Archive for Dead Island

World War Z or A Mindless Average Arcade Gallery

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , on May 16, 2019 by Rabidgames

In terms of shooters, World War Z is the antithesis to The Division 2 – where Ubisoft’s game is a tactical cover shooter looter, World War Z is simply pulling the trigger until nothing rushes you any more. Which can work. But does it actually work? Sometimes. World War Z is a classic AA game – nothing is outstandingly good or bad, there is some charm to the game, but not enough to hide it lacks an identity.

The game is a 4 person co-op shooter – or you with 3 bots that do a basic job of shooting shit that moves, but fail to spread out or start a crossfire because you’re the pied piper leading them anywhere. And they neither heal themselves or each other nor do they man turrets or use heave guns. Anyway, if you play World War Z with others though, it can provide you with some hours of good, mindless fun. The gameplay cycle is what you’d expect: you shoot a lot. You can upgrade some stats. You shoot a lot. You do nothing but shooting, in fact The more you shoot with a weapon, the better the weapon gets. Sometimes, you set up defences. We’ve played it all before.

World War Z is quite a bit brutal – think exploding or hacked limbs – but not explicitly brutal as Mortal Kombat or Dead Island. Violence serves its purpose. The graphics and technical aspects are similar – okay but not great. As often comes with online-focussed games, especially those of the AA variety, World War Z is quite rough around the edges. Lags, buttons not working or inexplicable physics, it can all happen. It’s not game-breaking, but it’s also not exactly awesome, you know. To give the game some credit, things can be hilarious when it happens!

By the way, World War Z shares its name with the movie but barely has anything to do with it. It’s the kind of lazy name-dropping you can’t exactly explain. Same goes for the bare-bones plot and the locations: You play in Moscow, New York, Jerusalem, and Tokyo. It doesn’t really matter though, as doesn’t the story.

This kind of mediocrity can be seen in anything in World War Z; it’s a nice game to relax to while you mechanically shoot your way through hundreds and hundreds of zombies. There is no unique trick such as Dead Island’s precise analogue maiming and slashing or Left 4 Dead’s crisp gameplay. It’s not great but also not abysmally awful. Quite frankly, this is a game you should look for in the bargain bin. It’s seem wrong to shell out full price for World War Z, but if you want to relax with like-minded friends, it’s worth playing a round or two.

Rabidgames’ verdict: GO BUY the game if you need more zombies in your life, and if your friends feel the same.

DO NOT BUY the game if you expect something special. Or if you’re tired of zombies. Or if you prefer to play on your own.

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Dead Island or A Real Definitive Edition

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , , on June 14, 2016 by Rabidgames

Oh yes, Dead Island was one of Rabidgames’ guilty pleasures on last generation’s consoles. A pleasure because the hacking, slicing and maiming was very satisfying, but guilty because it was an unpolished game where potential was let down by bugs, freezes and the occasional crash. Or sometimes, you were stranded in an area too high level for you …

But the core gameplay – in both Dead Island and its successor Riptide (see Rabidgames’ opinion here) – was refreshing – and brutal. Cutting of limbs, smashing heads, throwin explosives around was all good fun. Add to that Dead Island’s Borderland-style RPG light mechanics and the loot, and you could have fun for hours.

In case you’ve never bought a Dead Island game but feel that the melee fights in Dying Light were too bland, check out the precise controls of Dead Island – make sure to change the controls to analog, and with a bit of practice, you can slash at a zombie’s head and the head might not just roll, but even fly.Tearing apart zombies this way is proper bloody and gory fun, and the joy when finding – and modding a powerful weapon feels even better than it did in Dying Light!

But should you buy this Definitive Edition when you had plenty of fun with the original games? Well, revisiting the world of Dead Island on the next generation is actually a journey worth travelling – not only are most of the bugs gone and the game runs on smooth 30 FPS, but Dying Light’s dynamic lighting system makes Dead Island shine even sunnier and more vibrant than the original!

So what’s new? Apart from including all DLC packs for both games, the new lighting system, a more stable running experience and a minimally streamlined and unified menu and UI in both Dead Island games, not much. There’s the hilarious One Punch mode; activate it when you start a new game, and one kick makes zombies fly dozens of meters! Obviously, trophies and challenges are disabled, but it’s fun nonetheless.

Then, there’s Dead Island Retro Revenge, a rather uninspired 2D sidescroll beat ’em up game that gets stale quickly if you’re not a fan of that genre. But it’s a bonus anyway, so whatever.

For once, we have a game that really deserves the “definitive” moniker. It feels like Dead Island is what Dead Island should have been in the first place – technically sound, Riptide included and stunning graphics make a good package for 20 pounds, that’s for sure. If you can’t get enough of the thrill of zombie killing and the idea of finding just another weapon sounds like a good way to spend an afternoon, Dead Island is your game.

Rabidgame smiles: Dead Island proves there is justification for remasters when the price and content are right. Now let’s just hope there will be more of it in the form of Dead Island 2!

 

Should we visit Dead Island again?

Posted in News with tags , on May 7, 2016 by Rabidgames

Remember Dead Island? That visceral zombie smashing, slashing and crunching? That weird contrast of a sunny holiday beach full of rotting zombies coming after you until the sands are filled with blood? Well, if you do, rejoice, because you can replay Dead Island and the successor Dead Island Riptide again soon – improved and with quite a few shiny bonuses and refinements!

Even if you have played it before, this impressive list of changes should make the Dead Island Definitive Collection a must-have (straight from a press release in case you wonder):

Higher Quality Textures
Game textures have been redone in a higher resolution and the level of quality has been improved across the board.

Photorealistic new lighting system
The lighting system in the game has been vastly improved, providing a much more realistic look to the beautiful sunny tropical setting.

Physically based shading
The introduction of new physically based shading techniques means a higher quality look to the game models and objects as they react in a more realistic way to various lighting conditions

Image quality enhancements via anti-aliasing
The addition of more sophisticated anti-aliasing means that console players can now experience Dead Island without unsightly “jaggies“ – delivering a much cleaner look throughout.

Improved-quality game models and geometry assets
All major geometry assets (for example: NPCs and character models) highlight a marked quality increase.

HBAO and motion blur effects
The introduction of Horizon-based Ambient Occlusion  adds an extra layer of depth and realism to the world
Through a better implementation of object shadows, while the all-new motion blur effects will provide a much more cinematic feel to the game experience.

Updated game UI
Providing a more consistent look between both Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide. Increase to equal quality level for seamless game experience.

The Current-gen Console Experience
The Dead Island Definitive Collection will also of course take advantage of the latest console features such as Online 4 Player Co-op, PS Vita Remote-Play (PS4), Share-Play (PS4), streaming and recording.

Power Fists Power-up
And last but not least, The fan favourite unofficial PC mod will also now be added to both products. Punch your way through the mayhem with craziest power-up ever!

But it doesn’t stop there! Obviously, all DLC packs are included, and then, there’s also a new game – Dead Island Retro Revenge, a pixelated sidescroller, if that’s to your liking.

Rabidgames grinds the axe: Ah, to return to Banoi to mutilate zombies again … Let’s be honest here, no other game could manage to capture the visceral enjoyment of slicing and shmashing zombies into pieces like Dead Island! Chances are the games are now also technically en par with the competition, because if we’re honest, the bugs, glitches and other issues could mar the experience quite a bit. But since Techland has been changing quite a few things to make the game come back alive on the next gen consoles, booking another adventure trip to the undead paradise is on the menu.

Dying Light or The Sandbox of the Undead

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Hands On with tags , on March 23, 2015 by Rabidgames

At first sight, Dying Light is just a hybrid of Dead Island and Mirror’s Edge, zombie bashing/slicing combined with first person parcours. But when the light dies, it becomes a different game altogether …

Let’s disregard the rather lame beginning of the story (American guy has to help dark-skinned people during a zombie outbreak, yawn … but yes, it gets better) and let’s talk about the gameplay – there’s lots of it in Dying Light, and most of it is awesome.

The parcours part of Dying Light is well done – it’s fun to jump and climb around the city of Harran, and 99% of the time, the controls are precise. Occasionally, there not and you fall to your death without knowing why (hint: most likely a glitch). Dying Light is certainly not worse than Mirror’s Edge when it comes to parcours, and that means something having in mind the reputation that game has.

The zombie killing in Dying Light is similar to Dead Island although sadly without precise analogue stick controls. In the beginning, you are pretty weak and mostly rely on kicking zombies, but from mid-game onwards slicing zombies in half is fun – and you can still slice off zombies limb by limb, or multiple limbs, or sometimes just the face. Anyway, the gore effect is the same, you need stamina for attacks, and there are also blueprints for rather extravagant but deadlier weapons with elemental effects (exploding ninja stars are one of Rabidgames’ favourites). Weapons are even less durable than in Dead Island, and this time, you can only repair them a few times. Oh, and kicking is back again, kicking which uses no stamina. Stomping time! Shooting is fun although not en par with your classic shooters, but still okay. So far so Dead Island.

But there’s more to Dying Light – you can activate or even create different kinds of traps to kill zombies, which is always fun. And the world feels more alive, not least because there are certain events in the game that can unlock or destroy save havens, and there are a few really good side quests that are more than “kill this, fetch that”. Fighting humans is also quite a challenge, because these bastards can dodge and block, and they always do it.

There’s also the obvious moral question “are humans even less human than zombies during an outbreak” … as usual, the answer is yes. But we ain’t here for the story, eh? Although it still has to be said that you actually meet some characters you care about – and some events are way more emotional than you might expect from a game such as Dying Light. Needless to say not all your friends make it …

And then, there’s the night. During the day, you can easily kill of zombies. Unless you’re overwhelmed, they’re fodder for your weapons. Comes night though, YOU are prey to the volatiles, brutal zombies who can one-hit you, alert their mates and hunt you down quickly after discovering you (they are relatively easy to avoid as you see their field of vision thanks to Metal Gear Solid-like cones). While easy in latter stages (volatiles can be killed easily if you’re levelled up), the first nights are a nightmare in Dying Light, and surviving really felt like an accomplishment. Of course, it helps you can blind them with UV lights …

Even during the day, stealth is part of Dying Light – tons of zombies around? Throw in some firecrackers and they’re distracted! Shooting a gun is a bad idea though in general since it’ll attract every zombie a mile around, fast or slow … But during the night, stealth is even more crucial. You earn more EXP at night, and you can kill the biggest and baddest zombies at night, too.

So far, we’ve established the parts fit together nicely in Dying Light, but what about the game as a game? Well, it’s awesome! Dying Light is an amazing sandbox experience where it is almost entirely up to you (only a handful missions MUST be accomplished at night) if you want to dropkick zombies to death, if you walk around casually by day or want to feel the thrill of getting hunted by a volatile only to fry it in an electric fence trap after a chase. There are also some overpowered skills to be found in Dying Light – the grappling hook which can get you out of every hopeless pinch, or Camouflage where you splatter yourself with zombie blood so they think you’re one of them – but hey, you don’t have to use them. Another nice addition is – there is basically no fast travel. You always have to walk, always running the risk of dying. Dying Light offers you many toys, and it’s up to you to use them creatively.

Content-wise, there are shitloads of things to do in Dying Light – the main story, which is engaging, tons of side quests (some with multiple objectives, and some nicely peppered with dark humour), minor missions and challenges, random events – and of course, two big maps for you to explore – the slums with lots of open spaces, and Old Town, the urban centre with high buildings – including easter eggs, of course.

It’s safe to say Dying Light is one of the first next-gen sandboxes – and most likely the most beautiful one as well. The graphics are absolutely stunning, the audio is near perfection (especially at night), and you can see dozens of zombies running around at times – without a hitch for the engine. Technically, there are some flaws and glitches, but nothing game-breaking so far.

Rabidgames wades through zombie blood with a grin on his face: Yes, Dying Light was worth the wait for the boxed version. The mix between parcours and fighting works, and the addition of survival horror and the day/night mix make Dying Light an awesome sandbox experience. After the Nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor and the awesome graphics in GTA V, Dying Light might be the third game that really deserves the title next gen game. Also, it lightens up the rather stale zombie genre with new ideas – sometimes, quite literally.

New Dead Island 2 Trailer Shows a Rather Red California … And Gameplay!

Posted in News with tags , , on August 11, 2014 by Rabidgames

We all remember the infamous trailer for the first Dead Island. True, it had nothing to do with the atmosphere of the game and the actual gameplay, which was less emotional and more visceral, but what the hell, it was well done – at least if there was some fire involved …

The very first trailer for Dead Island 2 seemed rather spot-on now, didn’t it?

But since seeing this trailer and since knowing we have to free the entire “island” of California from the undead meat bags in Dead Island 2, we have been wondering about the gameplay … Would it be as bloody and gory? With shinier graphics? Well, judging from the latest trailer, there will be even more blood and violence, gore and carnage, sunshine and slaughter, or in short, fun to be had soon:

Rabidgames is prepared:  Comes spring 2015, it’ll be time to take back California from the undead! Dead Island 2 looks even sillier, bloodier and more violent than its predecessors, and there seem to be even more options to freeze, fry or electrocute the zombie masses – of course, let’s not forget there’s still the old-fashioned slash ‘n smash!

 

Dead Island Riptide or Same Old Fun?

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , on May 16, 2013 by Rabidgames

Apparently, there has been some confusion about Dead Island Riptide; it is not Dead Island 2, and yet, it is a full priced game, not an add-on. Well, that sucks. Look at Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen and you see how it’s done properly. Then again, we should put it into perspective: Why treat Riptide differently from FIFA 201x, the boring Assassin’s Creed Revelations or, let’s say, the annual same WWE games? Exactly, we shouldn’t.

That out of the way, here’s another thing: don’t listen to most of the reviews out there. It’s the second Dead Island game, and still people (even professionals) are comparing it to Left 4 Dead or that other zombie game (pick your favourite) … And for the last fucking time, Dead Island is a motherfucking Action RPG!!! Compare Riptide with Diablo 2 or Borderlands, that’s perfectly fine, but not with Resident Rising 4 Dead, for fuck’s sake! Or would you compare GTA to Call of Duty because both have guns?

Alright, enough with the rants. Except, let’s rant about the weakness of Dead Island Riptide: the technical aspects. It’s horrible. Whatever bug or glitch comes to mind, you’ll find it. Mission markers disappearing, food having no effect on your character, zombies appearing out of nowhere 5 meters before or behind you – it’s all in there. It’s a shame Techland did not learn anything from the sometimes pretty much broken first Dead Island. Yes, Riptide is a bit smoother, but it’s still technically shabby. Here’s a taste of it:

The worst thing though: Even after an obligatory Day 1 patch, there are no awesome legendary weapons in Riptide. Rabidgames has played the game for 40 hours, and there have been only a couple of generic orange/gold/yellow weapons – not a single legendary one. Let’s hope it’ll be patched … but chances are it’ll be a costly DLC pack called “Legendary weapons – only 400 MS points!” …

Alright, rant time is over. Actually, Riptide is a rollercoaster of fun! If you loved Dead Island, you’ll love Riptide. If you didn’t, well, don’t even look at the game then. Fair enough. It’s more or less a direct sequel – gameplaywise and storywise. It’s still solid B movie level, it’s still gory as we like it (red and rare), and it’s still the same zombie dismembering fun. If you play alone, you still have to be careful, you’re quickly overwhelmed even by 4 Walkers, and carefully navigating dark cellars might reward you with a Zombie sucking your brains out out of the dark.

Okay, there is some new stuff: Base defence is the best novelty; you can level up your base staff’s weapons or shops, and occasionally, you have to coordinate the defence against zombie hordes. And believe Rabidgames, hordes is the correct word here! Those missions are the most fun to be had in Riptide.

There are also new zombie types to be found in the new Dead Island: Grenadiers who throw guts at you (easy-peasy), Wrestlers who pound you into the ground (avoid close contact, mines take care of them easily), and those fucking Screamers killing you (erm, just hack away at them if you can, otherwise, run!). There are also some new weapons (mines, more grenades, sniper rifles and even a freaking missile launcher) to make life easier in the new 2.5 maps. And you can use boats! Hooray – except they’re horrible to steer! The missions are a bit more varied although most of them are still of the “go there, kill X and pick up Z while I wonder Y” category.

Long story short, Dead Island Riptide is meaty yet expensive fast food for the fans of the genre (mind you, the Action RPG genre). One more thing though: The game begs to be played in analogue mode. The control to slash heads whenever you want is definitely worth the initial weirdness of the analogue controls.

Rabidgames feasts: If it wasn’t for the questionable pricing and the ridiculous amount of technical issues, Dead Island Riptide could have well been a serious blockbuster. The way things are, however, it is a nice light snack for connoisseurs of the hacking and slashing arts; there’s great fun to be had for a while, but the flavour needs to be improved if it is there to stay.