Dead Island, by far, has been one of my best zombie killing experiences so far this year and I was thoroughly entertained all the way until the credits rolled. It’s a game I’ve had my eyes on for a long time and I finally got the chance to see once and for all if it was still good in 2020.
I’m more than happy to recommend this game to anybody looking for a great single-player experience filled with some satisfying melee combat and good old fashioned brain bashing fun, mixed in with some legit horror just to keep the fear and anxiety flowing so you’re never too relaxed.
While the multiplayer aspect is pretty much non-existent these days, it provides an exceptional challenge when playing through the game solo and, honestly, that’s the way I would suggest you experience this game. Play with your friends if you got ’em but the intensity is amplified when you’re facing off hordes of the undead on your own.
If you’re brave enough and planning on taking a trip to the fictional island of Banoi and getting your hands dirty trying to survive this vacation from hell, then I’ve got just what you need. Getting through the entire campaign can be a bit tough at times so, without further ado, here are my best tips on how to beat Dead Island: Definitive Edition.
HOW TO BEAT
Just…Take It Slow…
I’m not afraid to say it, I absolutely adore action games and live for the thrill of run and gun action to keep the blood pumping and my interest peaked. That’s why I play a lot of horror-inspired games as well. So that, even when the pace is slowed down, I’m still alert and ready for action that can surprise you at any second.
Rather than tearing through mountains of undead bodies with an endless supply of bullets, Dead Island wants you to rely on a more hands-on approach with the abundance of melee weapons that you can find and pick up along the way. So taking on large groups of enemies can get a bit tricky if you can’t handle the crowd of undead in front of you.
More and more, I found that I got more benefit out of methodically engaging the zombies I encountered instead of just running headfirst into a fight and mindlessly mashing the trigger button until all the bodies hit the floor. Especially when I encountered the fast and hyper-aggressive ‘Infected’ zombies that would show up at any moment.
Take advantage of the speed at which the ‘Walkers’ move as well. They’re the slower and more stumbling variety and they can easily be maneuvered around to make sure the odds are always in your favor and you’re never outnumbered in a pinch. Slow and steady is truly the way to go to avoid any unnecessary deaths and keep you immersed in the gameplay.
You Probably Shouldn’t Pick Purna
Dead Island features 4 main playable characters in the story and each comes with their own unique ability and strength to help the team and aid them along the way. Purna is the character that specializes in using firearms and because of the way the game is designed, that’s actually not the best skill to have in my opinion.
While the gunplay is pretty great and it was a much need change of pace to start blasting some fools instead of the non-stop hack and slash fiesta that starts to get tiring after doing it for the majority of the game. But you see, that’s exactly my point. No matter what, you’re going to be hacking and slashing for the majority of the game.
This basically means that all the benefits from building up Purna’s specialist skill tree won’t even be useful until you start using guns and you only find those about halfway through the game and they’re so loud and attract so much unwanted attention from the ‘Infected’ that I was much better off sticking with my blades even when I had a pistol that I could shoot fire. Like seriously..fire bullets bro!
I chose Logan for my playthrough, a character that specializes in throwable weapons and I had the time of my life taking heads off with a single throw of my electrified machete. So, if you’re looking for a character that can offer a decent amount of variety with a fun playstyle to match, I would recommend you pick Logan.
Make Sure You Play With Headphones
Getting the most out of your time playing Dead Island comes from 2 things: being engaged by the action on screen and feel immersed in the horrific atmosphere the game is trying to create. Basically, this game is only really good when it tries its best to make you feel scared so…why not let it do that.
Dead Island, visually, is a masterpiece. Each environment feels unique and refreshing and slightly changes the way you play as you try and navigate these intricately designed areas. That same care and attention to detail went into the game’s sound design and it paid off in heaps.
There’s barely any music playing once you’re out of the safe zone and vulnerable to a zombie attack, so all you’re left with is the ambiance of swaying palm trees, crashing waves, and the moans and groans of the undead hiding around every corner, often waiting to give you a cheap jump scare if you’re not too careful.
It’s especially great when you hear the distant scream of an ‘Infected’ zombie and immediately go on alert mode as you take on this charging enemy. It won’t necessarily give you an advantage in the game but if you’re like me and you want to squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of this game then you have to play with you’re headphones on, without a doubt.
Side Missions Are Actually Worthwhile
No, seriously, I mean it. I know that, for a lot of us, it’s all about the missions that progress the main storyline and, without a significant level block in place, you could get through this game without needing to play any of the other missions that the game offers but this time, I suggest taking on a few of these missions along the way.
These side missions often open up new areas of the map that you wouldn’t normally have explored on your own and it’s well worth exploring these huge maps and seeing everything that the developers and artists were able to create. Not to mention the rare items that you can get from the NPC’s offering these side quests.
What seemed like a simple fetch quest for one of the trapped scientists in the jungle ended up giving me a super rare Samurai sword that I carried with me all the way through until the credits rolled and got a lot of use from. So, you never know, one of those side quests could give you the weapon you need to get by without too much struggle.
I suggest talking to every NPC that has a mission available all at the same time so that you have every mission maker on the map at the same time. Often the main quest would put me in a location that already had something I needed for a side quest as well and it was convenient to already have that quest in my mission log when I got there.
Dead Island is a worthy game for any action-horror fan looking for a satisfying zombie-killing experience and I would recommend playing it at least once. I certainly got a lot of enjoyment out of it and, along with these simple tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of it as well.
Have you completed Dead Island: Definitive Edition? What are some of the tips and tricks that you’ve discovered along the way? Let me know in the comments section below.