[PS4] Dead Island Definitive Collection Review
Dead Island Definitive Collection from Deep Silver brings the beloved Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide to the PlayStation 4 with massive upgrades to both games thanks to the studio using their latest engine to boost performance. Come read our review for the Dead Island Definitive Collection to see why it would make a great addition to your PlayStation 4 collection!
The original Dead Island was a very fun open world game that was first made available on the PlayStation 3 back in 2011. You probably remember the game’s trailer (which won several awards) – if not be sure to check it out below – and how the game’s studio promised a wide location to explore with several separate areas. They delivered on that, giving us a first person action game with some RPG elements thrown in the mix.
After selecting one of the four available characters, I woke up in my room, and I could hear loud screams coming from outside. I looked around and found a med kit – always handy in a situation like this – and I ventured into the unknown. I slowly walked out into the hall, searching every open room for supplies such as flares, lighters, phones, more med kits, money and more. Looting is crucial since you’ll be using a lot of the items you find to craft weapons and items to help you survive – or you might end up selling them for some extra cash.
I quickly ran into a dark area, so I turned on my flashlight to investigate further, waiting for the inevitable to commence. I was able to search further into the hotel until I made it to an elevator shaft. Unfortunately, the elevator quickly plummeted down, almost killing me in the process. A voice then started to speak out of the radio – a man said he could see me through the security cameras… and that he wanted to help.
Long story short, things don’t go as expected, but before it is too late a group of NPC managed to save me. The game then gave me a short tutorial scene so I could learn more about melee fighting, and as soon as I killed the last zombie, the story started to unfold. There’s only one goal in Dead Island: to escape from this godforsaken place.
You’ll be able to do this after completing several main and side quests that will take you closer and closer to finding the man to which the mysterious voice from the radio belongs to. Luckily you’re immune to whatever it is that is turning people into zombies. Mind you, being immune to this thing does not mean to, so be careful and always plan ahead one extra step just in case. Always know where your evacuation route is, and always keep a med kit handy.
Completing quests will grant players with experience points that can be used to level up. On top of this, the more zombies you kill, the more experience you’ll get, giving you the chance to improve your character’s skills and stats, unlocking new options from a skill tree that greatly improve your chances of survival.
Speaking of survival, and before I forget, here’s some words of advice: if you see a body lying on the ground, don’t take any chances and be sure to whack it in the head a couple of times just to make sure he/she isn’t just playing possum – nothing kills you faster than walking past a zombie on the ground only for it to jump up and bite your head off.
Going back to the skill tree, when you level up, you’ll gain skill points that can be applied to one of three areas: Fury, Combat, and Survival.
Skills in Fury will increase the amount of rage you get and as well as the actions that trigger a gain. Combat is tied to how good you are with specific types of weapons, while also unlocking new attack skills. Survival is crucial since it will let you gain more money from looting, increase your inventory slots, reduce the damage you receive, provide a skill to regenerate some health after being damaged, and more.
You must always be on the lookout for weapons because each melee weapon (the variety you’ll be using for most of the game) has a finite durability and once a weapon is useless the main character will throw it away and use another one from your inventory. Finding yourself with nothing but your fists during a fight with a large group of zombies is the fastest way to being killed.
As you explore the island, you’ll find tapes that will reveal additional information about what happened at Banoi, and why it is important that more people learn about it. You’ll also run into several ID you can add to your collection, not to mention excerpt
s from the Banoi Herald. So on top of the main story, there’s plenty of sidequest and collectibles to find, which greatly increases the overall time you’ll spend in the game if you’re going for 100% completion.
The second part of the Dead Island Definitive Collection is Dead Island: Riptide, the direct follow-up to Dead Island. After (SPOILER ALERT)… the group manages to escape from Banoi Island, but they run into an even more dangerous situation when they arrive at a vessel of the Australian Defense Force and are taken into custody. After they’re placed in a holding cell for examination and to be interrogated, players soon find themselves in a ship packed full of deadly zombies. Turns out that other than the survivors no one else on the ship was immune to the zombie virus, and so a new adventure begins for the cast… who will soon find themselves on another zombie-infested island.
Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition could best be described as a stand-alone expansion to Dead Island proper. What this means is that it offers new content and a new storyline to follow, but that a lot of it will feel very familiar for those who played the previous game in the series. This is both good and bad since, while offering more of the same (which is certainly what I wanted after I was done with Dead Island), it might seem like it doesn’t offer anything new to advance the formula set by Dead Island.
Along with blunt weapon expert Sam B., ex-all pro quarterback Logan, ex-Sydney police officer Purna and Chinese Special Forces member Xian, players will get a chance to select John, an ADF soldier who is an expert in hand-to-hand combat. You can also import your character from Dead Island, giving you a nice boost during the early parts of the game. The other bonus to importing your character from the first game is that you’ll get a head-start towards the trophy for achieving level 50, as well as another one for achieving level 70. Getting there without importing your character will take a while… and even importing a character will still require that you grind for a while for the experience points you’ll need.
Since this is a new entry, the game will spend the first few minutes teaching you how to walk, crouch, jump, attack, and sprint. You know, just in case you’re playing Riptide ahead of Dead Island or if you forgot how to do things. After you get the hang of things you’ll be asked to make it to the command bridge in order to save the ship before it goes down in flames… or sinks to the bottom after hitting a rock too big for its own good.
As you can imagine, you can’t save the ship, and you end up on an island that is in even worse condition than Banoi. The action hits hard during the first hour of Dead Island: Riptide, because as soon as you find a camp to settle in, the zombies decide to attack en mass to try and overtake the survivors.
All the glamour and shine of the five star Banoi hotel where Dead Island Definitive Edition took place is most certainly gone, and you’ll find yourself in a tropical jungle setting with a lot of open spaces and danger around every corner. Unlike the first game in the series, you’re introduced to fire arms very early in Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition, which definitely changes the way you approach each scenario. Nothing brings the hurt to zombies like a couple of nails to the head, so if you find a nailgun be sure to upgrade it and keep it ready because it will be your best friend during our first hours with this release.
The rest of the gameplay mechanics I’ve mentioned for Dead Island Definitive Edition still apply to Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition, so if you’re good at the first game, you’ll certainly do great in the sequel as well. One thing to consider is that the difficulty in Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition seems to be a bit higher in comparison to the first game, so do keep this in mind.
As for the reason why both games have been made available as part of the Dead Island Definitive Collection, as I said before, Deed Silver has used Techland’s latest engine to greatly improve the two games in the series. How much of an improvement are we talking about? The whole game features higher quality textures, a new lighting system, anti-aliasing, improved models, better shading, ambient collusion, motion blur and more! On top of that, several of the bugs you might have run into during your time with the PlayStation 3 versions of the games are gone, gone, gone.
As a bonus, those of you who purchase the physical release for the Dead Island Definitive Collection will also get Dead Island: Retro Revenge absolutely free. This is a fun autoscrolling beat ‘em up that we’ve already reviewed and which we liked, so as a free game, it’s definitely a great bonus – not to mention that it includes its own trophy list! And no, that one does not include a Platinum trophy!
And speaking of trophies, as was the case with both games back when they released on PlayStation 3, you’re looking at the possibility of getting two Platinum trophies for your efforts in the Dead Island Definitive Collection. Considering that you’ll need around 30-40 hours for each game to get all of its trophies, this means you’re getting a ton of potential trophies for your profile for only $39.99.
I’ve spent dozens of hours playing both games for my Dead Island Definitive Collection review, and it certainly has been a fun time! There’s still plenty for me to do in each game s they’re huge releases, and unlocking both Platinum trophies is certainly something currently on my to-do list. I highly recommend that you purchase this collection as it offers great value for a very low cost.
[review pros=”Excellent collection.
Lots of content.
Great price.” cons=”No complaints.” score=92]
This review is based on a PS4 copy of Dead Island Definitive Collection Provided by Deep Silver