Itís possible that my brain is still in vacation mode and the rest of my body is simply responding to any stimuli that suggest a getaway, but I can definitely notice improvements in the visual department. This is most apparent in the character models Ė both friendly and hostile. I never called the original games out for lack of realism, but Iíd be lying if I said these added touches werenít welcome. Overall, I recall Dead Island being unimpressive yet inoffensive at the same time, but I found myself enjoying the sights Banoi had to offer this time around. Both Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide are at their best when they are allowed to be colorful. Itís when you end up in dull brownish gray urban landscapes that it starts bringing you down. While a sense of oppression is to be expected in games about cities besieged by the undead, it doesnít have to extend this far.
Dead Island Definitive Collection is hit or miss when it comes to sound. Letís start with the good. Combat sounds awesome for the most part; this is hugely important, as this gameís combat is melee-focused. Striking flesh and bone with solid objects actually creates a positive feedback loop Ė what does that say about us as a species? Jokes aside, Techland somehow came up with appropriate sounds to pair with "blade grinds through muscle," "hammer caves in skull," and "organs rupture." Itís disgusting stuff, and if it wasnít, the developer would have failed. Voice work is less impressive, and part of that comes from how bad most of the dialogue is. Perhaps this is in keeping with the schlocky themes of the overall experience, and itís probably realistic to begin with, but nothing anyone says makes me want to ensure their continued survival. All the bitterness and swearing kind of makes me want to go hang out with the Infected. At least theyíll play with me.