Metascore
71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. May 21, 2012
    88
    Dead Island may lack that top level of polish, and even have its own awkward moments, but it's a game worth playing, and easily worth your money. The gameplay is deep, the visuals can be breathtaking (at times), and every bit of it is fun. This game earns itself a spot in the ranks of the best zombie games and RPGs around. There's still plenty of fun to be had with zombie games.
  2. Nov 17, 2011
    86
    Techland doesn't disappoint here by hitting most of the points necessary to make a good RPG and adding in some new ideas.
  3. Sep 29, 2011
    85
    This game would benefit from one more year of development to iron out some shortcomings but its essence – slaughtering zombies with customized weapons in close combat – is almost perfect. The 'just one more quest' syndrome is here along with fantastic, detailed environments and enjoyable 2-4 players co-op. May the sequel be even better! [October, p.34]
  4. Sep 5, 2011
    84
    Dead Island is in many ways what fans of zombie horror films and RPG-Action games have waited for. A gory and exhilarating game.
  5. Sep 9, 2011
    83
    In the end Dead Island as noted has a few rough spots, but the bombastic game experiences bring this one home.
  6. Sep 6, 2011
    81
    Although a bit too ambitious if we compare the expectations and the final result, Dead Island is still a great game, with a lot of hours of fun, a great ambiance and a good combat system which provides a lot of little pleasures when killing zombies. Its cooperative mode and lenghtly story make it a recommended buy.
  7. The gameplay stutters slightly in minor ways, and the visuals in major ways; but we still found this to be irresistible to put down. If you're the type of level-headed gamer who values fun over graphics,or you nd some mates are looking for a great co-op game, then we'd say the bludgeontastic Dead Island is a bash well worth your cash. [November 2011 p70]
  8. Sep 12, 2011
    80
    It's also got some of the most hard-hitting first-person melee combat in any game I can remember, and an optional cooperative element that really broadens its appeal. Dead Island constantly runs the danger of collapsing under its own weird, esoteric technical quirks, but when it's running at full tilt its charms are hard to resist.
  9. Sep 7, 2011
    80
    Despite some issues Dead Island is a good game that mixes, in a fresh way, lots of different styles (like survival horror, action, first person gaming...). Techland's production may not be a masterpiece, but, thaks to co-op and quest variety in single player, is one of the funniest experiences in this gen.
  10. Sep 7, 2011
    80
    Dead Island offers something unique, combining RPG elements with a survival horror setting. Despite a few bugs it is definitely a game you should try if you're a zombie addict like us.
  11. Sep 6, 2011
    80
    It's completely different from what the teaser trailers suggested, the narrative is missing, the atmosphere is quite basic, characters are just silly. Yet, Dead Island is a funny action/adventure with small RPG influence, delivering fast paced and visceral combat, best served with friends. Consider it if you're looking for a not-so-compelling, light co-op fun.
  12. Sep 6, 2011
    80
    Dead Island probably won't redefine the survival-horror genre, but it's putting a fresh spin on things by demonstrating how online multiplayer can be used to make a fantasy world really feel inhabited by those with a common goal: survival. And the freedom to explore, exist, and eviscerate the undead the way you want is what makes Dead Island worthwhile.
  13. Sep 4, 2011
    80
    Presentation doesn't make a game, experiences do. And they are packed into Dead Island.
  14. Nov 27, 2011
    79
    While the trailer might have been a case of style over substance, the final game is the polar opposite. [Issue#210, p.84]
  15. Sep 9, 2011
    79
    In short, the game has more ups than downs but it's impossible to ignore the downs.
  16. Sep 26, 2011
    77
    It's a shame Dead Island does not live up to the hype. Granted, the game is a lot of fun and Banoi makes for an entertaining and extremely atmospheric playground, but a lack of story and a lack of depth keep it from becoming an instant classic.
  17. Sep 14, 2011
    76
    Ultimately, Dead Island is fun and deserves to be played, but I recommend waiting a bit until the game is patched into a more stable state. Visual gaffs are one thing, but problems with auto-save that have the publisher recommending you avoid multiplayer, the game's best feature, are a complete red flag.
  18. Sep 7, 2011
    75
    Dead Island, while rough around the edges, has a lot of content for those willing to put in the hard yards of side questing and zombie murdering, and is ultimately a solid open world adventure.
  19. Sep 6, 2011
    75
    Dead Island isn't quite the fantastic game the players worldwide have been anticipating for years, but it is a solid survival horror game, with a nice 4 player coop mode, a lot of upgradable weapons and a cool skill system. If you like to kill zombies, zombies and zombies in an open world, then Dead Island is for you.
  20. Sep 12, 2011
    72
    Juggling a myriad of different game ideas, Dead Island works as either a cooperative loot fest with some friends or a solo decent into survival and isolation. For all it borrows from other games, it takes a step forward in twisting a real sense of adventure into the worn zombie apocalypse model. Unfortunately most of Dead Island's gifts can be compromised by a potentially ruinous save system or completely wiped out with bugs, neither of which should be considered acceptable.
  21. 72
    The RPG twist on the genre is fairly cool, and does result in an experience that is longer than you might expect, but the game's utter lack of story and reliance on pre-established genre conventions make it a pretty big missed opportunity.
  22. 70
    Ambition can only take a game so far. The inconsistent experience in Dead Island is testament to that, with a selection of surprisingly good gameplay mechanics somewhat overshadowed by technical issues and a bad story.
  23. More of a place worth seeing than a game worth playing. [Nov 2011, p.104]
  24. Oct 10, 2011
    70
    Dead Island cannot be more than a good game, not for lack of ambition, but for lack of leadership capable of guiding all the work done here.
  25. It's an uneven experience that's better with friends and more memorable for its massacring elements than its story and characters. [Nov 2011, p.82]
  26. 70
    Technical issues and some repetitiveness keep it from being labeled as great.
  27. Sep 12, 2011
    70
    Sure, it might not be the game we were originally promised, but it's still a lot of fun. The sheer scale of the island alone is an impressive accomplishment.
  28. Sep 6, 2011
    70
    If you don't step off the boat expecting a taut horror experience, a masterful gun game, or compelling characters, you'll have a bloody good time.
  29. Sep 5, 2011
    70
    Dead Island is not your typical zombie game and certainly it's not flawless, but if you take your time in Banoi Island, you'll have a good, gory, tropical-flesh salad.
  30. Sep 5, 2011
    70
    As a single player game, Dead Island delivers a meaty experience that lasts absolutely ages, and the first person zombie adventure is an excellent pastime. However, the overall enjoyment is slightly marred by the fact that the online coop is infested with bugs.
  31. 70
    There's a lot to do on this zombie-infested island from hell. With some more varied missions and better melee combat, the final score would have been shimmering.
  32. Sep 25, 2011
    67
    It's the kind of game where it becomes good if you don't stop and think about its lack of polish at every turn. But really, it's an enjoyable romp through zombie land, as long as you have friends to back you up.
  33. Sep 6, 2011
    67
    An open-world zombie game has far more potential than what Techland is putting on display. There's certainly a lot of fun to be had on Dead Island, but don't be surprised if tedium sets in once you've murdered a zombie in every way imaginable (estimated time: 20 hours).
  34. Sep 9, 2011
    65
    Do you love zombies? Then you can live out your fantasy on this tropical island, bashing their faces in and cutting their bodies with baseball bats, knives and guns. But that's all there is to do in Dead Island. The different genres that are combined here don't gel together so well and the game has no story whatsoever. Dead Island doesn't deliver on its premise, but hey, it does have thousands of zombies, and that makes it somewhat fun.
  35. Sep 15, 2011
    60
    Dead Island is a mixed bag. Everything it does right is done incredibly well, but the things it does wrong tend to negate the positives.
  36. Sep 9, 2011
    60
    Basic crafting, unlockable abilities, exploration, and shootouts with looters all provide some structural complexities. But unfortunately, still hidden underneath that crust is an astonishingly boring apocalypse.
  37. 60
    An injection of human drama could have brought the game's reality into line with our expectations, which were so cruelly raised by that teaser trailer mere months ago.
  38. Sep 18, 2011
    55
    All games have bugs and issues, as none are truly technical paragons of perfection. Yet the same excuse ignores the truly worst of the worst, issues that are severe enough to impact a player's enjoyment of the game to the extent that Dead Island does
  39. 50
    Nothing like the game implied by the trailer and an only occasionally interesting, and obviously low budget, attempt to marry Dead Rising with Fallout.
  40. Oct 4, 2011
    40
    Even if it wasn't buggy and ugly, this would still be a chore to slog through. Dead Island's zombie plague is the stuff of nightmares in all the wrong ways. [Nov 2011, p.98]
  41. Sep 20, 2011
    40
    Dead Island is described as a first person action-adventure game, whilst it is definitely first person, the latter two descriptions are misleading, it is action in as much as raising your arm is an action, it is adventure in as much finding toilet roll is an adventure. They should have called it a first person battle of tedium, because it would've been a lot more accurate.
User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 355 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 128
  2. Negative: 31 out of 128
  1. Sep 6, 2011
    10
    + atmosphere
    + the way online Co-op works
    + great environments & graphic overall
    + almost unlimited exploration area
    - cutscenes & poor
    animation
    - bugs (textures, edges)

    But overall: I love it.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 6, 2011
    10
    I was getting intrigued with this game as of the magnificent trailer that game out a few months ago and I have followed it ever since. Ijust couldn't figure out what to expect from it. Compare it to dead rising or left 4dead? Leave this train of thought behind you (as well as the horrible cutscenes) and you have a very descent single-player experience on the consoles (I heard something about the dev version circling around on steam for pc that had a lot of bugs..) slashing through hordes of zombies is hust a very satisfying way of spending time if you play the game in short bursts but if you cleared a weekend for this I think it will get you a "rinse and repeat feeling" after a few hours. online has a lot of bugs still but I think if they will fix this then the online coop will be a blast to play with friends. give it a rental before you buy it to see if this is you cup of tea. Full Review »
  3. Sep 6, 2011
    9
    As close to a perfect idea as I've played in a while! Mixes aspects of Fallout and Dead Rising along with some unique new and different ideas! Pretty much a must buy for any fan of the shooter/rpg genre! Full Review »