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YMMV / Dead Island

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  • Anticlimax Boss: On the initial release, after the enormous amount of build-up he gets, the mass murderer known as the Butcher of Banoi turns out to be the same as a regular Mook and goes down in just one or two hits. This gets remedied in later patches, on par with a special zombie like a Thug or Butcher.
  • Breather Level: The first area of the prison in Ryder White's campaign where Ryder has to find his wife. The zombie spawns are pretty fair and most of the missions around this point are straightforward and simple, if not easy. Of course, invading hell and fighting Satan would probably seem easy at this point too considering what the player just went through back on the mainland.
  • Broken Base:
    • The games themselves, as well as the trailers. Some think they are well crafted, others think, "Why is there a dead girl...oh my god so not cool," and yet others go for a mix of the two, seeing them as technically brilliant but upsetting.
    • Regardless of whether they like or hate the game, there's another split with those who think that Deep Silver has, at least at some point, spent too much time shilling the series as even better than it is. This is most apparent in Saints Row IV, the first game in its franchise to be published by Deep Silver - that series is certainly no stranger to Shout-Outs, but when that series does a reference, it's a muted Affectionate Parody of something from what it's referring to: a quote, a similar situation, a character, something that doesn't outright say what it's referring to, and doesn't need to for a good chunk of the players to get it. This is in contrast to the Dead Island references in the fourth game, which flat-out namedrop it and treat it like a triple-A media sensation on the same level as Call of Duty, acting like it's good enough that Keith David takes it personally that he can't play it anymore, or popular enough that a Capcom vs.-style crossover between Saints Row and Dead Island is something fans of the series want.
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    • Most agree that the resort is the best part of the first game, with it's sunny, lovely coastal resort look jarring but meshing really well with the devoured corpses and general devastation, the resort really does sell your character Slept Through the Apocalypse, once you reach Moresby it starts to sink into a more generic ruined city and deadly jungle maps.
  • Complete Monster: Charon, aka Kevin, real name Kevin Barrister in the non-canonical Escape Dead Island, is a terrorist hacker for hire out to cause chaos. Imprisoned for working for countless criminal and terrorist organizations, Charon continues to work with an organization hoping to weaponize the outbreak. Operating behind the scenes, Charon has the immune protagonists find Yerema to take the virus and advance it to more aggressive stages. When Dr. West insists on making a cure, Charon kills him and the other scientists by loosing zombies onto them. Charon tricks Colonel Ryder White into helping him by using his infected wife as leverage, convincing White and the others the strain is actually a cure. Framing White as a madman, leading to the immune killing him and his soldiers, Charon implies his intention to use Yerema to spread outbreaks around the world.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Sam B is a very popular choice to play as. In singleplayer, it's all but mandatory to play as him, as his large health pool and damage reduction abilities give him the best survivability on his own. In multiplayer, he also has an aggro ability that lets him function as a tank and take the heat off your teammates. If everyone is up to it, you can go through the campaign as a four-man team of Sam B's.
    • Logan is also a popular choice. While he starts the game with the lowest stamina, he has a skill that lets him upgrade it to have the most, negating his biggest weakness. He also has plenty of other useful skills, which give him proficiency with every weapon type, allow him to become ridiculously strong and gain Regenerating Health from alcohol, increase the durability and reliability of weapons in general and allow his thrown weapons to deal massive Splash Damage and possibly recover his weapons without having to pick them up manually. If you upgrade him right, you’ll have an incredible Jack-of-All-Stats who can be just as strong as Sam B, perhaps even more. It is any surprise that these two are the most common characters to see?
  • Critical Dissonance: The games themselves are rated from poor to above average, and many flaws are pointed out, and yet it has a thriving online community even before it was available for free, with many playing through the story or just messing around and investing many hours into it.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The games are really dark in their content with little if any hope, which may turn some gamers off.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Thug zombie. It has a good reach, swings somewhat fast, knocks you down and takes a good chunk of health off with each hit. It is also HARD to put down. If you encounter it while driving you have to run it over at least TWICE (if you're lucky) to put an end to it. Your only saving grace is that they're much slower than a Walker.
    • It's worth noting here that the Thugs, after their initial appearance inside the lifeguard station, appear regularly throughout the rest of the game as a sort of roadblock. Thugs have a habit of showing up in front of quest objectives or in major intersections, where they must be defeated in order to progress. However, using the "Analog" controls makes them a little easier to kill, once you disarm them, and they can be detected by their loud roaring.
    • Infected zombies are a pain as well. As if dealing with a mob of Walkers isn't enough, these little freaks will charge full speed ahead, swinging wildly and quickly whittling your health to zero. While they are easy to kill on their own, they also work in groups, which becomes problematic when playing alone.
      • The Infected are the reason you need to be so careful when going through Moresby. There's a certain section in the city where the Infected respawn indefinitely in multiple groups of two or three. Going in there is akin to a death sentence.
    • Also, Butchers. Ridiculous damage potential, runs faster than the player, takes a lot to take down and regenerates health, while also having a knockdown attack that drains stamina, a rage mode and the ability to alert other infected? At least Infected, Thugs, Rams and Floaters have exploitable weaknesses, but the Butchers have absolutely no flaws whatsoever. Unless you have a damn good ranged weapon on hand, he will just tear you apart.
    • The Screamers from Riptide. When it screams, your character is forced to cover their ears and you are unable to attack until the effects wears off which leaves you vulnerable to attacks. You can try to move away until the effects wears off but sometime there's a chance you will trip over. The Screamer moves fast like an Infected and can sometimes run away from you so it can scream.
    • Regular zombies carrying weapons. They deal significantly more damage and can throw their weapons at the player from a fairly respectable distance with insane accuracy. Two hits from a thrown weapon is enough to down a player and these guys tend to come in groups.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The first Dead Island, After the spacious and beautiful although ravaged beach/resort area, and the large beautifully ravaged town area, there is the forest area, which is smaller than you expect a forest to be, and the game ends into the prison area, which is merely a one small dungeon before the final confrontation at the rooftops.
  • Emotional Torque: The trailers, amazing as they are, actually received backlash for playing on emotions with something that hardly portrayed the actual game but by god they challenge you not to go into a smoking drinking depressive funk.
  • The Faceless: And Nameless, the character in the opening who wanders around meeting all the actual protagonists, however it is implied they are the person you hear getting attacked when you start playing.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Believe it or not simply the ability to jump up on a car. Best seen in the Quarantine Zone, doing so as soon as you hear the Infected causes them to not know what to do, then they get mad and rush the car in waves of thirty or more. Since for the most part they cannot reach you they can be easily dealt with via molotov, firearm, or any weapon with decent range. Do this at the start when first encountering the Infected (run into a hotel room and jump on the bed) and you can reach level 60 in no time.
    • Weapons with lightning mods. Not only they hit with increased damages, but their critical hits cause the target to be stunned while suffering continuous damages. If the target dies before the end of the electrocution effect, stepping on it hurts the other enemies. Those weapons are especially effective on guns, allowing to slow down a zombie horde from range.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The weapon duplication glitch, which borders on Game-Breaker territory. Not only do you no longer have to settle for anything less than your best weapon, you can casually throw it away when it breaks and pull out a new one! Or you can dupe a pile of weapons and sell them for loads of money. Unfortunately, it has been patched.
    • Not quite a glitch, but a dangerously game-breaking form of Save Scumming. In the prologue chapter, when you are first introduced to the zombies, you’re supposed to run like hell from the level 60 Walkers and Infected. However, there is a bedroom you can lead the zombies into and you can jump on the bed to prevent them from hitting you. Start whaling on them and you’ll soon find yourself SOARING up levels since having a level 1 character kill level 60 zombies translates to massive xp for you. Simply reload your last save to get them to respawn, then rinse and repeat to your heart’s content. Theoretically, you can use this to get a level 60 character before you even start the game.
  • Memetic Mutation: The debut trailer went viral in a hurry, which meant that parodies were right behind it.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Police Station Raskols kidnapping survivors and feeding them to captured Walkers, as well as raping Jin.
    • Koritoia attempting to murder Yerema, his own daughter, simply because she left the tribe to live in the city.
    • Charon orchestrating the entire outbreak to begin with purely For the Evulz.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page now.
  • Player Punch: These games hit harder than Mike Tyson, and that's just the trailers. Riptide is a little more upbeat than the first game but to recount every example would make it a Player No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    The family vacation trailer that went viral.
    Seeing the dead mother and father from the trailer in game.
    Survivors falling to their deaths at the hotel.
    A man in a literal pool of blood lamenting he had to kill his family.
    A grown woman having gone loopy and begging you to retrieve her teddy bear.
    Jin's father having to force her away because he was infected.
    • That's just some of the examples from act 1.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: The story, as noted above, is often regarded as being too depressing for gamers to really get into. However, the gameplay itself is still considered to be enjoyable, nonetheless. It certainly helps that there are a lot of sidequests to help keep the player busy, as well as a lot of respawning zombies if you want to do some Level Grinding.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: This trope is in play almost anytime you pick up an equippable item, and the game conveniently equips it for you right away. Not bad if it's a real upgrade, annoying if it's a weaker item, and really, really, really horrific if you grab alcohol, forget to unequip it, then when a zombie jumps you, you take a swig of booze instead of swinging your weapon at them. The fact that there's no function to turn this off makes it more annoying.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The trailer for both Dead Island and Riptide suggested a level of Player Punch and emotional depth that the games do not exactly live up to. They certainly portray a frightening Zombie Apocalypse but if someone had played the game without seeing them then the previews look like they are for another game.
  • That One Level: Chapter 14. If you thought Death Is a Slap on the Wrist, be prepared to lose almost all of your money and most of your weapons on this level (as well as some of your sanity). While it may be winnable under the right circumstances, unprepared players will die most of the time (not even counting the times the Shaman gets killed because of their incompetence). However, recent patches make it far easier to deal with, especially if your weapons are fully upgraded
    • The final bossfight is this as well if you're playing alone. Neverending waves of infected whilst being shot at by possibly the only enemy in the game who can actually hit the broad side of a barn. Thankfully after awhile a gate opens and you can simply sprint through it to end the fight.
    • Ryder White's campaign has a couple. After a hard slog to blow up the bridge in Moresby he goes to await extraction. The only problem is suddenly every single Infected on Banoi and Palanai had decided their lives depend on his death and come screaming for him, the supply of ammo not helping against a couple of hundred of them. Then right at the end when he makes a mad dash for his wife there are around fifty zombies of various types he has to kill to get a clear path, and he's likely low on ammo at this stage.
  • That One Sidequest: The Third Head of Cerberus quest, which forces you to go into the quarantine zone of Moresby to activate some speakerphones. Which means you have to fight through, or attempt to run past, many zombies which indefinitely respawn rather quickly while inside. And if you're not familiar with the area, it can be quite a pain fending off the large wave of zombies while trying to figure out where the speakerphones are.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Living characters don't move naturally at all, lip sync is usually off, and the survivors tend to have a blank stare in cutscenes that gets more disturbing the more you look at it.
    • NPCs have a disturbing tendency to have bodies that don't match their faces, either because of drastically different skin tones that may be caused by the lighting or because of having the exact same, young female body with an elderly face.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Apparently, one of the programmers had weird opinions. Purna has a mid-range Combat talent in her tree called "Gender Wars" that gives her a flat damage bonus to enemies of the opposite sex, which happens to include most of the enemies on the island. If you dig down into the game's code, this talent is referred to as "Feminist Whore." Someone found this and promptly posted about it on the Steam forums, prompting a speedy reaction from Deep Silver; they denied any intentional maliciousness on the part of the company and publisher and noted that it was the work of a lone rogue programmer.
  • What an Idiot!: Jin Jin Jin, you were told not to go to the prison, what did you think was gonna happen?
  • The Woobie: Yerema and Ryder White.

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