[Beyond PlayStation] Radiation Island Review
Radiation Island is a survival horror game in which you explore an island, secure resources, and craft items to stay alive in a hostile environment. Learn more about it in our Radiation Island review!
You play as a soldier trapped on an island after an experiment has gone terribly wrong. You have no supplies and no way out, so you’ll need to find a way to survive on the island. The classic core of most survival games is here, and this includes hunger and health meters, managing your inventory, attacking hostiles, and more. Luckily, crafting materials are available in ample supply, and you can find food here and there as you explore around for a bit.
At the start of the game you will notice old-style battleships turning green and disappearing and reappearing, as if you were witnessing a computer glitch, and that made me wonder if this was all a simulation and if the soldier I was controlling was not really in an island in the middle of nowhere, trying to survive the radiation, the rabid animals, and the zombies. The game might not be a graphical powerhouse, but at least the way it looks gets the job done.
Around the island, you will find tall black buildings, and one of your goals is to reach the top of them all and find codes to deactivate them. This will, in theory, allow you to go back into the real world. The level of hostility you’ll face depends on the difficulty level you choose. If you start on the easiest setting, nothing can harm you and animals won’t attack you and, to be honest, it’s very boring and a difficulty I suggest you skip. The adventure difficulty is where you will get a nice challenge and a good level of fun. And then there’s the harder difficulty setting which is insanely hard, with aggressive enemies and fauna, so be ready!
When you die on the Adventure difficulty, you will lose the weapon you have, which is fairly lenient compared to a lot of games in this genre that will force you to start from scratch. You might lose your weapon, but you can quickly craft a new one with the resources at hand. Can’t complain if the only thing you lose in that difficulty setting is your current weapon, right?
Combat is simple since aiming is automatically taken care of by pressing the Y button, which makes it easier to not waste precious ammo and make every shot you make count. Using firearms is better than melee combat since you can keep some distance between you and the dangerous enemies in your path. This is even more important since melee combat feels a tad off – at least this was my experience from reviewing the game.
The story is virtually non-existent, which I was expecting. Survival games don’t generally need a story, but having one definitely wouldn’t hurt, right? At least there are collectibles to discover in the form of diary pages that will tell some story here and there. The map is quite big, and there are many areas to visit with objectives to complete, so this is not a game you’ll be done with in a couple of hours.
If you’re into survival games with some crafting on the side, and are looking for such a game on Nintendo Switch, then you should give Radiation Island a try. It’s not perfect, and has almost no story to speak of, but the gameplay is entertaining and will keep you busy for several hours if you want to see everything the game has to offer.
This Radiation Island review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Atypical Games.