PS3 Review: Escape Dead Island

Dead Island goes third-person in this spin-off, but is it worth visiting?

Escape Dead Island is the latest instalment of the Dead Island series, it’s a spin-off set in-between the original game and Riptide, while having its own plot that starts out well but doesn’t really add anything worthy to the tale. The biggest change is switching from a first-person survival game to a third-person one that tries to add in stealth and hack-n-slash controls. But how does it hold up?
I want to say that I enjoyed Escape Dead Island, I really do…but I just can’t. It’s definitely a low-budget game, that much you can tell from the game’s lacklustre opening and then to see rocks overlapping with walls in the open, as well as dodgy textures, idiotic AI and poor design choices. The last thing you’ll want to do is take photos on the island and yet they have a whole set of trophies for doing just that. I get that you’re a reporter/photographer trying to get your big break, but I don’t see what taking photos of cars and trees will accomplish.

Combat itself is mindless and repetitive, thanks to the button mashing nature of the game. You can be stealthy if you choose, but it’s hardly Splinter Cell in this regard. You do get guns to use; although the aiming is far from perfect and sometimes a good swipe with an axe or sword does the job. It’s also quite a short game; I finished my first playthrough in just over 12 hours but had to go through it once more for missing collectables and for the New Game+ Trophy.
Visually, Escape Dead Island looks incredibly dated. The locations look nice, but they lack polish and detail that you would expect by this point, while the less said about the clichéd characters the better. Voice-acting is poor and only the game’s music redeems it, but only slightly as the sound effects are also of a poor quality.

The Verdict

Escape Dead Island had some real potential when I first saw it, but then I began to play and all of it dissolved. It’s not unplayable, it’s just mindless, repetitive and at times, dull. Zombie games are meant to be scary, action-paced outings and that just isn’t the case here. Hopefully Dead Island 2 will bring some honour back to the series.