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Dead Island: Game Review

Updated on March 21, 2017

Released September 2011 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

The Story

Dead Island takes place on the tropical island of Banoi, where four survivors are to try and escape the island by any means. The main starting area is the hotel, other areas include a lifeguard tower, a lighthouse, the city, jungle and a prison.

You must navigate these areas, do missions, get to the main goal, and help survivors along the way. Besides the main story, there are countless side missions to complete as well, mainly done for experience and leveling up. The side missions can also unlock more weapon upgrades, since weapons crafting is a mechanic in the game, though not as extreme as the Dead Rising series. The crafting allows you to add electricity, fire, barbed wire, and multiple other items, which can be unlocked when you find the blueprint. Once you have the items needed, you just go to a crafting table to create your monster weapon.

Playable Characters

There are four characters to choose from, each with their own specialty.

  • Sam B: A one hit wonder rap star from New Orleans, his specialty is blunt weapons.
  • Xian Mei: A desk clerk at the Royal Palms Resort, who is actually a spy for the Chinese government. Her specialty is bladed weapons.
  • Logan Carter: A former American football star, his main specialty is throwing knives.
  • Purna: An Australian Aboriginal former officer of the New South Whales Police Force, referred to by the game as Sydney Police Department. As her title hints, her specialty is guns.

Each character has a fury meter, when full you can activate it and can easily kill enemies in one hit. The fury doesn't last very long, so try and take out as many infected as possible.

The Infected

As you explore Banoi, you come across several different infected.

  • Walkers: Your usual, slow moving zombies found all over the island.
  • Infected: The running, screaming ones. You always know when they are near cause you suddenly hear a loud insane scream.
  • Thug: A big, slow infected that is tougher then normal zombies. Considered a special infected and can easily knock the player down with one hit.
  • Suicider: Very slow, these zombies look like they are covered in tumors and whisper 'help me'. These are the easiest to deal with, usually throw something from a distance or walk near it then run away.
  • The Ram: A giant, special infected that is trapped in a straight jacket. Will charge at you and won't stop until it hits an obstacle.
  • Butcher: Fast, annoying special infected. Instead of hands, it just has what looks like sharpened bones.
  • Floater: Large, slow infected that spits toxic bile at the player and usually found around water.
  • Ryder: The final boss infected you must face.

Each infected has a specific level of difficulty, which increases the farther you get into the game.

Final Thoughts?

This is a fun, tense, open-world zombie survival game. There are drivable vehicles, weapons can be found everywhere, zombies all over the place, what more could you want.

It does have its moments where you just want to rage quit, either due to a glitch or a difficult zombie not wanting to die. But other then that, its a fun game. You also learn a bit about the possible cause of the virus and get information about the natives who live on the island.

Favorite Character

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DLC- Outline

The Ryder White campaign, which shows what happens two weeks prior to the outbreak. You take control of Ryder, a Colonel in the Australian Army. His main job was to oversee the bombing of bridges to prevent the spread of infection. The helicopter he is in crashes after the co pilot changes. He is then alerted that a bridge still remains, and decides to take care of it himself. His wife, Emily, is also on the island, and contacts him and tells him that she took shelter in the prison.

After leaving Moesby, Ryder is alerted that Emily has been bitten by a zombified patient. He ends up having himself dropped at the prison to get her before a nuclear strike destroys the island.


This DLC, campaign, whatever you want to call it, really gives an insight as to what happened before the main story line. Showing how they tried to contain the outbreak, how Ryder came into play, and also shows what happens as the immune make their way to him.

Ryder just wanted to save his wife, yet in the end, he went mad. He didn't want to face the fact that Emily was too far gone, and paid the price for it.


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