[PS4 Review] Dead Island Definitive Edition

by Tracey

Dead Island Definitive Edition is a remastered release of the original Dead Island game that launched on PS3 back in 2011. The game has been optimized with improved graphics, a higher resolution and an improved framerate fit for this generation of consoles – it does not include any new content, but that’s definitely not a dealbreaker. The game is available on its own or as part of the Dead Island Definitive Collection which also includes Dead Island Riptide, and it is available both digitally and as a physical download. Are you ready for our review?

Dead Island Definitive Edition is set on a small Island just off Australia called Banoi, in Papua New Guinea. Banoi is an actual place in Papua New Guinea – I know because one of my friends went there as part of an expedition around 18 years ago! I was sent a postcard with a picture of a map, and Banoi was one of the locations on said picture. How handy is that? Anyway, Dead Island Definitive Edition is a survival horror RPG where you can level up your character and develop him/her thanks to a skill tree that changes the experience as you open new skills.

The game focuses on five characters, each with his/her own mini-campaign and their own story path. Each character also has weapon specialties, and each has his/her own stats. For this review, I will be using Purna because of her gun expertise. The full list of characters you can choose in the game is as follows:


She is an Australian Aboriginal, who once had a career in the Australian police force until she got fired for injuring a child molester. She hates rich folk because they get away with crimes by paying their way out, yet she is in Banoi working as a bodyguard for rich VIPs! She wants to go back to Australia some day and finish off the child molester once and for all.


He once was a pro quarterback for the all-American football team, but he got into drinking and drugs and went drag racing where he shattered his leg in six places and killed a young woman… but he claims no responsibility for her death. In fact, he blames the other driver for side-swiping him! Logan has a very big ego, but he is an expert in throwable weapons, which makes him a good choice.


Xian is a spy for the Chinese government, but she hides behind a desk clerk’s job at the hotel to conceal her real employment details. Xian is a very ambitious woman, who trained heavily in Martial Arts and joined the police force
in Hong Kong as part of the anti-organized crime unit, but her superiors believed she was better placed as an informer. Xian wants an opportunity to prove she can be more than just a ‘Spy’, and maybe that opportunity is just around the corner!


Sam B is a one-hit wonder rap singer who has had a troubled past with drinking and drug abuse before the plague hit. Sam has never been able to repeat his chart-topping success with How Do You Voodoo, so after ten years at the bottom, he tries his luck again in Banoi, which apparently has some big Hollywood music moguls, and Sam wants to get their attention.


Ryder is a colonel in the Australian Army, and has fought wars in East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His wife convinced him to join her in Banoi, so he is there training the local Banoi forces. Ryder believes what is going on in Banoi is the mother of all Wars he has been through. He loves his wife and will do anything for her, and this shows in his campaign!

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As I mentioned above, for the sake of this review I will be playing though Purna’s campaign. As the game begins, Purna wakes up to find someone is seeing her through one of the hotel’s camera’s, and this person says he will help her escape! He tells her to find a weapon immediately, and as soon as she tries to do that she finds herself among the walking dead before she could even pick up a weapon. She is told to turn around and run, but the infected are so fast they catch her… and she probably got bit during the exchange! Next thing you knows she wakes up in a room with another 12 survivors and finds out, she is immune to the zombie disease! You’ll have to pay though the rest of Purna’s campaign to find out more, but rest assured that the action won’t stop and that the story is well worth experiencing.

Purna is a gun expert, but you don’t get guns until you are about a third of the way through the game, but I knew that I’d eventually need her knowledge of guns to have a chance at making it through the rest of the game. You start out with a boat paddle, which ain’t a great weapon, but at leat it’s better than nothing! As you attack enemies you’ll use your stamina – that is the blue bar at the bottom of the screen – and once it is used up you will be fatigued, but just give it a bit and it will replenish so that you can continue to kick zombie butt.

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You have a weapon wheel where you can assign nine weapons, but at the start only three of those are unlocked, and the rest of the wheel will unlock as you progress. Each weapon has a set durability, and once that is gone the weapon is deemed useless until you find a workstation you can use to repair it. You will come across a multitude of weapons that you can use to fight off the zombie hordes such as wooden boards, knives, machetes, Molotov cocktails, grenades, stun bombs, small guns, big guns, even bigger guns and more.

You will also come across weapons that you can’t use right away because you’re not the right level, so be sure to hold on to those so that you can use them as soon as you level up because they’re usually more powerful than anything you’re currently carrying. I would advice you to save your throwing knives and bombs for the suiciders because you want to dispose of them from as far away as possible since if they get too close, they will blow up! Think of them as the fat versions of the clickers from The Last Of Us. And speaking of enemies, they are plentiful! You have floaters which are slow but spew toxic substances which can take huge chunks of your life meter. The infected are fast and they hit hard, so make sure you have some room to fall back and hit them one by one – these types of zombies come in packs, so if you see one, you can be sure more will follow! Walkers will try and bite you, and even though they are slower than the infected they can still pack a punch. Thugs take a lot of hits to kill, so aim for the head for a faster takedown, or better yet, if you have bombs, use them! And Butchers, oh, Butchers are an absolute pain to kill! They have blade-like arms and are pretty fast too, no to mention that’s not all they can regenerate their health too! Rams are enemies that look like they are in a straight jacket, and as soon as they see you they will charge at you, so you can only kill them from behind.

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Dead Island Definitive Edition is a huge open world game there are two types of quests. The main questline will allow you to progress through the story, and the side quests will provide you with bonuses to help you with the story missions. You can take on multiple quests at the same time, and if you want to take a short break from the main quest line you can do the other side stuff – the side quests are mainly fetch quests, but if you want a Platinum run you shouldn’t ignore them as you will gain XP for completing them, so they are definitely worth doing.

If you see undead lying around, don’t always believe they are dead because quite often they are just waiting for you to approach before getting up, so hit all of them just in case they are not really dead! Don’t forget to loot their bodies as well. You will need money to repair and upgrade your weapons, and once you start finding blueprints for better weapons that will also cost money. Always pick up any kind of weapon to use, because repairing costs a fortune, and your money is better spent on buying better weapons and crafting better weapons. I love how simple the crafting system is – once you have all the ingredients it will be highlighted, and you can just press the action button to create it. Simple and to the point!

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The game has plenty of collectibles, such as recordings, IDs, and Banoi Herald Excerpts. You only need to find 120 for the Platinum trophy. In the original game, some of the collectibles were glitched, but that has now been sorted, and the same goes for some of the trophies that glitched every now and then.

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Dead Island Definitive Edition is very fun, and I had a blast reviewing it. It is a beautiful game thanks to its updated graphics and optimized resolution which runs at full 1080p with a solid framerate. The game is definitely much better this time around, and worth a purchase be it digitally or physically. The game’s main story path will take you around 18-20 hours to complete, but doing everything, including all sidequests, and finding the collectibles, will push your total to around 45-50 hours!

This review is based on a digital copy of Dead Island Definitive Collection provided by Deep Silver

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