The original Dead Island was a big surprise to me. At the time I wasn't really expecting much, however from the moment I heard the opening "Who do you Voodoo," track I was hooked. There was something about the large open world, exploration and Zombie bashing that I just couldn't get enough of and while some of that excitement disappeared with Dead Island: Riptide, I'm still a big fan of the series.
So along comes Dead Island: Definitive Collection, which gives us all a chance to revisit these fun games and also allows those who have never sampled them to do so. Featuring fully remastered graphics, Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide have been overhauled using Techland's next gen engine, adding visual and performance upgrades. What this means is higher quality textures, a new lighting system and improved game models.
The collection also takes advantage of the latest console features allowing for 4 player Co-op, PS Vita Remote-Play, Share-Play, streaming, recording and if that's not enough, it also throws in Dead Island Retro Revenge, a Streets of Rage side-scrolling style Zombie basher, which is just as fun to play as it sounds.
When I first played Dead Island: Riptide on PS3 my wife commented that "You can't really tell which one's are zombies and which are human," and to be honest that's probably still true here. Dead Island and Riptide are still not particularly pretty in places, however they are still a great deal of fun to play and that's what matter to me.
You can read the previous review of Dead Island: Riptide here, while the review of the original Dead Island is unfortunately confined to the internet somewhere. You can take my word for it though when I say that at the time it was a fun game to play, at least for me.
I have to say that when it comes to remastered edition of games my eyes often find it hard to see the difference. Perhaps if I loaded up the old games on PS3 I would understand what's so great about the new fangled versions. Maybe these remasters are amazing, but when you've played many remastered games they all begin to look the same. I wouldn't say there is anything particularly impressive about how both Dead Island and Riptide look now. The visuals are certainly passible, while the frame rate seems pretty darn smooth to me, but let's just say that they are not the sort of games that'll have me sharing screenshots because my eyes can't believe how good they look.
Of course you aren't playing the Dead Island games to look at the pretty pictures anyway, you're playing because you want to explore a large open world filled with zombies and in this respect these titles are certainly not disappointing. These Dead Island games pack large open world's with all manner of weapons for you to take zombies down with, be that bats, guns or whatever you like. You can even jump in a vehicle and run them all over. There are all manner of missions, side missions and upgrades, making for hours upon hours of zombie bashing fun.
You'll likely already know what to expect from these games if you have pre-ordered or are thinking of adding them to your collection so you don't need me to tell you if they are for you or not. All you probably want to know is if they perform at a standard that you'd expect from this latest generation of consoles and the answer to that is yes they do. Now excuse me while I head back to the island to finish off those zombies.
Words by Joe Anderson
(Version Tested: PS4)
+ Just as fun as ever
+ Large open worlds to explore
- Still not outstanding in terms of looks