Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Dead Island: Epidemic (Beta)

I knew Cinnamon lived through the events of the first game! Now he's on the island of Amaia spreading more disease!

I'm... not sure what happened to the Dead Island franchise here. This isn't a first person shooter like the previous games were, instead it has some top down, cartoony view where the zombies are no longer even scary. I suppose they embraced this silliness given that my chosen character has an "ultimate skill" where he shoots ducks from the air which crash down and explode in a circle, dealing massive damage to enemies. I was going to say undead, but this seems to be designed as a PvP 6 vs 6 machine which sees opposing scavenger teams fight each other for food, medicines and toilet paper.

Since I dislike PvP my opinion is obviously slanted against that, but it this was gifted to me so I thought I'd go ahead and try out the "Prototype" PvE missions which (after the single player tutorial ones) seem to be based on one map with a safety caravan in the middle guarded by solar powered turrets and one dude who sends the team to each of the four corners to do some random objective, often involving retrieving supplies (or less frequently, NPC people).

Completing said tasks awards you with various scraps and blueprints of things you can make with those scraps. Your character can only take 2 weapons with him per mission and can't switch during its course - (un)fortunately this means they don't ever break. What this really feels like though is a shop - not a game. The pay to win is strong in this one where you can buy more characters, gear, so on an so forth making what I'd think would be a pretty big gap in PvP but hey, people must like it. Maybe the curb stomp between a free player and a paid up to his eyeballs player isn't as bad as I think? I'll never know.

Cheapest prices in all of Amaia! Tell all your friends!

Keep in mind this is still in Beta as I type this though. Plenty of opportunity for it to improve, the question is when? I give Dead Island: Epidemic half a zombie hit by a duck out of five. In its current state I also can't recommend it to anyone as I'm sure there are better games that do what it offers out there.

Update: As of 23 July 2015, there are more characters for people to spend money on but not much else. Coop game is still in "Prototype" and the entire thing is still labelled as "Beta". Seems to me this game is as dead as the zombies it features.

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