Escape Dead Island (PlayStation 3) Review

By Albert Lichi 31.12.2014

Review for Escape Dead Island on PlayStation 3

Blood-vomit dripping from its cankerous maw, Escape Dead Island shambles forth as it trips onto its face all the while Deep Silver laughs its way to the bank. Dead Island is one of the great scams of the modern age. When Deep Silver first revealed Dead Island using a deceptive trailer animated by Axis Productions, it illustrated a story of a dying little girl amidst a zombie outbreak in an island resort with a dark and emotional tone. The final product that Techland ultimately delivered lacked the emotion, atmosphere or even the state of the art visuals that the trailer would have implied. Dead Island was just a load of schlock that fit more in line with the Resident Evil movies, with an island setting with ugly visuals, poor animation, rife with bugs, glitches and a choppy frame-rate. The idea of Dead Island is pretty ambitious though: huge open world, co-operative driven first-person action RPG with a survival horror twist. The idea itself is actually pretty wonderful, but the execution was very sloppy and clumsily illustrated. Now with two core mediocre Dead Island games out, Deep Silver has sought out developer Fat Shark to set the bar even lower for the franchise and which will probably destroy the brand completely. Cubed3 tries to review Escape Dead Island.

The general consensus of the Dead Island games is that they are highly flawed but amusing titles to play co-operatively with friends. Sure, they are ugly as sin and so buggy that it is comical, but where else can players team up and lay to waste hordes of the undead in a sand-box resort-style location? Deep Silver and Fat Shark don't want Escape Dead Island to be fun at all. In their infinite wisdom, they sought to remove the only redeeming qualities the fans of this franchise had because they probably hate the idea of making people happy and fight against the idea of fun. Escape Dead Island is allegedly and spin-off - yes, some characters from the first games show up, but no, they do not contribute anything of substance. For this entry, players assume the role of the most insufferable main character in any survival horror game ever, Cliff Calo. This repugnant dork is not only unlikeable but he is also intensely stupid, even unable to figure out the most basic and obvious plot points. Get used to this doofus, because he is the main character and unlike past Dead Island games, there are no choices.

Escape Dead Island aims to be kind of like a Metroidvania type game with backtracking and gear-gating. There is stealth-based gameplay when engaging with enemies, but it is all so generic and basically amounts to sneaking up behind them and giving them a fatal wedgie take-down. Never mind that, the stealth is so laughably poor and Cliff can casually crawl in front of a zombie without them noticing, but God help those who do get caught and have to use the most broken melee combat ever implemented in survival horror. It is one thing to limit abilities in a horror game to increase tension, but it is another to just do something that looks and feels unfinished. Escape Dead Island is very unfinished, and it becomes obvious when witnessing how awful the hit detection is. Enemies will react to getting hit even before Cliff (very slowly) swings his weapon, and other times they won't react at all. It's a major crapshoot and becomes a mindless, gruelling endeavour where gamers will pray that the fight be over. Even the dodging mechanics don't feel like they work and seem to be lacking the appropriate invincibility frames. Even when Cliff isn't dodging enemy attacks, their swings or lunges that miss will somehow register anyway.

Screenshot for Escape Dead Island on PlayStation 3

The game sputters like a slideshow, putting a painful strain on the PS3 as its internal components buzz and whir in agony. The game will crash randomly whether Cliff is wandering around the first-year 3D student geometrical mess, or even when players are just navigating the menus. Even selecting the basic options feature will send Escape Dead Island into a tizzy and make it freeze like a polar bear carcass in the Arctic moonlight.

Escape Dead Island not only plays like junk, it looks like junk, too. Splotchy, low quality textures that make the character models look very wooden and a comic book-style that is very poorly realised are the reality here. There are some more dynamic cut-scenes that are realised as motion comics, which were obviously pre-rendered, yet despite that they still have choppiness and screen-tearing! Deep Silver approved these recorded animations and permitted them to appear in its multi-million dollar project that is tied to a profitable Intellectual Property. Escape Dead Island really tries to ape off the style of the Borderlands games (which were already plagiarised from an animated short) in the hope of desperately luring the fans of those games. It is so transparent that it's offensive, and it becomes apparent that Deep Silver probably doesn't think too highly of its fans or customers.

The argument could be made that Escape Dead Island is different and that alone makes it interesting. This would be true if Deep Silver and Fat Shark delivered a game that was still fun to play so it could stand on its own. The problem is that Escape Dead Island will never stand on its own; even if all ties or connections to the franchise were severed, all is left is a boring and very glitch-ridden product. There are titles like Deadly Premonition, which are highly flawed, yet very enjoyable due to how unique and weird they are because of the unconventional gameplay and low quality graphics, which can enhance the surreal experience. One thing is for certain, though - where Deadly Premonition succeeds is it had a compelling characters and a very articulate story and dared to be original despite its inspirations. Escape Dead Island has an unlikable annoying jerk for a main character, broken, glitch-filled gameplay and, worst of all, it is boring as a brick.

Screenshot for Escape Dead Island on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

1/10
Rated 1 out of 10

Awful

Escape Dead Island is a blatant cash-in on Dead Island that Deep Silver probably threw out in order to keep their Intellectual Property relevant in the minds of customers and fans. This game will not keep the series relevant, though, instead only alienating fans and the general awfulness of Escape Dead Island won't draw in a new audience. It will only backfire and ensure people won't care or even grow to hate it. This is a very crude and vulgar gaming experience that will forever be a huge, dirty mark for everyone involved in its development.

Developer

Fatshark

Publisher

Deep Silver

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  1/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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