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GAME REVIEW: Escape Dead Island (PS3, XBOX 360)

By Nick Durham

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Fuck...this...fucking...game.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Dead Island franchise, like severely. I enjoy the idea of what the Dead Island games offer: survival horror on a zombie-infested island where you have to be resourceful and use whatever you can at your disposal to survive. What's always killed those games for me is that they all wind up being the same thing: go from point A to point B (and occasionally point C) to do some shitty fetch quests, stab a zombie now and then, rinse and repeat. Boom. That's Dead Island. Critics and gamers have always been split on the end result of the games, but the series has its fans, and that's all well and good.

And then we have this...fucking...game.

Escape Dead Island is a game that promises to be something different. It's a third person action game that starts out kind of interesting enough, as you play as a sword-wielding ninja taking down zombies in a lab. Plus the graphics are cell-shaded so it looks like you're playing a moving, breathing, comic book. Sounds pretty fucking cool right?

Yeah well, it's not. Like at all. Escape Dead Island is a tiring bore that makes me want to staple my balls to a ceiling fan and turn it on full fucking blast.

The ninja level I mentioned earlier only lasts for the game's prologue, as immediately after you are put in the shoes of the game's toolbag main character Cliff; who is investigating the zombie events taking place on the island from the original game...or an island close to that island...I don't fucking know, it doesn't matter, it's still a fucking island. There's no RPG-ish elements here like there are in the other games, and the action is pretty straight forward, and just plain fucking boring. Customization options are practically nonexistent for anything and everything here too, so yeah...boring.

Now believe it or not, I can get past a game being boring for the most part...if the thing's mechanics aren't broken that is. The mechanics of Escape Dead Island are so damn broken that it isn't even funny. Controlling your character is a chore as most of the time it feels like you're walking through fucking molasses, hit detection is all over the place, and the game's AI  is a joke. Not to mention the stage design doesn't help matters. So many times I lose track of where the fuck I'm supposed to go because everything either looks the same, or because there's no real clear distinction of where the fuck I'm supposed to go. Half of that is due to the blandness of the game's environments, while the other half is just due to shoddy game design. Oh well, at least the game has fluid graphics and the sound design isn't bad. Well, mostly that is.

So yeah, if you like the Dead Island franchise, Escape Dead Island may be worth your time just because it's a spinoff of the series. Other than that though, there's damn little here to recommend for anyone else. If you've ever wanted to play a shittier version of Ninja Gaiden with zombies, then I guess give this a look. For the rest of you, leave this game on the shelf. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drown my sorrows away with bottom shelf liquor.

 

Posted by Alan Smithee

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