Dead Island Definitive Collection – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG, Survival, Horror
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver, Square Enix
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Xbox One

Dead Island Definitive Collection – Review

Site Score
Good: Updated visuals, All DLC
Bad: Still a hefty amount of bugs, Not for those who already played the games and their DLC
User Score
(5 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.6/10 (5 votes cast)

Even though our current generation of consoles has introduced us with several original franchises, as well as new titles, it seems that developers and publishers are having a hard time coming up with new content. More and more games are getting remastered, rebooted, remade or bundled, just to keep the hype or series alive a bit longer. It seems Dead Island also jumps on the bandwagon with their Definitive Collection, even though it’s clear you’re getting a lot of content for a fair price, and at first glance, Dead Island never looked as good as it does now. We were wondering what this zombie infested franchise had in store for us, while we wait for Dead Island 2 (seeing Riptide falls outside the main series and Escape Dead Island is not incorporated in this bundle).

Dead Island Definitive Collection


The plots of both Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide are rather simple, namely you’re on an island and people are starting to turn into the living dead. For some reason, you and a handful of other people seem to be immune and thus you end up being the non-immunes’ bitch, as they won’t come out to save their own skin, and would rather mope and cry in a corner. Simple and sketchy as this may sound, it’s pretty much all there is to the game. Of course, you’ll learn a bit more about the ‘villain’, or those also interested in this sudden outbreak, but other than that, don’t expect that much story value. Riptide follows in the footsteps of the first game and pretty much starts off where Dead Island ended. You’ll find yourself on a new island ready to bust rotten skulls and drink energy drinks.


Both Dead Island Definitive Edition and Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition look quite smooth and a lot better than their original counterparts on the previous generation of consoles. While both games will not stress your current gen console at any time, things look quite detailed, and it’s clear that the developers did an effort to make the otherwise buggy originals look great. Characters move fluently, dismembering zombies looks reasonably realistic and the environments have been upscaled as well. Nonetheless, a few extra things would have been nice, namely, the world still has many small static objects, and perhaps some things tumbling down when you run against them, or some extra destructible items would have been quite nice.

Dead Island Retro Revenge offers a totally different experience, as it’s a pixilated side-scroller. You’ll be treated to a very colorful experience, which might not immediately fall under the normal Dead Island experience, but it’s a fun gimmick that’s added to the collection.

Dead Island Definitive Collection 1


Atmospherical music is what drives both Dead Island Definitive Edition and Riptide Definitive Edition, all while the environmental noises create a certain realistic backdrop. Even though the music changes pace from time to time, things remain fairly subtle for both games. The voice acting in both titles proves to be topnotch and plentiful. All dialogues are voiced and depending on what character you select, you’ll get your own pick of the litter.

Retro Revenge aims for a more upbeat soundtrack and drops the voice acting altogether. Nonetheless, the music fits the game perfectly, as it eventually all boils down to a simple arcade score beater. The music gets you pumped up enough, while never becoming a bother.


Dead Island and its not so official sequel Riptide are first person action RPGs with some survival horror elements, which all revolve around the same thing, namely escaping  from ‘islands’ with the impending zombie apocalypse in sight. You’ll be hacking, slashing and shooting walking corpses all while scavenging and completing quests for fellow survivors.

Truth be told, the mechanics of Dead Island are very simple. You’ll fight with whatever you find on your way, be it crowbars, knives, guns or even an oar, if you really have to. All of these weapons, safe for guns, which rely on ammo, decay over time if you actively use them. They slowly start breaking down, and thus you will often have to switch and look for new weapons, or upgrade existing ones, making them last longer or deal more damage. Mods are also a thing, but it takes some time to properly unlock all of them.

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You can choose between different characters (four in the first game, five in Riptide), who all have different perks and skills, which you can upgrade and unlock as you earn experience. Stomping zombies and completing quests will grant you experience, which will allow you to level up. Afterwards you’ll be able to select from a few different small skill sets, the one you’d like to level up. Depending on your playstyle, you’ll be presented with enough different options to keep things interesting.

In reality, that’s actually all there is to the Dead Island games, albeit with a hefty amount of exploring and things to discover. Our initial review of Dead Island: Riptide stated that the combat was a bit clunky and in some ways it still is, but it seems to have been smoothened a bit. Some weapons feel a bit clumsy but considering that every human being isn’t proficient with every single weapon possible it’s actually quite natural.

Both games also come with all of their original DLC, which means you’ll have a decent amount of extra content to explore. If you feel like strolling through the story, the one punch mode will offer a witty variation to the game’s normal gameplay.

Don’t be surprised when you find yourself stuck behind an invisible wall, trapped forever, or at a door  that might seem open, but the game registers as closed. We even had to kill a zombie that was ‘blocking’ the open door, thus we had to swing our weapon(s) for over 25 minutes, in order to kill it and make the game register the fact that the door was actually open. Things like this should not be an issue anymore in this reworked version of both games.

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Dead Island Retro Revenge is pretty much the complete opposite of the games described above. You’ll be running around in a side-scrolling fashion, beating the living hell out of all zombies that cross your path. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to do four attacks, high, low, normal and behind, and you’ll have to time these right and use the right one for each occasion. Zombie dogs can only be tackled with low attacks, while others require a high attack to break their guard, and so on. That being said, when scrolling through the ‘how to play’ section, you’ll be bombarded with all the different enemy types and what moves work most effectively against them.

Nonetheless, even though Retro Revenge may look like a simple score beater, the game is actually quite hard. To offer a bit of solace, you’ll have a special attack, some ‘magic’ and some power-ups scattered throughout the different levels. Other than that, the game does not hold that much substance, but offers a fun pastime.


Dead Island Definitive Collection is a fun tidbit to spend your time with while you wait for Dead Island 2, but only if you never played the games or the DLC. Players who have already played both games and their DLC, will find nothing new, except for the remastered visuals. That being said, Dead Island might never reach a stellar gameplay level, the games prove to be fun for survival enthusiasts. This collection offers simple hack-and-slash fun and Retro Revenge offers a nice change of pace if you’re not in the mood for the ‘serious’ experience Dead Island Definitive Edition and Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition have to offer.

Dead Island Definitive Collection 4

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Rating: 6.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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Dead Island Definitive Collection - Review, 6.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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