Escape Dead Island Review – Where’s My Ripper Mod?

escapedeadislandThe Dead Island series gets a brief encounter with a new developer. Did developer Fatshark create a game worthy of the franchise or is this one better off left for dead?

Read our review to find out.

Escape Dead island is a survival mystery game, played in third person, that follows the story of Cliff Calo, who sets sail to document the unexplained events rumored to have happened on Banoi. Arriving on the island of Narapela, part of the Banoi archipelago, he finds that not everything is as it seems. Haunted by deja-vus, Cliff will have to make sense of it all. This story-driven adventure lets players delve into the Dead Island universe and unravel the origins of the zombie outbreak.

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The storyline can be a bit confusing as Cliff seems to be on an acid trip at times. Fans of the series will probably enjoy learning more about the back story of Banoi and the who and why of it. No game in the series really went too deep into the back story so this was a welcome addition. Returning fans will notice some of the types of zombies they’ll have to face, but that’s about where the similarities end. This isn’t your standard Dead Island fare and that’s not always a good thing.

The game is played in third person while historically Dead Island games are played in first person.No more seeing first hand what destruction you can dish out as you’ll be looking over Cliff’s shoulder instead of through his eyes. The graphics for the game are don in a cel-shaded style that makes the game look like an animated graphic novel. Again, not what you would expect from a Dead Island game, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker either. For the art style being used, the game looks great with no frame drops or stutters, even when there are a bunch of zombies attacking us at once.

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Dead Island has always been known for its weapon mods. That is what has had us going back again and again, hanging out with friends and seeing what everyone could come up with, and seeing what kind of damage all of us could dish out with the different mods. They left that completely out of this game. Weapons are found on workbenches, but they are linear in that you’ll only find what you need and can’t do much to it. Your pistol gets an upgraded silencer, but really that’s story related and not a mod in the Dead Island sense of the word. Your ax gets a few mods through the course of the game, but again not really a DI mod.

The difficulty factor for the game is also changed up from the DI series as there are no levels of zombies and you never have a level yourself. It’s a pretty easy game for the most part but there are a few times where the difficulty spikes unfairly and might have you asking why. You can play the game using stealth or you can play the game Rambo style, but when you hit those tough spots, you may want to stop and take a moment to figure out the best way to proceed. Sometimes it’s better to sneak up behind a Butcher and shove a screwdriver into his noggin than to try and face him head on.

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The collectibles for the game are vast and add in a replayibility factor that will keep completionists busy for hours. Cliff is a journalist so he always has a camera handy. Throughout the game there are eighty six different photos to be taken and the only way to find them is to look through the viewfinder of the camera. Clearing an area of zombies first is usually a smart idea before looking through the viewfinder, but that should go without saying. There are also other items to be found, so keep an eye out for anything lying around with a hand icon over it.

Using a new developer probably didn’t help the game’s appeal to die hard Dead Island fans, but the game is still fun to play and shouldn’t be overlooked simply because it’s not exactly a true Dead Island game.

There’s still a lot of fun to be had, and a lot of zombies to kill, while you unravel the back story of Banoi and get ready for Dead Island 2 next year.

7.5