Xbox Game Pass has this week added 7 new games to its already huuuge list of titles, taking the total amount of games to 119!
Added this week are;
Dead Island Definitive Edition
Resident Evil 6
The Flame in the Flood
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
Monaco – Whats Yours is Mine
For those of you unfamiliar with the scheme, you pay £7.99 a month and have full access to download and play all the games featured in Game Pass. With the likes of the Gears of War and Bioshock series, Halo 5 and Mad Max it is great value for money!
Punching, kicking, striking and stabbing zombies on an island paradise is an attractive concept, and even with Techland refining this experience for Dying Light, their original outing with Dead Island still holds some appeal. However, it’s still a victim of bugs and other issues, making it less enticing than it could be.
The island itself is the most appealing part of Dead Island, and it looks great with its Definitive Collection polish. The increased anti-aliasing has smoothed out the majority of the jagged edges, meanwhile the new lighting engine and vibrant colour pallet makes everything looks stunningly bright, wet, decayed and shiny. It’s a great looking title on the face of it. Unfortunately, character models are less convincing. Whilst the zombies look menacing and gruesome, the NPCs look more detailed but still wooden and emotionless. Their lack of lip sync certainly doesn’t help, with characters flapping their mouths when they speak to no rhythm or accuracy. Furthermore, a new motion blur effect completely pulls you out of the experience.
Fortunately the majority of Dead Island is spent exploring the island and engaging zombies in melee combat, and this still proves thoroughly entertaining. Finding health pickups to keep you going and gathering materials to craft make-shift weapons, or using whatever you happen to find lying around as an immediate weapon, offers a satisfying feeling of desperation, exploration and varied combat. Weapons will break with relative ease, forcing you to use whatever you can find in order to survive, and this encourages you to experiment with what you pick up, preventing the combat from ever feeling stale.
Additionally, the quests on offer are also varied and interesting. The main missions steer you towards ensuring the survival of you and the uninfected denizens of the island, pointing you towards more survivors that need rescuing, provisions that need securing, and locations that need to be made safe. The side missions vary wildly, from emotional journeys where an NPC will ask you to put their infected family out of their misery, to requests for you to find personal items. Moreover, you can approach these missions at your own pace, concentrating on side missions over the main ones, or ignoring all of it to explore the island yourself. It’s terrifically open once the prologue is over and it’s easy to get caught up in your own emergent story.
Unfortunately, as enjoyable as the core experience can be, and as lovely as the new visuals are, old issues are still present under the surface. Bugs that cause zombies to float in the air or fall through the ground are fairly frequent, as are moments where you get stuck in doorways and geometry. The vehicles are still unresponsive and the first-person platforming is clumsy. It simply hasn’t received the gameplay tweaks it really needed.
Riptide, Dead Island’s standalone expansion, is also included with the Definitive Collection, adding a few new perks and weapons, but ultimately offering more of the same in a different but far too similar environment. Bringing your Dead Island character over to Riptide is now easier than ever, but the expansion’s re-tread of the original’s experience makes it feel rather tedious. The Definitive Collection also includes Dead Island Retro Revenge, however, it’s currently locked until August.
Being able to play cooperatively with up to 3 additional players is still a great feature, and one that helps elevate any of the issues present. Here is certainly where Dead Island shines, and it’s supremely enjoyable slaying zombies and completing missions as a crew as opposed to alone.
Dead Island Definitive Collection provides a great looking zombie slaying title, but one with many of the same flaws of the original. Engaging zombies in melee combat is still entertaining and the bursts of adrenaline you get when zombies attack from all angles and you barely have a chance to ready your weapon is frighteningly fun. However, Dying Light does it all better, making this a difficult recommendation overall.
Techland’s Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide, published by Deep Silver, are now out for Xbox One. Furthermore, buy the Definitive Collection and you’ll get both aforementioned titles and the new Dead Island Retro Revenge for free.
These remastered versions include all previously released DLC, and are running on Techland’s next generation engine, affording them higher quality textures, a new and improved lighting system, physically based shading, image enhancement through anti-aliasing, improved game models and geometry, motion blur and ambient occlusion effects, and an updated user interface.
Furthermore, the classic four player online coop experience returns, alongside the fan favourite PC mod One Punch Mode.
You can check out the launch trailer below:
Dead Island Retro Revenge isn’t released until August but will feature classic side-scrolling/endless runner action, melee-based combat, leaderboards, power-ups, super attacks and a combo system.
The Dead Island series has seen a rough few years, and after deciding that Techland weren’t the right studio to develop the sequel – leading them to create Dying Light – Yager took the reins of the island infested zombie game and were set to release Dead Island 2.
After one or two delays, Deep Silver has now decided that Yager is no longer the right studio for the job and the two have parted company.
With Dead Island 2, Deep Silver has always been dedicated to delivering the sequel that Dead Island fans deserve. After careful consideration, today we announce the decision to part ways with development partner Yager. We will continue working towards bringing our vision of Dead Island 2 to life, and we will share further information at a later stage
After the success of Dying Light, I bet Deep Silver are kicking themselves for not sticking with the Polish developer!
Dead Island 2 developers’ Deep Silver has announced that a Beta will be available on the Xbox One console after a period of 30 days exclusivity to the rival console Playstation 4! The only current way to guarantee access is through a copy of the Xbox360 spin-off “Escape Dead Island”, but other methods are sure to be available closer to its launch.
Dead Island 2 picks up the Dead Island and Escape Dead Island storyline several months after the events on the Banoi islands. The United States military has put the Golden State under full quarantine which, for some, is a dream come true with a promise of a fresh start. California’s newfound bloody paradise is an action-packed playground featuring the acclaimed, seamless multiplayer for up to eight players who cooperate, compete or simply coexist in a truly social, new-gen multiplayer experience.
No release date has yet been announced for the Beta, but the full game will launch in the spring of 2015.
Deep Silver has today revealed ESCAPE Dead Island, a third-person single-player survival mystery spin-off that unravels the origins of the zombie outbreak and tells the story between Dead Island and the upcoming Dead Island 2.
ESCAPE Dead Island, follows the story of Cliff Calo, who sets sail to document the unexplained events rumored to have happened on Banoi. Arriving on the island of Narapela, part of the Banoi archipelago, he finds that not everything is as it seems. Haunted by deja-vus, Cliff will have to make sense of it all throughout the entire game – again and again. This story-driven adventure lets players delve into the Dead Island universe and unravel the origins of the zombie outbreak. Escape is only the beginning…
Delivering the key features of a Dead Island game – visceral melee combat set in a beautiful paradise setting – ESCAPE adds a completely new tone to the zombie universe. The visually unique styles accompanies the player on his struggle against insanity as he experiences the secrets of the Dead Island universe, fights off zombies with a vast and unique array of weapons and opens the path to the events that will happen in Dead Island 2.
Developed by Fatshark Sweden, ESCAPE Dead Island is scheduled for release in autumn 2014 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC for a recommended retail price of £39.99 for the console versions and £34.99 for the PC version.
The zombie apocalypse has hit the iconic, sunny realms of California as Deep Silver announced Dead Island 2 during the E3 2014 conference. Building on the strengths of the multi-million best-selling hit Dead Island, Dead Island 2 is set to deliver a shared survival, open-world zombie experience set in a clash of natural beauty and bloody horror and violence: paradise meets hell once again!
Several months after the events on Banoi, the United States military has put the Golden State under full quarantine. Now a restricted zone, California has become a bloody paradise for those who refuse to leave their homes and an action-packed playground for renegades who seek adventure, glory and a fresh start. Combining the classic Dead Island elements of immersive close combat, action and role-playing, Dead Island 2 features crazy, never-before-seen handcrafted weapons and over-the-top characters in taking players from the iconic Golden Gate to the celebrated beachfront boardwalk of southern California’s Venice Beach.
Developed in Unreal Engine 4, Dead Island 2 brings back its acclaimed, seamless multiplayer for up to eight players who cooperate, compete or simply coexist in a truly social, new-gen multiplayer experience. Dedicated classes offer a variety of gameplay: From the action-oriented berserker to the stealthy hunter, every character offers a different style of play. An in-depth skill system allows the player to handcraft their own heroes and weapons.
Developed by award-winning studio Yager, Dead Island 2 is scheduled for release in spring 2015 on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PC.
Deep Silver and Techland’s second outing in the Dead Island universe will have you raging against the infected undead in a battle of survival; despite being part of the immune group your life hangs in the balance as you come against hordes of flesh-eating Zombies as you ready-up to survive the impossible! Having never played the original Dead Island, I am unaware of the differences, improvements or lack-of there-in, but within Riptide your journey begins on the island of Palanai – a completely new island to explore filled with deadly quests and terrorising evil from every corner, as a new island there are no requirements to have played the original to get the gist of the objective.
Basically, all you have to do is survive it!
“Hope is drowning…” the message of penance portrayed as your arrival on the island follows from being immersed into the ocean after embracing your sinking ship. Your immediate need and basic instinct to survive is tested against your exploration skills whilst using weapons and objects scattered throughout the environment to your advantage. If it has a sharp edge, you can be sure it cuts a mean arm off the shoulders of your enemies. However, it is not until you hit the infected shores of Palanai that your quests begin as your protect yourself, aid others and explore the island in search of objects to keep the Zombies at bay. Part of your missions can include finding fences, collecting batteries and cables to produce electrified fortifications, tracking down engines to power boats as well as additional side missions that include finding the friends and families of other survivors or equipment and food supplies to get through just another day!
The island should have perhaps been better called a country due to the scale of its surface area! The complete location of Palanai is very substantial and opens up further into different areas to explore the deeper you delve into gameplay. Although much of the exploration is on foot, at certain parts you will find boats and cars that can be controlled to make travelling from one location to another further part of the island a whole lot quicker – as well as being able to squash a few Zombies under the wheels for added enjoyment. Although Dead Country Riptide wouldn’t have been a great title, I think that the scale of the locations in gameplay combined with the hundreds of overall quests to complete make this a really decent ride despite nothing about its story being any bit memorable. It’s a very simplistic game that consists of three basic necessities – explore the island, kill Zombies, build or collect, and then repeat that all over again and again and again in different parts of Palanai until it becomes a winning formula and you have successfully survived for a little bit longer. It’s a slow starter I have to say, but by the time you reach the second chapter you realise that ‘hey this isn’t all that bad actually’ and it’s quite compelling after all. It may not be as complex as Ubisoft’s island get-a-way in Far Cry 3, or as outstanding as Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider mystery, but Dead Island Riptide is extremely enjoyable. It’s not faultless, but I can’t deny the fun involved in my efforts to slay Zombies and help the team.
Team work is not an essential element of the game as when going Solo you can ‘just’ about survive anything – afterall you’re immune so you have an infinite life within the game. When a Zombie horde has knocked you off your feet and looks like its noshing you off, you don’t die and start from a million miles away or have to restart the objective, but instead a timed recovery screen appears to appear that you re-heal and recover from the incident. Dead Island Riptide does feel like it is ideally suited for co-operative gameplay having drop in, drop out multiplayer with the option of joining someone elses game from within your own if there are players online nearby. It’s a great addition, if not a much needed choice because with the lack of a great story, it’s better to actually ignore that it sort of has one by playing a decent Zombie beat-em-up with a few mates for the fun of it! Co-op play supports up to four over Xbox LIVE, and with an island the size of Palanai the more the merrier who can join you! Dead Island Riptide feels like a Zombie novelty title, nothing that should be taken over-seriously, but a great co-operative game that is a blast. A big ass island with a ton of infected Zombies, so what’s not to like by smashing them all to bits?
The gameplay as previously stated above is rather simplistic and I can only assume it’s rather similar to the original Dead Island where the whole point is about surviving, collecting, killing Zombies – but it does have a ‘point’ and something to work towards – Levelling Up! Yeah, that’s right the better you perform, the more XP you rack up alongside cash that you loot will have you sporting the best looking Machete’s, Guns, Batons, Knives, Wrench’s, Crow-bars and all other dangerous objects used for a good beating to the brain. Weapons can be repaired, bought, sold, upgraded, modified and made from scratch with blueprints. I mostly found that you will tend to find one decent weapon that will suit you and you’ll likely stick with it. Weapons are batched into categories of Blunts, Blades, Hand-to-Hand and Firearms; some are left lying around the environment whilst the majority can be picked up after killing its previous owner. With levelling-up brings the option of choice to your Skills Tree by unlocking items that improve your combat and survival skills such as increasing your damage strikes, learning new attacks, better stamina, bigger ammo counts among many other items that improve your gameplay options and once more – help you survive that little bit longer! All of the Zombies within the game can be battered, ripped and torn apart with blood splattering everywhere, body parts hanging and it is perfectly displayed before your very own eyes in all its glory. They also come in many shapes, sizes and forms with their own threat level and weak points which can impact gameplay depending upon your skill level and the threat level of the location you’re playing in. Some feel like Boss-level beasts especially when part of a quest, so although you will see the same types of Zombies scattered through-out, wondering around, running toward you, feasting on dead humans – there are also some seriously hard to beat ones lurking around that seem particularly difficult in Solo. The benefit to team work is that you don’t have to face them all on your own!
Visually, Dead Island Riptide has made Palanai look a really amazing island with sandy beaches, bright blue seas, beaming sunshine and palm trees. It packs a lot of detail into every location of the island, but sadly suffers a few noticeable draw-backs in that it heavily re-uses game assets giving it a samey look through-out each chapter. Textures seem to pop-in, the frame-rate appears a bit ‘off’ at times (played via a HDMI cable 720p) and as nice and inviting as the environment looks, being over repeated can make some chapters feel repetitive – as said, but the level of gore is really quite awesome. Every Zombie is wonderfully detailed and its decapitation or head stomp is a good spectacle to witness; having not played the original (said that a few times now, have you got the message?) I am not aware if the Zombies are just a copy & paste of the previous Dead Island.
Despite some seriously shit cut-scenes, often not in-sync voice overs, noticeable pop-ins, I quite liked Dead Island Riptide because all flaws aside I was having fun! You might have too much fun to even notice or care, but due to a lack of perfected design and presentation this has to be reflected in score value. If you’ve never played the original Dead Island, I would take a stab in the dark that you are likely to enjoy this a smidgen more than those who already have; for those who played the original this could just be more of the same, but different island. Dead Island Riptide is a fun novelty game best enjoyed co-operatively with others. As a solo experience it could become a little bit tedious…
Deep Silver has today revealed the identity of the real-life couple who will be joined in undead matrimony at a legally recognised zombie-themed wedding in London on 23rd April 2013, celebrating the launch of their new zombie game Dead Island Riptide.
The search to find two engaged Dead Island superfans, who were willing to be zombified for a legally-binding wedding, began in January and the ceremony will be the centrepiece of the celebrations for the launch of Dead Island Riptide on 26th April. After being inundated with video applications, Deep Silver has selected Jennifer Jones, 27, and Rob Blackmore, 31, whose application, genuine love for each other, and enthusiasm for the Dead Island franchise made them the ideal undead couple.
On hearing that they had won, Jennifer commented: “We’re thrilled to have been chosen to be the official zombie bride and groom for Dead Island Riptide! We’re big fans of Dead Island and the horror genre, and a zombie wedding is a dream come true for us. Thanks Deep Silver & Koch Media!”
As well as hosting a zombie-style beach wedding, Deep Silver will also be sending the undead couple off on a Caribbean honeymoon. The nuptials will take place on 23rd April 2013 at One Mayfair in London, and being a thoroughly legitimate wedding, it will include all of the traditional trappings of a ceremony… but with a Dead Island spin. The bride will arrive for the ceremony in the specially customised Dead Island Riptide pickup truck, where the couple will make their everlasting vows to one another. The ceremony will be followed by speeches and a first dance, with music provided by an undead mariachi band.
You can watch Jennifer and Rob’s original application video below: