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Have you ever played a game that you’re totally into, but you cant help but feel like something is missing? As a reviewer, this has happened to me many times. I cannot tell you how often I wish a game was delayed for the purpose of betterment and polish. In the case of the Dead Island series, this was truly the case. I remember picking up the first title from Best Buy. So excited to play it, ready to save the fictional island of Banoi. I remember bringing it home, and watching the opening cinematic with Sam B’s “Who do you Voodoo Bitch,” and my excitement was super peaked. But as I walked out of that hotel room for the first time, a plethora of bugs, frame rate drops and stupid AI plagued me. Thankfully, this was system specific, but still… Dead Island like it was missing more than just super fun water slides, and stable gameplay. The island of Banoi just felt rushed, and unpolished. After a bevy of patches, I completed Dead Island, and had a blast doing it.
Fast forward three years, we have made it safely off Banoi, completed the missions of Ryder White, and we’re trying to make it home. Before we know it, we end up shipwrecked on the fictional island of Palenai. Another island that has been hit by the zombie apocalypse, and the nastiest of hurricanes. As our adventure into Dead Island: Riptide began, I found a renewed sense of excitement for the franchise. I made my way through the vast insanity of Paleni, and found it to be super enjoyable.
So lets fast forward to current (then known as next-gen) gen gaming. The concept of remastering games has become a hot button, and the industry has seen close to 100 plus remastered and remade titles. For the younger generation, and gamers who are stubborn, this has turned out to be a huge market with titles like Grand Theft Auto capitalizing on the popularity of their title and continuing to grow an enormous community. Other titles have found new life because of this, Dead Island being the opportune series to talk about.
The Dead Island Definitive Collection benefits from a plethora of factors. A new engine, improved lighting and some ascetic changes to the level design. The added junk, trees and waterslides make Banoi feel more realistic and available in tough situations. I found kicking the undead from the tops of slides to be one of my favorite parts of these changes. Character models have made moderate improvements over the original releases of the titles, but for a title with as many problems as it had, these are huge improvements over the original.
One major benefit for RPG fans is Riptide’s menu system. Riptide and it’s more complex menu system have trickled down to the the original title, allowing for a simpler leveling and repair/upgrade process.
Regardless of small bugs, and the major gameplay flaw that is the ending of Riptide, The Dead Island Definitive Collection was a super fun stroll down memory lane. Given the passing of five years, and major upgrades in technology, Dead Island’s biggest success is the use of Dying Light’s engine. Techland returning to remaster the DI titles gives me hope that this franchise will make a tremendous turn in the right direction. As for my hope in Sumo Digital being the company to do that? Well… let’s just say, I am rooting for Techland to return.
GamerFit Nation’s review of the Dead Island Definitive Collection is based on the PS4 version of the title.
+ Beautiful Lighting
+ New Engine
+ Revamped Environment
- Level Bugs
- Less Than Impressive Character Models
- Riptide's Ending