Warning: Some Spoilers Ahead (No Plot Spoilers Though)
Been playing quite a bit of Dead Island lately, and so far I’ve been on a good run with my first-ever character (Sam B., the One-Hit Wonder Rapper) in the game. Am currently on Chapter 8, having moved out from the confines of the resort and into the wider world of Banoi’s mainland city, Moresby.
At this point, I was feeling that I had finally gotten the hang of zombie-killing. In Dead Island though, you’re never really quite safe- the game levels up with you, so grinding too much won’t make you invincible. Far from it- even slow Walker zombies can kill you if you’re stupid, and the always-chilling Infected- the most rabid and dangerous of the common enemies- can kill you in a flash. Getting mobbed by groups of zombies is almost a sure way to die, so the best thing is to run- to either flee (although enemies will pursue you for a while) or give yourself room so you can take on enemies one at a time.
The most effective and trouble-free tactic I’ve learned though in the urban sprawl of Moresby is to use the many derelict cars. Zombies after you? Jump on a car. Even that low height is usually enough to keep you safe, even if the undead are really only inches away. From there on your lofty perch, simply kneel down and strike at the bastards with abandon. Soon your sanctuary will be surrounded with the bloody ruin of their bodies. Bliss.
Aside from this, I’ve been making it my priority to look for exceptional weapons and modify the hell out of them. After a while, I had amassed quite an arsenal, which included several wicked-looking electrified or skull-crushing wrenches that would make Jack Ryan green with envy.
I tallied my count of items- miscellaneous stuff you use for mods or just selling off- and I saw several bottles of Champagne. Remembering a side mission for a drunk Russian gal who paid in diamonds for every bottle of the bubbly, I hustled back to the resort to cash in. On the way of course was the token gauntlet of zombies- mostly fodder walkers and one Thug. Thugs are, of course, the routine Boss of the game, a tank-like zombie who can knock you down on your ass with a single swipe. Sadly I haven’t really mastered fully the timing of attacking these brutes in close, so I opted to just throw my arsenal at him from a distance.
I lured him away from the dock and into the water, where we could be alone- and I started pelting him- soon, he was looking like a walking pincushion, with my modified electrified wrenches, nailed bats and upgraded paralyzing machetes sticking out of him. For good measure, I’d slip in a safe kick every now and then, grab a weapon right from him, and throw it again. He was a tough sucker, but I was whittling him down. Soon, he was down to about a fourth of his life bar. Victory was in sight. Just a couple more good throws.
Suddenly, I heard something shuffle and groan off in my peripheral vision, and I turned- and lo and behold what was standing there was a goddamn Suicider Zombie- a walking, pulsating pile of pus that exploded with nuclear ferocity if something sneezed on it. I didn’t do anything, but for some reason- perhaps the Thug hit it or what- the damn creep detonated. At that distance, there was no escape- I was dead.
Of course, death in Dead Island is not permanent- you respawn after a few seconds, just minus a portion of your cash. But in this case, I also lost something else- MY FREAKIN’ WEAPONS, which were stuck on the damn Thug! Unfortunately, instead of respawning me right where I died, the game threw me at a checkpoint area, some distance away from the actual place. The Thug was nowhere in sight, along with my weapons. GONE, into reset oblivion. I was fuming and foaming at the mouth- ALL my hard-earned gear was gone! I quit the game, hoping that I would be reverted to an earlier save with all my stuff intact- but nope- I was trapped right there, post-Suicider Explosion, bereft of all my cool stuff.
WHAT THE HELL!!!!! I have to admit, I was cursing and cussing for about an hour after in disbelief at the incredible bad luck. That a turtle-fast Suicider was able to creep up on me undetected, while we were in the middle of the water was inconceivable. I was convinced the game just got pissed at me and threw me a bloody curve. What an ass!!!
Anyway, in the end what could you do but pick yourself up and start all over again. I went off and restarted my arsenal-hunting, and as of this reading my gear is even cooler and more zombie-killinglicious than ever before. Suffice to say though, unless I’m in a locked room with a Thug, I won’t be throwing my gear so readily from now on.
Back to playing then…