The island of Banoi was once a beautiful island and a perfect destination for tourists. However, in Deep Silver's Dead Island, Banoi has been painted with blood in this exciting first-person action role playing game. Available on PC and through Steam, Dead Island features a sandbox environment and and combat with survivors of a zombie apocalypse.
Players start out by choosing one of the available characters with their own backgrounds. There are some role playing game elements like leveling up, stats, and being able to invest in talent trees. The main chunk of the your time in Banoi is spent questing and customizing weapons that have fun status effects like fire or electrocution. These weapons degrade over time, so a layer of tactical experience is brought into the game as well. Gruesome combat is the staple of Dead Island and the game's life is extended through online co-op that is simple, yet effective. You can have a party made up online with friends or join up with random players online that are near the same checkpoints you are. Difficulty increases as you progress and the number of zombies also increases with the player amount, so there is plenty of action that can keep you satisfied.
Side quests that involve collecting items throughout the island can be boring. However, there are some fun moments like defending a gas station while your teammates collect gas or mowing down zombies on vehicles. Hours can be spent exploring vastly different areas from the calm beaches to tight corridors of hotels with zombies lurking every corner.
The rough edges in Dead Island are minor, but the scale of a sandbox game and online multi-player keeps the game fresh and exciting. The visuals can be spotty but should be fine on a high-end computer. The voice acting is somewhat poor and the overall story hangs on a weak hook. The character development is also weak, but Dead Island's large environments and fun campaign makes up for its faults whether you're a zombie fan or not. On the PC, you will need at least 1GB ram, 2GB of hard-drive space,a GeForce 8600 GT or Radeon HD 2600 XT, and a Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz or Athlon II X2 245 to meet the minimum requirements for Dead Island.