With a huge amount of Zombie games being made available over the last few years it’s been hard to decide which ones were worth my time. I never really got on with the Dead Rising Series, but loved Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 (Hurry up with 3) – I also really enjoyed the Dead Island game, I preferred the first person view and for some reason I was hooked. When Escape from Dead Island popped through my letterbox I was really excited to see what the game had in store for me, instead of hours of fun I ended up wondering why I bothered at all…
The game is a survival mystery that follows the story of Cliff Calo, a guy desperate to prove his worth as a journalist to his broadcasting executive father, who starts by stealing his Dad’s boat and arrives on the island of Napapela with his two friends Linda and Devan, which has also been devastated by the virus outbreak in order to discover just what happened on Banoi, . Cliff clearly has issues, mostly related around his father and this becomes more apparent through the hallucinations he has during the game.
Escape Dead Island is played in third-person view and the art style is completely different to the other Dead Island games, clearly the game was produced in a tight budget but I quite liked the borderlands style drawn effects the game used, I’ve played games that have looked much worse. As the game begins you need to be quite stealthy to avoid being killed but the AI are pretty stupid so I never felt like I was in any danger, compare it to the Clickers (shudders) in The Last of Us, and you feel like you are skipping by with out a care in the world with these zombies.
I found the combat a bit of a chore, Cliff has light and heavy melee attacks but thanks to the clunky animation Heavy attacks take to long to execute and thanks to Cliff having barely any stamina it’s not a wise way to get through the game. He also isn’t the toughest character either, it isn’t helped by the fact that your enemies seem to be able to strike from distances you wouldn’t expect, and are also really quick. You can also attack with guns but I felt that aiming was too slow and you never seem to achieve the same result from the zombies when you did shoot them, at times the guns felt like they were shooting pellets rather than bullets. The overall inconsistency of the combat really ruined any of the fun I was having with the game.
Much like every game at the moment there is a huge amount to collect, from audio books to postcards as well as loads of photos that can be taken with Cliff’s camera, it did help connect with the story much more but the fact that I disliked Cliff pretty much from the off meant that I did really care about the rest of the story. The one thing I did enjoy was watching Cliff lose it more and more as the game the game progresses.
It’s a shame I can’t recommend this game, it would have been a nice filler before the next title in the series but I feel like I’ve wasted hours of my life here, some of the issues were patched up recently but it didn’t do anything to make me enjoy the game anymore. Save your time and your money on this one.
MLG Rating: 4/10 Format: PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 Release Date: 21/11/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Escape Dead Island by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 2 weeks on a Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.