however the lack of the rpg elements, a memorable soundtrack, pretty poor graphics and no fast travel really sucks the fun out of this game. Overall its worth a buy or at least a rental due to it being decent however I would not recommend it to Dead Island fans since they will probably be put off by the numerous changes made to the gameplay.
My Score = 6.5/10
- Decent Story
- Good Stealth Mechanics
- Great New Gameplay Elements
- Third Person View
- Really Good Voice Cast
- Decent use of Cel Shaded Visuals
- Lack of RPG Elements
- No Memorable Soundtrack at all
- Graphics occasionally look like a PS2 game
- World Traversal can get repetitive and boring
- Not Much Replay Value
Escape Dead Island is available now for PS3, Xbox 360 & PC. Thanks go out to Deep Silver for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matt McNamee