Dead Island DLC: Blood Bath Arena Guide & Review
A Vacation to Remember...
If your stay in Banoi, "Dead Island's" luxury resort, is one zombie slaying vacation you'd rather not see end, then look no further than Dead Island's latest expansion: The Bloodbath Arena. It will certainly give any zombie slaying fan a good reason to revisit the doomed resort; especially those who have pre-ordered the game, and currently hold a free redemption code. Everyone else will need to pay $9.99 USD (Playstation 3), or 800 Microsoft points (Xbox 360) in order to play the "Bloodbath Arena" content.
The "Bloodbath Arena" cannot be accessed immediately; there is a measure of Dead Island’s main story progression that must be completed, before being able to visit the arena. Once it’s accessible, head out of the main lifeguard building’s automatic fence, and travel north on a winding road. The arena is located through a side door, in a car tunnel, and is marked with a yellow gear symbol on the hotel resort map. Once discovered, it can be fast traveled to from any fast travel location.
Dead Island Review
Once inside, a cut scene occurs: The player's group is greeted by an armed soldier, he informs everyone that they have arrived at an old bomb shelter, and his fellow soldiers are using it as a safe haven from the chaos outside. The player soon learns that these soldiers use various doors, leading to outdoor zombie containment areas called: The Bloodbath Arena; to test a soldier’s valor. They are sent into these areas to fight the undead, and prove that they are the best soldiers. The player's group is given the opportunity to go in and prove themselves as well, but the group is not forced into this, and the player may come and go as he pleases.
In the arena lobby, players will find a storage chest for their gear, a weapon maintenance table, and a shop owner to buy and sell equipment to; this is all in a small compact area, which is great because everything is conveniently located. There is also a scoreboard to keep track of if you want to compare scores with other players. If you’re playing the "Blood Bath Arena" alone you can leave the arenas the same way you came in anytime, but if you’re with others online then everyone must pile up on the exit to leave; the other players will be prompted of your request to leave. If you don’t wish to wait for everyone you can simply disconnect and go solo by pressing the start button and selecting the "drop out" option.
Arena A (Easy) is a damp, tropical cave, with light shining in from its exposed sky. It has limited walking space, and a big watery grave that a player can fall into if he is not careful, when traveling along the cliff's edge. Also, it has a dangerous narrow bridge which traverses this water pit.
Arena D (Moderate) takes place near village huts, in a dark and foreboding night-time jungle. I find it strange that the developers decided to give this arena map a night-time setting because the entirety of the "Dead Island" main game takes place during the day, with the exception of a small part at the games end. I found this arena to be the most frustrating; it's so dark that it is hard to see anything on-screen. This is especially frustrating when a player relies on his flash light to see properly, only to have it run low on batteries. Standing next to a campfire helps, but zombies will run through the fire, set themselves ablaze, and burn players that they run into, dealing extra damage. I found this to be the most challenging arena because of these reasons, despite it being labeled as only moderately difficult.
Arena C (Hard) is a swamp-like area with tall dense grass. The challenge here is that zombies spawn surrounding a player, and most are in tall grass so they can't be seen; sometimes a player won't get a clear visual of a zombie until it's gnawing on the unfortunate victim's limb, use the radar it really helps here. There are hardly any tight paths for the undead to follow, unlike previous maps, it's mostly open ground, so prepare to be attacked from all angles. There are also hills, and players should be warned not to attack zombies when they are up on a hill, and the undead are below the hill or vise-versa, as this interferes with the ability to hit them.
Arena B (Very Hard) takes place in one of the island's old Japanese World War 2 bunkers. Many of the enemies will be infected runners, and fighting them in a room with tight corners will often get a player surrounded by them. This arena also has a slim bridge over a steep cliff, so players should take care when crossing it, and use it sparingly. Also, players should not fight on any bridges in the area; infected runners, and other undead minions will knock a player off into the pit below; sometimes merely swinging a weapon around will cause a player to fall from a bridge to their doom, should they get too close to the edge.
Blood Bath Arena
The Bloodbath Arena consists of four different doors, each with its own varying difficulty, and waves of zombies to fight; each door will prompt you of its difficulty before entering. The arenas are all visually diverse in comparison to one another.
Between each wave of zombies defeated the player gets a limited break called a "time out," but be careful, if you are playing with other players they can vote to skip this "time out," and start the next wave right away. However, if you do have the opportunity to rest, use this time to fix your weapons at the repair benches, conveniently located inside each arena. After each defeated wave, the zombie horde increases in number as well as difficulty. Don’t worry about running out of money by repairing weapons in the arena, you’ll find that tough zombies often drop loads of money when you destroy them.
Sometimes in the middle of a wave you’ll be notified about a zombie carrying a rare type of weapon; the weapon, its rarity, and value will be totally random. All rare weapons, dropped by zombies in the Blood Bath Arena, are better than average weapons, but some are even better than those. The zombie carrying this treat will be identified as a red skull on the radar, and the rest of the enemies will be symbolized as white skulls.
Death by Treasure
Don’t be in too much of a frenzy to go after these "rare weapon" carrying zombies, you’ll likely fall off of a cliff or get surrounded and killed, take your time doing this in single player. This rare weapon event is a whole new ballgame, when playing online with other players. People will race each other, cutting through undead hordes to reach this treasure carrying mutant. The player with the highest level, and strongest arsenal, usually prevails in this makeshift race, unless there is a spawn distance advantage, but even so, it depends, finders keepers is clearly the rule here.
Trophies & Achievements
Avid trophy or achievement collectors will be pleased to know that this content adds ten new Dead Island trophies/achievements: Wave and Smile (bronze trophy, PS3; 10pts Xbox), Extreme Firefighting (silver trophy, PS3; 25 pts Xbox), Out of honey? Chew bees! (bronze trophy, PS3; 25 pts Xbox), Complete a set (bronze trophy, PS3; 15 pts Xbox), Looking for trouble (bronze trophy, PS3; 15 pts Xbox), Stick it to the enemy (bronze trophy, PS3; 30 pts Xbox), Gladiator school (bronze trophy, ps3; 25 pts Xbox), Fancy (bronze trophy, PS3; 25 pts Xbox), Morituri the salutant (silver trophy, ps3; 30 pts Xbox), Death Incarnate (silver trophy, PS3; 50 pts Xbox). It also allows players to compare their zombie kill, and survival scores with others!
This content is worth the purchase if you absolutely love killing hordes of the undead, and it is best enjoyed with other online players. This expansion is useful, even if only for the extra weapon modifications you can find in the bomb shelter and throughout the arenas; especially since players are able to use these weapon modifications in the main storyline too, should they feel like giving it another play through.