Dead Island or How Critics Fail

Careful, folks: This is at the same time both a review of Dead Island and a bloody rant. Yes, Rabidgames looks at you, Eurogamer, Edge, 4players (a German magazine) and yes, even at the infamous Zero Punctuation. Why? Because you weren’t doing your job properly. Simple as that.

Of course, there are more magazines which gave ridiculous reviews which make you think they played the game for 2 hours and then decided to take a nap or a crap or both. And afterwards they decided to be fucking nitpicking and criticising minor issues every other game gets easily away with. But let’s just say the above reviewers annoyed Rabidgames the most.

First of all, of course, Dead Island has faults. A shitload of faults. That’s a fact. The technical issues are plain stupid! Come on, Techland, if you allow only one save slot per character make fucking sure they will never ever corrupt. Not exactly rocket science, right?Also, sometime you miraculously end up somewhere else – where you’ve never been before. This might have something to do with your active quest – but how can this happen? Let’s not even start with harmless but annoying glitches such as stuff randomly hovering and shit … As we can see it is absolutely fair to harshly criticise Dead Island for all those faults. Then again, how comes Fallout New Vegas got away with being completely fucking broken then – without getting trashed? It still got 9 ratings! Ever heard of consistency, guys?

And yes, the story is also weak. Granted, Borderlands or Dark Souls have virtually no story as well but that’s a lame excuse. Also, it is weird the atmosphere constantly changes. You have sombre music and all of a sudden, the mood gets light and comical … As we can clearly see, Dead Island is far from perfect so the critics are not completely wrong.

That said, let’s have a look at stuff where some reviewers got it wrong:

1. The controls are fucked
You gotta be kidding me. Honestly, Rabidgames would like to play with those guys and explain to them how the controls work. It really makes you think what those dudes where doing when they deem the perfectly working analogue fighting system useless. Yes, it takes some time getting used to it, but shouldn’t we expect exactly that from professional reviewers? Rabidgames has played Dead Island for almost 70 hours and can state this: The fighting controls are immersive and precise. Of course, a knife can’t outrange a paddle – but that’s common sense! Admittedly, jumping can be a pain because sometimes you get stuck in some questionable obstacles (which hurts like hell if a Ram is hunting you down) – but even those instances are minor and definitely not a symptom of “useless” controls.

2. All characters are “not that different”
Umm, ok. In the beginning, they are all the same. That’s true. But come on guys, we’re talking about a RPG here. Please, anyone tell me all characters feel still the same at level 20 (then again, it is dubious if they have ever played that far … ). For starters: You have four characters: One takes a hammer and kills everything with a few hits, another one chops off limbs with ease with blades. Now let’s swap weapons and guess what – those weapons are a ton weaker and degrade faster. Oh, and then there’s “rage” which is a super strong mode for all characters – but completely different for each one. While one character uses martial arts to kick ass, another takes out her weapon and shoots like crazy. How’s that the same? And on top of all of that, you can develop one character in different ways: Go down the rage way and you’ll be able to unleash your impressive rage after 5 normal kills, or build a fighting machine walking down the combat way or be versatile and follow the survival way. You can’t even unlock everything in one playthrough.

3. Game is too easy
Act 1 is pretty easy, true. The Resort really is a walk in the park. But as soon as you’re in the city and start meeting Rams and dozens of zombies are following you, you barely escape just to get hunted down by the fast Infected … Not exactly that easy, isn’t it? And later on, the fucking Butchers join in who just ignore your handy kicks. And then there are human enemies. If you don’t have a gun and some ammunition you’re basically fucked against human enemies. How comes no one ever mentioned it? Have they even played that far?

4. Quests are dull
The problem with this point is that the quests are nothing special and usually just involve carrying stuff from A to B while killing x amount of C. Just like almost any other game. For instance, you visit the same hideouts again and again in Rage while doing the above. Bur for some reason, no one seemed that bothered about it. How’s that possible?

5. Not enough penalty for dying
Losing 1/10 of your money doesn’t seem bad – unless you die 10 times in a row. You also lose your grenades, your ammunition, your used medikits and your weapons degrade. The alternative would be reloading a previous checkpoint – with intact inventory and all the money.

6. Fire doesn’t burn your torch
Yes, one critic actually complained about this “problem”! The only thing left to say about this is: Name 10 games where fire consumes everything. If the game was realistic, it would mean causing a huge conflagration consuming the whole island! Well, at least that would get us rid of the zombies, right?

Rabidgames says: At the end of the gaming session, most reviews did another mistake: They compared Dead Island with Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising … while those games don’t have much in common. Sure, you got zombies, and yes, Dead Island focusses on melee fights – but that’s about it. Why don’t you compare Dead Island to Borderlands? Look at the similarities: 4 characters to choose from, a leveling system, re-spawning enemies, much focus on random weapons, virtually no story and a decent co-op mode.

So, is there a reason why exactly Dead Island gets kicked for issues any other games get away with? Maybe, maybe nothing happens if you smash and trash a game from a small independent Polish developer. Why don’t you trash Rage for its lame “go to each dungeon twice”? Why don’t you criticise Rage for the non-existing story that harshly? What about fire having no consequences on weapons in Fallout? Why not telling Call of Duty or Fifa to fuck off because they have been repeating themselves for ages?

The answer could be simple: Don’t mess with precious ad money!


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