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Entries in Dead Island (5)


Dear Dead Island, Your Sewers Sent Me Straight To Gears of War 3

Dear Dead Island,

At first I wasn't sure if I liked you or not. But I loved the game you completely ripped off (Borderlands) and I love zombie stuff, so I started to really like you too. I didn't mind running all over the island opening up suitcases for $37 or looking everywhere for "Oleander." Taking a zombie's head off with my modified baseball bat or curb stomping his face was extremely fun, especially when I was playing with friends. But then you sent me into the sewers.

Every zombie game has a sewer level I guess. I get it. But Jesus, did you have to make me go through endless tunnels and rooms that basically all look the same? You added one new zombie to kill, but did he have to be such a rip off of the puking guy from Left 4 Dead? And then, after I finally got out of the sewers, did you really have to send me all the way back through them?

Dead Island, you went from a game where it felt like I could explore the "world" around me, to sending me on a rail so you could get the plot further along. A plot that, by the way, once I got to the cut scenes made no sense.

I only have so much time to play video games, and sad to say for you there are a lot of new games out now. I put in Gears of War 3 instead last night, and although it's not fundamentally that different from the GoW2 campaign (at least in game play), it's proving to be pretty fun so far. And I haven't even touched Horde mode yet.


Frustrating Release Dates, or Too Much of a Good Thing in Fall 2011

In the movie industry, studios plan the releases of their big titles carefully.  The Harry Potters of the world are never released on the same, or even the adjoining, weekend as the Transformers, the Batmans, the other tentpole hits.  Studios want their movies to have exclusivity to a weekend, to generate the buzz, to pull in the big opening weekend numbers. 

One would expect similar behavior in the release dates of video games, that having an exclusive window around your AAA release would guarantee greater buzz, better initial weekend sales, and higher sustained sales as people buy the game, love it, and tell their friends. 

Looking back over the last six (eight? ten?) months of video game releases, it’s been slim pickings for “games I want to buy” – and granted that’s a very subjective list.  There was Portal 2, which I bought and loved.    I considered LA Noire, but after hearing a poor review from a colleague, I passed on for now.  Not a lot else.  Sure, there were lots of “version 2.5s” – sequels which appear to be slightly enhanced versions of the original game rushed to market to make money (Left for Dead 2 is an excellent example of what I mean) – but no games which left me tracking their release date or going to GameStop to preorder. 

So the Gentlemen have been playing Battlefield 2 over the summer of 2011.  Great game, we enjoyed the multiplayer with its rewards for team play, different soldier classes and vehicles.  This game was released in 2009, and yet almost two years later it’s the best one we could agree on for our online entertainment.

This brings us to the fall of 2011.  Between early September and the end of the year, we have Dead Island, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, Dead Rising 2, Batman Arkham City, Halo Combat Evolved. Modern Warfare 3, and of course Minute to Win It.  Lots of great games that I’d definitely consider dropping $60 on (I do realize they’re almost all sequels and one is a release), but I’m simply not going to buy them all.    There’s not enough time.  So, GoW3, and BF3, you get my preorder money.  Dead Island got my $60, but that’s likely going on the shelf Tuesday (GoW3 day).  Looking at the number of bugs in Dead Island, Deep Silver was trying to beat the other titles into the market – judging by their sales, a smart move.

I realize there are a lot of factors that go into a release date. I work in the software industry (albeit on the B2B side), so I understand the amount of work - design, development and testing  - that goes into a software release. Holiday shopping is starting soon (if not already).  Perhaps I’m being naïve, it just seems to me that if the studios planned their releases a bit better, they could get some more exclusivity, and therefore higher sales.  


Interesting Dead Island Review

This is an interesting take on Dead Island.  I agreed with many of the points the author made regarding his frustration with the characters, the inventory, and the endless weapon names, none of which seem to make much sense - to say nothing of the economy where you can sell duct tape for $3 and buy it for $150. 

I do disagree with his distaste in Gamification.  When playing Battlefield 2, I found myself jumping on to Statsverse daily to check my progress. I have no idea why, but I love stats. 

When reading this, I had to look up the word 'bathykolpian'.  I had a chuckle, and I'll have to use that word in a sentence soon.

Video Games Killed the Video-Game Star (On Dead Island) by Tom Bissell  []


Comprehensive Dead Island Guide On IGN

Dead Island has been out for less than a week, but after playing if for a few hours you are guaranteed to have a few questions. Questions like, "How do the analog fighting controls work exactly?" or "Where the hell is that downed plane?"

If you're not into buying the strategy guide (available for $12.99 from I would definitely check out the Dead Island Wiki Guide at IGN. It answered all the questions I had while playing, and even let me in on a few secrets that I hadn't thought of (like how to find the family that was featured in the awesome Dead Island trailer).

Dead Island Wiki Guide []


Dead Island Looking More Popular Than Anticipated

So I went to my local Best Buy on Wednesday morning to pick up a copy of Dead Island, not having pre-ordered one and assuming they would have plenty of copies. Apparently I was wrong. The guy I talked to said that they completely sold out on the first day and they wouldn't have any more in until Friday at the earliest. I had him look up inventory at the other stores and they were completely sold out at every Best Buy in Vegas.

And it seems Vegas isn't an abberation, because after letting the other Gentlemen know, Jason found that the closest copy at a Best Buy in Boston was in a suburb way outside of town. Can this game be the sleeper hit that proves to be as popular among the big name titles coming out in the next few months?

My solution? Amazon Prime to the rescue. Four dollars for overnight shipping and it will cost me about as much as I'd pay at Best Buy with tax.

Get your copy now. Dead Island is still available for $59.99 at