I got a chance to play a bit of Dead Island at PAX Prime 2011, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the gameplay. I’ve been hearing about the problems some others have been having with the first-person nature of the game and the melee combat focus, but I have to say that I didn’t have the same problems that those others have experienced. I found the combat to be fluid, and it was fairly easy to judge the distance of the zombies for my attacks to be effective.
In the short demo I played, it became quickly evident that anything other than head-bludgeoning attacks was a waste of time, naturally. These are zombies we’re talking about after all. There were plenty of moments that had me on the edge of my seat as zombies came bolting out of the brush, making blood curdling sounds, and trying to eat my brains. The sound they made, sort of a cross between a scream and a howl, is sure to haunt me later tonight — it was perfect.
I can’t wait to jump online with a buddy and beat some zombies into submission when Dead Island drops on September 6.