Dead Island Blues

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I picked up Dead Island in the Steam sale; I’d seen a few videos and it looked interesting, but not enough to pay a high price for. I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t, because the basic idea of the game isn’t bad, but it has a number of horrible flaws.

1. Stuttering. The graphics aren’t hard for my PC to render, but any time I press a key it begins to stutter. What appears to be happening is that it’s unable to handle keyboard auto-repeat, so it turns as it sees they key down, then the key appears to go up, so it stops, and repeats until I release the key. Turning off auto-repeat resolves that… except it comes back any time I press two keys at once, for example when moving forward and strafing. It’s ugly enough to really make playing the game painful.

2. Controls. The controls in general are clunky, and the appearance of meaningless joystick icons demonstrate quite plainly that it’s a bad console port. A joystick icon, by the way, appears to mean ‘randomly wiggle the mouse around until something happens’.

3. Respawning. Zombies seem to reappear only a minute or so after you kill them. I can clear out an area, move on to the next, then when I back into the area I cleared out the zombies reappear. Sometimes I’ve been attacked out of nowhere in an area I just cleared, which I presume is a zombie respawning right on top of me.

4. Weapons. Apparently a weapon is only good for beating two or three zombies to death before it breaks. Now, I must admit, I’ve never beaten anyone to death with a metal pipe, but I can’t help but feel it would last longer than that before breaking.

Players have been complaining about the stutter for over a year, so I can only presume it will never be fixed.

2 Comments

  1. Just saw your comment at PV about selling 4X as many books through Smashwords as Amazon. I think this is a trend for a number of indies. I hope it’s OK if I quote you in my Sunday blogpost?

    1. emg says:

      Sure, though I sell few enough e-books each month that it may be a statistical fluke.

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