Dead Island: good action, poor plot [SPOILER]


Recently I’ve finished Deep Silver’s game DEAD ISLAND, and I would like to share my feedback on this release, because it shocked me, in some ways. The game itself is awesome, since it gives you the opportunity to smash, shoot, chop, grind, burn, kick, stomp, crash thousand of zombies, even in cooperative mode with other online players. Unfortunately the background story which was supposed to lead the game throughout the four acts it’s divided into, leaks from everywhere. Here’s why:

The four main characters (from now on simply “heroes”) have well developed personal backgrounds, which you come in contact with when you have to select one of them before actually beginning the game. On the other hand these private stories don’t get developed throughout the game, and that’ a pity because in the cut-out scenes (the cgi intermezzoes during important moments of the game) one could have had the possibility to know more about their interactions, troubles, thoughts and so on. To make digital characters more human.

So it’s not furthermore developed the personal lives and matters of the dozens of side-characters either, of which the game is full (i.e. the Lifeguard tower, the Lighthouse and the Church crews). Not only, infact you don’t even know what’s their fate since as the game runs, the plot got focused only on the “vaccine” (during Act 3) and the “escape” (Act 4), forgetting completely all the helpful people left in the Resort and in the town of Moresby.

Maybe that’s because also the fate of the four heroes is highly uncertain? At the very end of the game you can see them flying away with a chopper along with a prison inmate, Kevin, and the daughter of shaman Ope. Where to?

It’s not a matter only of developing characters backgrounds, also the general plot of the game is poor, leading any player to ask him/herself the following (unanswered) questions, at least these are mine:

  1. What was, in the end, the source of the infection?
  2. What’s the Australian army role into it, if there’s any?
  3. How the infective virus works? I mean: what’s the relationships between the ingame so-called Walkers (the classic zombies, slow and half eaten out) and the Infected (the screaming red-eyed ones, fast and highly aggressive, apparently non-eaten out by anyone)?
  4. How did the Moresby town hall get swarmed? Did the guard at the door leading to the supermarket got so drunk and left the door open? [if this is the case, so it’s the heroes’ fault]
  5. Why none of the heroes usually shed a tear, or at least show some sympathy throughout the game? Even when you got interactions of some kind with some side-characters and later they die, our heroes are so brave that they’re only concerned with the final goal!
  6. Assuming that in single player mode, whatever hero you’re gonna choose, for the plot of the game you will actually be playing with the four of them all, in the very beginning of the game, did they wake up in the same hotel room?
  7. Why did colonel White in the Act 4 deceive the heroes? Since there was room for everyone in the chopper and the heroes did not need the vaccine at all for their natural immunity to the virus, couldn’t he simply take the vaccine, say a polite Thank You (since he never left the prison control room while the heroes traveled SO FAR) and leave the island altogether as a team? Did you really need the classic “Final boss stage fight“? Really?
  8. Is it possible that throughout the WHOLE resort, beach bars, bungalows there is not a single champagne bottle for Svetlana?

Probably I even forgot some of them. In the end a very good game to be played, probably better in single-player mode than in cooperative one, where everyone goes everywhere forgetting you have quests and side-quests to complete. But, as far as I’m concerned, I can’t definitely stand a game with a poor plot behind it, especially on a matter I do love so much, which is Zombie!


About Gabriele Frontini

I share my time between Italy, Belgium and UK. [ music critic since 1999, gamer, historian, pet lover ]
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