The Strip: Sorry for the late post, I am on vacation this week, so I have allowed my schedule to be a bit more relaxed. More blood in the strip, but I kept it to a minimum. Its about zombies, what am I supposed to do?

Gaming: Dead Island. Before I started the game I read through the manual a bit. It worried me a bit because I felt like I was looking at the manual from Left 4 Dead. As I played through the beginning of the game I was becoming more and more disappointed by the minute. It seemed like a dated PC port. This sentiment would fade, however as the game progressed.

The game feels a lot like Oblivion or Fallout. There is a quest list (main and side), and when you complete a mission it is satisfying. It also borrows heavily from Borderlands. With more loot drops than you can shake a nail filled plank at. It also has (from as best I can gather, as I have not tried it yet) has drop in, drop out 4-player co-op. I plan to try co-op as soon as some-one on my friends list gets the game.

Dead Island looks fine. It doesn’t blow me away at any point, and so far they could have varied the environment a bit more. I know they are on a tropical island, but I am mostly talking abut interiors, speech prompts (like when opening containers) and vehicles. Now I am not saying the game looks bad, not at all, but the heavy graphic hitters out now, Dead Island seems to come in at slightly above the mid range, but not AAA. Now I do not have a problem with this, as I do feel immersed at all times.

At first the combat feels clunky and awkward. After some getting used to though, and realizing how important it is to kick, or stun the walkers first, it starts to be come REALLY satisfying to lop the head off of a zombie as it slowly rises from being kicked down to the sand. There is an auto-aim, and lock-on function but not what you think. You can lock on to an enemy to throw your  hand held weapons, and when in close combat it auto locks on to different body parts, i.e. the head.

There is an upgradable weapon system, and this interface needs a bit of work. To me, its not super clear what I am doing. You can get schematics to add powerful upgrades to your weapon, and each weapons also has three stat upgrade slots. You purchase these upgrades with money. I wish they would have developed a different currency in the game, like XP (which you do gain and level up) that you could spend, and just did away with searching abandoned luggage for cash. Searching containers and interacting with merchants is another interface that needs work.  This is very clunky and takes WAY too long. You have to click on a brief case once to open it, and a second time to grab the item inside. This is fine except the visual difference (of an opened and unopened container) is not prominent enough. It is just white icon with a prompt to press the “X” button.

This game must be massive as I haven’t even progressed to the point that I can use firearms yet, and I am about  seven hours in. You can choose from 4 characters to start the game, two hot ladies, and two guys. They all have their skills they they are proficient at, but they all can use any weapon. It seems all the dialogue is set up for a male character. They NPC’s call my hot lady character “mate” quite often.

Dead Island is so close to what I have always wanted in a zombie survival game, and I am thoroughly enjoying my time with it, but I am really excited to see the next iteration, where than can really tweak some of the little complaints I have. I would def say its a buy, it seems to have many hours of fun and replay value.

TV/Movies: I watched cupcake wars. It made me hungry.

Music: The beautiful symphony of moaning undead are all I am listening to at the moment.

Life: On vacation this week…its been amazing.

Have a happy Wednesday!

Javis