By ‘Arthur the Zombie’

Some of Arthur's "associates"

In short: The plan was simple… rope in one of the zombies from Banoi Island to review the game for us.  Who better than someone who was holidaying on the island resort at the time of the outbreak to give us their impressions of Dead Island?  Maybe get a perspective from the enemy so-to-speak?  Except those four damn survivors and their “friends” kept killing our reviewers.

And then we came across Arthur – not the smartest zombie you’ll ever meet, but he was smart enough to stay in hiding while all around him were being bludgeoned to death.  This is his account of the events, sights and holiday activities on Banoi Island.


The last thing I remember – before the craving for brains kicked in – was stunning white sands, clear blue water, partying, drinking and girls in bikinis.  Hours later and it was like hell had broken loose.  We zombies – who are frankly too often misunderstood – were up against four survivors who appeared to have some special skills and the penchant for melee weapons.  Those survivors that weren’t fighting back made for tasty hors d’ oeuvres, but some had found sanctuary in the bungalows and other structures around the island.  However, the island was certainly no longer the tropical paradise they claimed in the advertising brochure.

Gameplay and Features

The main survivors appeared to be four unique characters – they each had their strengths and weaknesses.  As difficult as it was to restrain myself from simply devouring them, I found out what I could about each of the survivors – but that’s the lengths I’m willing to go through to get this back to you.  Sam B was a “one-hit-wonder rap star” apparently – not too sure what exactly this “rap” thing is – but he also proved to be pretty handy with his fists and blunt weapons.  An associate of mine discovered this the hard way when he was assaulted by a berserk Sam who smashed his head in with brass knuckles.  This sad event – the death of any zombie always is – was almost always repeated no matter which of the four survivors were found wondering around on what appeared to be missions of mercy, rescue or simple zombie genocide.

The other three survivors were equally as adept at killing my associates, and even thinking about Xian Mei, Purna and Logan is enough to make my blood boil… as did the Molotov Cocktails and the weapons they had customised at the various workbenches around the island.  Seriously, isn’t a baseball bat bad enough?  No?  You have to go and add the nails you found or electrical current to it?  It was horrific to witness the carnage an upgraded and modified machete or crowbar could do.  Sadly, some of my associates didn’t see it coming.  I witnessed a fair few casually dispatched with one of the few guns found around the island.  And don’t talk to me about the cars.  We ‘Walkers’ are not the quickest bunch around, but even we don’t deserve to be used as a speed bump in the road.

What made things worse is that over time, the survivors’ skills and abilities also appeared to improve.  As if that wasn’t enough, they were not only spotted solo, but were also able to travel and work co-operatively – and they thought we had a pack mentality…  Another thing – next time humans call zombies ‘animals” they need to take a long, hard look at themselves.  Human on human violence appeared to escalate following what they started calling an “outbreak”.  It made me a sad zombie to be honest – after they killed each other, there was less for us to feast on.

Sound and Graphics

I must admit surprise on my part that the survivors never actually took time out from their zombie slaying to simply take in the view.  It really is magnificent at times.  Considering the size of the island and all its associated locales, one could be forgiven for thinking that it would be disappointing at times, but the lows were outweighed by the highs.

The resort still looked great, even though it was a complete mess that some may blame on us zombies – we however would like to point out that the party the night before got out of hand and most of the damage was caused by drunken holiday-makers.  The town looked a mess, but frankly, that might have been like that from before the outbreak.  It was not much better than a squat and might be why it isn’t heavily featured in the holiday information.  That being said, it has character.

It’s amazing how eerily quiet a party island can be after a disaster.  The seagulls and water lapping on to the shore remained relaxing even when being chased by a lunatic with a shovel.  It was great fun watching some of my associates frighten the living daylights out of survivors by screeching at the top of their lungs and watching the survivor spin around wildly in search of the incoming attack.  Those ‘Infected’ boys and girls sure know how to make a guy laugh.

Final thoughts

I cannot complain about my time on Banoi – except for those homicidal zombie murderers.  They came about as close to ruining my holiday as the initial outbreak did.  That being said, I’d recommend a trip to Banoi to anyone who enjoys an extreme holiday in scenic surroundings with blood thirsty lunatics trying to take one’s life – and that’s just the living beings.

Sadly, Arthur was killed by a rampaging ‘Ram’ [a lunatic zombie prone to running survivors and other zombies over] just after he sent through these thoughts and observations.  We then sent some gaming geek to the airport after some survivors returned to complete the article.  We’re not too sure if he really spoke to any real people but this is what he had to report.

The humans appear to have had slightly differing experiences to the zombies.  The humans we chatted to afterwards claimed the holiday was at times “like a first person game with fewer guns and more RPG elements than they expected”.  In fact one odd character wondering around claimed he was reminded of “a game called Condemned crossed with Dead Rising 2… but with RPG elements”.  Overall, they all appeared to enjoy the setting, but found the blood thirsty zombies made it difficult to fully relax.  We suggested that the Banoi Island Tourist Board should call the holiday package the ‘Genuine eXtreme Holiday eXperience’.  They of course deny anything happened on the island other than a good time was had by all. 

Developer: Techland

Publisher: Deep Silver

Not for fans of: Zombies… but definitely for fans of killing zombies and holidaying on tropical islands.

Reviewed on: PS3

Also available on: Xbox 360 and PC.

If we had to give it a numerical score: 8.0 out of 10.

What I liked

  • Stunning setting
  • Weapon modification.
  • Plenty to see and do.  You might never want to leave.
  • Not simply an overnight stay.
  • Survivors became more skilled with experience.
  • Zombies.

Not so much

  • Tough to survive on your own sometimes.  Definitely a holiday destination for at least a couple.  Or a foursome…
  • Headshots only hurt.  I’d rather die than suffer.
  • Some of the human actors were more zombie like than the zombies.
  • Zombies.  Stop killing us already.