well, i have about 3 hours in to Dead Island. so here's a bit of a review, i guess, if anyone cares.
when i first saw the theatrical trailer, i wanted the game instantly. all that changed when i saw the first gameplay trailer. it is not a well polished game, by any means. it's clunky, awkward and the voice acting is terrible. they pretty much say "fuck", or some variation, every other word. so much so that it takes some severity out of the situation. oh, and there's NO severity to the situation! "why?" you may ask, "how is the no severity?! it's an island! covered by zombies!" because the ****ing voice acting is so bad and the cut scenes are so poorly animated, that i'm not even sure there's a story because i skip most of the cut scenes.
i had my interest for this game come back up when i heard it had an RPG element to it. now, i hate RPG's, but i also didn't just want to play Left 4 Dead 3 made by a ****tier company. so that little change was welcome, but it was just as i thought it would be. you go on "quests" which would be fine, but so far (3 hours in to the game) the quests amount to "you're at point A, go to point B and bring us back this" or "you're at point A, i sure wish i had this, could you go get it for me?" it might not even be so bad, but right now all the action hovers around "point A" and "point B". i don't feel like i should explore because i'll wander too far away from my "quests". maybe that's me being a noob, but it just feels super repetitive. that's why i feel like i need a partner. spice it up a bit.
the combat is clunky, but pretty fun. after Dead Rising i guess i got used to seeing zombies die in cool ways and, to be honest it's probably my weapons, i haven't seen a cool death yet. in fact, i leveled up my kick right away because it doesn't take up any stamina and can be bad ass, so i basically kick a zombie down and then kick him 5 or 6 times. it's not super appealing, but it's the most effective way.
i do really like the stamina bar. all your actions are tied in to one bar; running, jumping, swinging weapons and once that's gone, you have to recover (save for the kick). so if you're impatient, like me, you'll sprint around, turn a corner and see numerous zombies. if this happens, you're pretty much ****ed unless you have a good weapon.
there's weapon customizing, but Dead Rising did it better. there's money all over the ****ing place, which i thought was a bit odd. especially that money is at such a premium when the whole world could be wiped out, but things like canned goods are worth 8 bucks...
overall, it's not great, but i'm having fun with it. it's satisfying loping a zombies head off, but it's been more satisfying elsewhere. i read that once you really start leveling your dude (or lady) up, it gets way more fun. i look forward to that because as it stands right now, i'll have this game for 2 more days, return it and never play it again. that's not to say that it doesn't seem to have MASSIVE replay value, i'm just not sure how many more meaningless quests i can do.
(an aside, some of the quests are ridiculous. i had a lady ask me to go get her her necklace. one wanted her teddy bear. there's a lady who wants water, but there's no limit to her consumption. i had 5 waters on hand when i ran in to her and she took all 5 saying, 'let me know when you find anymore!')
with just one spark, i could rekindle the sun with my very hands.