Title: Dead Island n Formats: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Rating: 18 Price: €50
From the makers of the Call of Juarez series comes the zombie RPG you didn't know you were waiting for.
After an inspired marketing campaign, Dead Island has finally arrived and it's many things -- large, buggy, violent and badly acted. But it's also a lot of fun.
Waking up after a drunken night on the fictional island of Banoi, you've got more than a hangover to deal with as the entire place has been overrun by zombies. So it's time to pick one of the four playable characters and go kick some undead ass.
You may find yourself indifferent about the story for Dead Island (it sometimes feels as though the developers were too) but it's really not that relevant because they nailed one important facet -- melee combat.
Squaring up to a zombie with an oar and whacking it into gooey mush just feels right. Critical hits and numbers flash up on the screen, with a touch of slow motion during some particularly delicious dismemberment. If this doesn't sound like fun, Dead Island isn't the game for you.
While it can't match the richness of a world like Fallout 3, there's plenty to do on Banoi as you run around trying to finish the main quest, with secondary missions everywhere you look. The ability to tweak and upgrade weapons keeps the combat fresh and while guns are available, why would you want to use them when you can craft an electrically charged machete and bury it in a zombies guts from 20 paces?
Four player co-op is on hand and ups the carnage to 11, while naturally there's a levelling tree for new abilities. Dead Island may not be the prettiest or most stable game on the market, and it features some horrible voice acting, but the gameplay is a blast. score: 7.5/10