Dead Island: Epidemic
Dead Island: Epidemic is a Hack and Slash zombie multiplayer battle arena set in the Dead Island Universe. Players take on the role of an infected survivor and team up with friends to survive in the zombie-infested island of Amaia.
|Publisher: Deep Silver
Release Date: November 20, 2014 (NA/EU)
Shut Down Date: October 15, 2015
Pros: +Beginner friendly. +Good variety of characters. +Fun cooperative gameplay. +Good production value.
Cons: -Unlocking new characters can be tedious. -Controls can feel awkward.
Dead Island: Epidemic Overview
Fight for survival against hordes of zombies and other survivors in the zombie-infested island of Amaia in Dead Island: Epidemic, a ZOMBA (Zombie Online Multiplayer Battle Arena) and yet another addition to the Dead Island franchise. Gather materials and craft your own arsenal of improvised weapons. Work together with allies or engage in unique three-team free-for-all battles against other survivors for much needed supplies. Are you ready to DI:E? Unfortunately due to a lack of interest, Dead Island: Epidemic shut down for good on October 15, 2015.
Dead Island: Epidemic Key Features:
- Fast-paced Action – forget point and click movement. Use the WASD keys for faster, more action-packed combat.
- Choose a character - 15+ playable characters, each with unique skills.
- Co-op PVE – work together with other players to accomplish a variety of missions in dynamic maps.
- PvPvP – experience a unique twist to MOBA games where three teams of 4 go head to head for map domination.
- Craft Your Own Weapons – earn blueprints by playing the game and craft your own deadly arsenal of improvised weaponry.
Dead Island: Epidemic Screenshots
Dead Island: Epidemic Featured Video
Dead Island: Epidemic Classes (Characters)
Berg – a heavily muscled lumberjack that likes to get up close and personal with the enemy. Berg takes the role of Starter, Support, or Disabler.
Amber – an animal lover adept at supporting her allies. Amber takes the role of Starter, Healer, or Support.
Bryce – a surfer dude who prefers to dish out damage from long range. Bryce takes the role of Starter, Ranged, and Steady Damage.
Isys – a quick and agile fighter who can initiate fights and take out several enemies at once while dodging attacks thrown her way. Isys takes the role of Starter, Initiator, and Steady Damage.
These are just the starting characters. There are a total of 15+ characters in the game.
Dead Island: Epidemic Review
By, Marc Marasigan
Dead Island: Epidemic, forebodingly named DIE, is a 3D hack and slash ZOMBA (Zombie Online Multiplayer Battle Arena) developed by Stunlock Studios and published by Deep Silver. The game went into open beta on December 5, 2014 and is available on Steam as an Early Access Game.
DIE is set in the Dead Island Universe and features memorable characters from the series like John Sinamoi and Sam B. Players take on the role of survivors who have been infected with the virus but have somehow resisted turning into mindless flesh-eating zombies. Instead, they have been granted superhuman powers and have grown stronger and smarter than normal humans. These survivors are on a mission to scavenge for supplies while fending off the undead, and will take out anything that stands in their way, including other survivors.
DIE, unlike previous Dead Island games, is played from a third-person overhead isometric perspective similar to other MOBAs. Another thing that’s different from the previous titles is the game’s graphics. DIE’s cartoony graphics, while not great, has a certain kind of appeal to it. Personally, I find that cartoony graphics on casual games like DIE and Team Fortress actually make the game that much more fun to play. That’s just me though. The visuals also remind me of Strife from S2 Games. The game’s audio, including the unmistakable zombie moans, ambient player voices, gun sounds, and other effects aren’t really groundbreaking, but they get the job done pretty well. The background music, however, sounds a bit lame.
Players start out by choosing from one of four pre-made characters: Berg, Amber, Bryce, and Isys. Each with their own specialties and roles. Be sure to check out the Classes tab, or do a bit of research, before making a choice since you don’t get to try any of the characters out before choosing and once you’ve chosen a character you’ll be stuck with him or her for a very long time. Additional characters can be unlocked over time by using character points that players acquire from completing missions and matches. Unlocking characters can be rather expensive and can be very tedious considering the minute amount of character points that players receive. Alternatively, players can purchase new characters using Cash which can be bought using real-world money. We’ll get to microtransactions a little later in the review.
After choosing a character, players immediately go through a tutorial stage that brings new players up to speed on basic game mechanics like movement, attacking, skills, and gathering supplies. After the tutorial, players are given starter quests that take them through the game’s features and different game modes one at a time. Don’t worry, you’ll be rewarded for your time with weapons and experience points for your account. Leveling up your account, by the way, is absolutely necessary if you want to go toe to toe with the big boys. A game feature is unlocked every time a player’s account levels up. At level 3, for example, players unlock their characters third skill slot and their Ultimate skill at level 4. Imagine joining a PVP match with only 2 skills and no ultimate skill. Although the game’s matchmaking system should be able to take this into account, leveling up your account is still an important part of the game.
Fighting for Survival
DIE is, first and foremost, a MOBA, which explains the top-down view. It also has elements of hack and slash, hence, the WASD controls. While using the WASD keys to move and QERT keys to trigger skills may seem weird and awkward for some people, I personally had no problems with it, being a fan of FPS games which, usually, has the same control setup. The game offers a variety of game modes and gives players a choice of playing alone, cooperatively, or against another team. Players can take on missions by themselves in the single player campaign, or choose to play cooperatively in Crossroads mode which features dynamic maps with varying mission types, from collecting supplies to killing specific zombies. Players can also play against other players in Scavenger mode which currently features three maps where three teams of four players fight it out for supplies and chokepoints while fending off hordes of hungry flesh-eaters.
Welcome to My Crib
When not fighting zombies and each other, players hang out in their “Cribs”, basically a small hut where they can select characters, choose game modes, manage their inventory, access the cash shop, or craft weapons and other items. Unfortunately, players don’t have the option to pimp out their cribs, a feature that, in my opinion, would be a pretty cool addition to the game. Just saying.
Cold Hard Cash
Being a free-to-play game, I knew from the start that the game would have microtransactions. I just didn’t expect to be bombarded with them at almost every turn. Almost all game currencies can be bought using Cash, the game’s premium currency. Although this doesn’t make the game pay to win, it does make the game a whole lot easier for cash players. Fortunately, the game is still in open beta and the devs still have a chance to balance it out a bit.
Final Verdict - Great
In spite of the Dead Island franchise being labeled as cliché, Dead Island Epidemic still hits all the right notes to make it a game worth playing. The game’s fun and fast-paced combat, as well as its unique PvPvP game mode definitely makes it a must-try in my book. Overall, DIE is a great game ideal for casual gamers looking to burn time in between marathon sessions of Final Fantasy XIV or whatever MMO they may be currently in to.
Dead Island: Epidemic Videos
Dead Island: Epidemic Links
Dead Island: Epidemic System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 or newer
CPU: Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz
Video Card: GeForce 8800 GT / Radeon HD 3870+
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB
Operating System: Windows 7 or newer
CPU: Core i5-2300 or better
Video Card: GeForce GTX 660 / Radeon HD 7870+
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 4 GB
Dead Island: Epidemic Music & Soundtrack
Dead Island: Epidemic Additional Information
Developer: Stunlock Studios
Game Engine: Unity Engine
Release Date: November 20, 2014 (Early Access)
Shut Down Date: October 15, 2015
Development History / Background:
Dead Island: Epidemic was developed by the Swedish game development studio Stunlock Studios and built using the Unity engine. Stunlock Studios is the same company behind Bloodline Champions (published by Funcom). The game was first announced on August 7, 2013 and made its way to release on Steam through Early Access on November 20, 2014. The game is set in the Dead Island universe and published by Deep Silver, the same company responsible for publisher all the other Dead Island games. It is the first free to play game in the franchise.
The game shut down on October 15, 2015 due to a lack of playerbase. Rest in peace.