Dead Island

Dead Island
Dead Island
Dead island PC packshot.png
European cover art
Developer(s) Techland
Publisher(s) Deep Silver
Distributor(s) Valve Corporation, Square Enix (for North America),[1] Spike (for Japan)
Composer(s) Pawel Blaszczak[2]
Engine Chrome Engine 5[3]
Version 1.3.0 (Windows)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Release date(s) NA 20110906September 6, 2011
PAL 20110909September 9, 2011
JP 20111020October 20, 2011
Genre(s) First person horror action-adventure, role-playing, open world
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media/distribution Optical disc, download, cloud computing

Dead Island is a first person horror action-adventure video game developed by Techland and published by Deep Silver[5] for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. It is centered on the challenge of survival on a zombie-infested open world island with a major emphasis on melee combat. It was originally announced at E3 2006,[6] but was pushed back to 2011. It was released on September 6, 2011 in North America and September 9, 2011 for PAL regions (excluding Germany).[7]



Dead Island features open world roaming (however there are still pockets of unaccessible areas on each map), played from a first Person perspective. The focus is on melee combat, incorporating customizable weaponry, vehicular customization/combat, and RPG elements.

There's an experience system as well as a skill tree system. There is also a stamina bar, meaning that after a set amount of physical action, such as running, jumping, or swinging a weapon, the character will need to stop to regain their stamina before continuing to attack. There are "special class" zombies, which are more powerful than the standard zombie.[8] Players need to use flashlights in dark areas and during night time sections, adding suspense.[9] There is a weather system.[10] Although there is a child being infected in the original Dead Island trailer, there are no child zombies in the game.

Specific enemies in the game are: "Walker" the most common zombie. Very slow, they normally either lay on the ground waiting, or standing around in groups of 2-4; "Infected", basically fast-moving "Infected" who will run at the character from far away and begin attacking; "Suicider", a large enemy with boils upon its body, heavily disfiguring it; "Butcher", a humanoid-shaped zombie with long hair, and missing both arms from the elbow, with only bones sticking out of the sockets; "Thug", which knocks players over, stunning them; "Ram", a large man wrapped in a straitjacket with a mask covering his mouth; and finally "Floater", another large disfigured enemy covered in slime with large red eyes who will vomit towards the players.[11]


The game is set in the fictional island of Banoi, located off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The main characters—Xian Mei, Sam B., Logan, and Purna—wake up in the Palms Resort Hotel, having been hungover from a high-profile hotel party. After being urged to evacuate their room by the hotel's emergency broadcast system, they, unable to use the staircase, find their way to the elevator shaft where they enter a broken-down elevator via its maintenance hatch. Suddenly, the elevator's brakes fail,. It stops at a floor where, for a brief moment, an infected individual is seen running towards the elevator. Just before the infected enters, the elevator continues to fall, crashing in a lower floor. As the characters recover, a voice over the intercom warns that they need to find weapons. While the player-character is making a way towards a storeroom in order to obtain one, he finds the corridor to be flooded with zombies. As they dash for the staircase and shut the door behind them, the character is then knocked out by an infected woman wearing a bikini. The character wakes up to find out that they are immune to whatever is turning the unfortunate inhabitants of Banoi into bloodthirsty monsters. Regaining control over a lifeguard station further down the coastline, the characters do a series of quests for the survivors. Eventually Sinamoi, the head lifeguard and the man who saved the character's life, asks the group to retrieve an armored truck from the hotel parking lot. Upon entry, the characters are contacted by the head of hotel security, Mike Davis, through an intercom saying that he will allow the characters to enter the parking lot if they find out what happened to his partner Ken, who was attacked by infected. After the characters inject Ken with morphine to treat his pain, Davis lets them through to the parking lot where they are seen driving out in an armored truck. Sinamoi tells the characters that they need to get it reinforced, so they drive it to a workshop located in the resort, To the character's surprise, the workshop owner is still alive, along with his daughter, Jin.

A promotional still featuring Xian Mei, one of the four playable characters, about to attack oncoming zombies. The still shows this in third-person, whilst the game uses a first-person perspective.

The characters defend the workshop while the truck is being reinforced. After saying that he did the best he could do, the owner reveals himself to be infected and asks the characters to take Jin to safety. Saddened, Jin gets into the reinforced truck with the others, and they drive into town to find food and water. Arriving at a church, the characters help the survivors there by taking over the water-plant and eliminating all the bandits in it. Jin, who wants to supply everyone alike (bandits, survivors, etc.), is kidnapped by the punks in the police station.

After rescuing her, the characters and Jin leave to get to the hotel in order to signal the mysterious voice on the radio that contacts the player throughout the game. They discover that Colonel Ryder White is a Banoi Island Defense Force (BIDF) commander who needs a vaccine in order to save his infected wife. He states that because the characters are immune, they may be able to create an anti-virus. He also reveals that he is located in a high security prison off the main island. The characters then go to the jungle to find a way to the prison where they meet a group of survivors taking refuge in the jungle. After taking back a stolen boat from a group of bandits, the characters go to find Mowen, a person who might know the way to the prison. Mowen claims that he does not know the the way to the prison; instead, he offers to take the characters to a laboratory deep in the jungle.

After arrival, the characters find out that they all have the same blood type - O negative. The scientist there says that the virus does not attack their blood like it does to those of a different blood type; it just dies away. This is bad news for White because it means that a vaccine can not be created from their blood. The scientist also claims that the virus originated from the nature of this island, that it was first discovered by the native tribes that practiced cannibalism. Apparently, the infected people were captured by their leaders, who did not get infected. The characters then try to get a blood sample from one of the tribes. After they hand it to the scientists, they are informed that they need one of the people. The characters return to the natives only to find the shaman about to kill a young native woman, Yerema, whom they rescue.

Yerema reveals that the shaman told the tribes-people that the zombies have been resurrected and were immortal and that if they eat their flesh, they will become immortal. Yerema is then handed over to the scientists and afterwards, Mowen reveals that he knows the way to the prison, but they need to get some supplies. After the group returns to the resort, Jin enters her father's workshop with a gun alone, where she encounters her zombified father. After saying that she loves him, she shoots him dead and returns to the boat, where White informs them group that he has heard screams in the laboratory. Upon arrival, they find out that while they were gone, Yerema had locked herself in a cage because the scientists were taking too much of her blood. While trying to open her cage using a computer, a scientist had accidentally released the captive zombies and the lab was overrun, leaving Yerema as the sole survivor of the massacre. After retrieving the vaccine, the characters travel to the prison where they encounter a group of prisoner survivors.

The group members go to retrieve weapons for the prisoners in block B's armory in order to get to block C, where White is currently located. White says that the characters are making a mistake trusting the prisoners and prompts them to get into an elevator that will get them to him. The elevator is suddenly filled with knockout gas, and everyone falls unconscious. Kevin, a prisoner that helped the group access a locked door earlier, wakes them up and says that White had taken the antidote and is planning to destroy the island by activating a nuclear device, forcing the group to reach the top of the prison.

After the characters fight their way through the roof, a cutscene plays with White having all the characters at gunpoint while attempting to give the antidote to his already transformed wife. Jin starts walking to the restraining chair that White's wife is strapped down to, saying, "It's easy killing a million faceless nobodies, isn't it? But what about killing someone you love?" She releases the infected woman, who bites White. White is forced to kill her and furiously shoots Jin twice in the chest, killing her. White then injects himself with the antidote. Unfortunately, the antidote fails and shockingly speeds up White's mutation rate, turning him into a huge, inhuman monster.

After he is defeated, the characters, Yerema and Kevin leave the island in a helicopter. Logan states that he will be happy to have his old problems back, as long as the world is how it used to be, to which Kevin responds that the world will never be the same again.


  • Xian Mei (voiced by Kim Mai Guest), an employee at the Royal Palms Resort. Born and raised in China, she chose an occupation that allowed her to leave her country of birth in order to experience different people and cultures. She is a fast learner, intelligent, and quick on her feet. Having just arrived at Banoi Island, Xian Mei was responsible for a myriad of menial tasks at the hotel, before starting work as a receptionist. This opportunity to meet and greet all the different nationalities that visited the hotel was ideal for Xian Mei, as it provided a perfect source of inspiration for her dreams of travelling the globe.
  • Sam B (voiced by Phil LaMarr), a one-hit wonder rap star from New Orleans. He was booked by the Royal Palms Resort to perform his well-known song "Who Do You Voodoo" at a high profile hotel party. He gladly took the chance to play this gig. Once strong, self-confident and proud, Sam B has had a troubled past and a history of drug and alcohol abuse, as his private life became caught in a haze of fake friends and bad advisers. He believed his gig at Banoi was his last chance to get back on top.
  • Logan Carter (voiced by David Kaye), a former star from the NFL, spoiled by life and successful in every possible way. And yet his own ego finally put an end to his bright future. Taking part in a reckless street race with tragic consequences, Logan not only killed a young woman - his unfortunate passenger - but he also fractured his knee, putting an end to his sports career. His fall from stardom inevitably followed and he plunged swiftly into a life of bitterness and despair. He ended up letting a blood drive use his name, and in return received an all-expenses-paid trip to Banoi.
  • Purna (voiced by Peta Johnson), a former officer of the New South Wales Police Force, referred to by the game as the "Sydney Police department". After losing her career when she shot a child molester who could not be prosecuted because of his wealth and connections, Purna then turned to working as a bodyguard for VIPs in dangerous places all over the world. She is mostly hired for her looks (not just her skills), as wealthy men do not mind showing up with Purna on their arm.


System Requirements[12]
Minimum Recommended
Microsoft Windows
Operating system Windows XP Windows 7
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
Memory 1 GB RAM 4 GB RAM
Hard drive space 7 GB of free HDD space
Graphics hardware NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 512 MB or ATi Radeon HD 2600 XT 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600 1 GB

A Promo film featuring the transformation of a young girl into a zombie, played in a nonlinear sequence,[13] was commented upon by Ben Parfitt of MCV. Parfitt praised the trailer itself, but criticized the online reaction to it, writing "It's a video that uses an image of a dead girl and images of her dying to create an emotional bond with a product."[14][15] Wired exclaimed, "It may be the best video game trailer I’ve ever seen; gorgeous, well-edited and emotionally engaging." However Wired urged caution, stating that Techland did not make the trailer and that "everyone is hyped up about a short film, not the game itself."[16]

Dead Island was originally stated to be released in 2008, developed by Techland and produced by Adrian Ciszewski, but was delayed.[17] An official teaser trailer, titled "Part 1: Tragedy Hits Paradise", was released on May 17, 2009 featuring various gameplay aspects. [18] A follow-up trailer, titled "Part 2: Dead Island Begins", was released on June 6, 2011[19] along with the announcement of the game's release being set for September 6, 2011 for the US, and September 9, 2011 for the worldwide release. The game's zombies were rendered to have fully modelled layers of meat and muscle, meaning they have a multi-layered damage system with real-time injuries.[20] On August 9, 2011, Deep Silver announced that Dead Island's development had finished and that production had begun.[21]


"Gender Wars", an unlockable skill for the playable character Purna which increases her combat damage against male opponents, was referred to during development as "Feminist Whore". Although changed throughout the game before release, the original name could still be found in debug code on the PC version. Publisher Deep Silver described the line in question as a "private joke" made by one of the developers, and regretted its appearance in the final product.[22]


The original Dead Island logo (top) and the censored version for release in North America (bottom).

In Australia, a collector's edition was available to pre-order exclusively from EB Games. The collector's edition came with a Turtle Beach X12 headset, Ripper weapon DLC and Bloodbath Arena DLC.[23]

The collector's edition in Canada has the Ripper and Bloodbath DLC.

On July 20, Dead Island became available for pre-purchase on Steam as a single copy of the game for full price, or a four pack with one copy free. Both the single copy and the four pack include the Ripper and Bloodbath DLC.

In PlayStation Home (North American version), the PlayStation 3's social gaming network, users can pre-order Dead Island from a special kiosk in the Central Plaza (Home's central meeting point redesigned for this promotion and includes a "Zombie Survival" minigame) and receive an "Exploding Zombie Outfit" (features a remote option for users to explode) for their Home avatar.[24]

Deep Silver funded a four-part series of comedic short films written and starring hosts of Talkradar from the video game journalistic website GamesRadar, entitled Dead Island: Secret Origins. The film depicts fictionalized versions of the hosts who travel to Dead Island and become zombies out of choice.

There was also a book released with the same name on the same date to acompany the game. It was published by BANTAM BOOKS.

On March 21, 2011, gaming licenser ESRB announced that the original version of the Dead Island logo was not suitable for release in North America, and Deep Silver was told to change it. Instead of the hanging corpse in the original logo, it was changed to a zombie standing by the tree. This logo change appears on the boxart of the North American release (the logo in-game, however, remains unchanged), with the logo remaining unchanged in other territories.[25]

In Australia, the game was released a day early, instead of its intended release date, September 9 by EB Games.[26]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic (PC) 80/100[27]
(PS3) 71/100[28]
(X360) 71/100[29]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 3/10[30]
GamePro 4/5[31]
GameSpot 7/10[32]
GameTrailers 8.5/10[33]
IGN 8/10[34]
Official Xbox Magazine 8/10 (US)[35]
7/10 (UK)[36]

Dead Island has received mixed to positive critical reception since its release, according to Metacritic. Metacritic scores were 80/100, 71/100 and 71/100 for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions respectively. The Italian PlayStation Magazine has given the game a rating of 8.0. praising its outdoor environments, realistic combat, and co-op mode but criticizing the indoor graphics and lack of split-screen multiplayer. IGN gave the game an 8.0, criticizing the game presentation, glitches, various bugs for the consoles, and texture loading, but praising the atmosphere and overall feel of the game and stating that the game's pro-points are significant enough to outweigh its cons.[34] Game Informer gave Dead Island an 8.5, saying, "Just shy of the open-world zombie apocalypse you've always wanted."Official Xbox Magazine (UK) gave the game a score of 7.0, stating that while it falls short of its potential, there is more than enough to make up for the in-game issues, while the US version gave it 8.0. CVG awarded the game a more negative score of 6.5, stating "This budget zombie thriller ain't too pretty but could manage to capture a cult following."[37] However, Edge magazine gave Dead Island a 3/10 score referencing a very large number of gameplay and technical issues.[30] Screwattack gave the game a 6, mostly for technical flaws.

The PC version of the game has initially received many negative reviews from magazines and websites due to an accidental release of the development version of the game on Steam. This included features such as no-clipping and the ability to toggle third-person perspective.[38] Rock Paper Shotgun also noted that the code revealed references to Xbox 360 version.[39] The developers, Deep Silver, released a first-day patch seeking to address as many as 37 issues. A patch is still needed though for the console versions such as the xbox, which to date, October 24 2011, has corrupted saves and issues with saved games freezing up the console.[40]

MMOMFG stated "This is one zombie experience worth playing all the way through. Just be sure to sharpen those blades and aim for the head."[41]


On November 3, 2011, Techland registered the name 'Dead World'. This may be a sequel to Dead Island. It has also been rumoured that it may be an MMO or similar to the original title a RPG-based first-person shooter, although those rumors are largely unfounded. [42] While not much is known about the sequel, the gaming community has attempted to say what it desires to see in the next title of the franchise. Bringing all the areas of the map together into one giant map is one major request as the transit system between different areas didn't work as well as they appeared on paper. Another idea for 'Dead World' is for it to have moral and impactful decisions made by the player that'll affect the game world in negative or positive ways depending on what the proceeding consequence would entail for the player's actions. A third idea for Dead Island's sequel is to have competitive multiplayer. Similar to Left 4 Dead, players will have the chance to attack each other as both survivors and walking corpses. [43]


On September 27, 2011, Lionsgate has announced that they have acquired rights to develop a film based on the game and will be produced by Sean Daniel (Rat Race, Tombstone, The Mummy franchise).[44]


  1. ^ "Why Deep Silver needed Square-Enix to distribute Dead Island". Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Here are three tracks from the Dead Island soundtrack". Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Dead Island is coming, with more information released". February 17, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dead Island different between the International and the Japanese version". Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ Purchese, Rob (2011-02-17). "Dead Island published by Deep Silver". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  6. ^ "E3 06: Dead Island Preshow Report". May 10, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Hamza CTC Aziz". "Impressions: Your first look at Dead Island". Destructoid. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  9. ^ "J". "Dead Island-Gameplay-Interview". GameTrailers. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
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  11. ^ 10:59 AM. "Dead Island Forums - 300's Album: Dead Island Enemies". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  12. ^ "FC2 PC Specs Revealed!". Ubisoft. August 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Wonderdog". "GameGuideDog spins Forward/Reverse Dead Island Trailer". GameGuideDog. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  14. ^ "Dead Island - Announcement Trailer". IGN. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  15. ^ Parfitt, Ben (2011-02-17). "OPINION: That Dead Island trailer". MCV. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  16. ^ Schreier, Jason (2011-02-17). "Don’t Get Caught Up in Dead Island Trailer Hype". Wired. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  17. ^ Osborn, Chuck (2008-03). PC Gamer. 15. Future US, Inc. p. 38. 
  18. ^ "Dead Island Teaser "Part 1: Tragedy Hits Paradise"". Dead Island/YouTube. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  19. ^ now to post a comment! (2011-06-06). "Dead Island E3 Trailer: "Part 2: Dead Island Begins" (Europe)". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  20. ^ "Josh". "Dead Island announcement trailer". VideoGamesBlogger. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  21. ^ "Dead Island Goes Gold With Brand New Co-op Trailer". 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  22. ^ Crecente, Brian (2011-09-08). "Dead Island Maker Gives Leading Lady A "Feminist Whore" Skill". Kotaku. 
  23. ^ Serrels, Mark (2011-06-28). "Dead Island Has A Pre-Order Bonus That Is Actually Useful". Kotaku. 
  24. ^ GlassWalls (2011-08-03). "Coming to Home: Dead Island Zombie Survival Quiz, Magic: The Gathering Game Night + New Items". SCEA. Retrieved 2011-08-03. 
  25. ^ Reilly, Jim (2011-03-21). "Dead Island Logo Censored in NA". IGN. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  26. ^ Lien, Tracey (2011-09-08). "EB Has Broken The Street Date for Dead Island". Kotaku. 
  27. ^ "Dead Island for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  28. ^ "Dead Island for PlayStation 3 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  29. ^ "Dead Island for Xbox 360 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  30. ^ a b "Edge Magazine - Dead Island review". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  31. ^ Shaw, Patrick (6 September 2011). "Dead Island Review from GamePro". GamePro. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  32. ^ Douglas, Jane (6 September 2011). "Dead Island Review, Dead Island PS3 Review -". GameSpot. Cnet. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Dead Island Video Game, Review". GameTrailers. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  34. ^ a b Miller, Greg (4 September 2011). "Dead Island Review - Xbox 360 Review at IGN". IGN. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  35. ^ Cohen, Corey (5 September 2011). "Official XBOX Magazine". Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  36. ^ Channell, Mike. "Xbox 360 Review: Dead Island Review". Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  37. ^ Tom Pakinkis. "''Dead Island'' review". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  38. ^ Sep 6th 2011 10:07 AM by Chris Ullery. "Dead Island Dev Build Accidently Released on Steam". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  39. ^ "RPS: Ultra-Oops: Dead Island Dev Build Released?". 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  40. ^ "Here's the list of fixes in Dead Island's day-one patch!". Destructoid. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^

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