Dead Island Sloppy Launch
I was excited for the launch of Dead Island for the PC, especially when I was able to purchase it for $33.96 from Green Man Gaming. I received my game key and immediately entered it into Steam on the 2nd, preloaded the game, and waited for the game files to be unlocked at midnight this morning. After firing up the game and maxing out all the video settings, I was ready to play.
My initial thoughts on the game were mixed – the controls took a bit getting used to, especially since the character I chose had a hangover from a late night of partying. Once I got used to the controls, the game was exhilarating – unlike Left 4 Dead, all you have is melee weapons to start with and zombies take several hits to be killed. They continue to get up and small groups of them can easily overpower you and knock you on your ass.
After playing for 10 minutes and making it to a safe house, I was prompted that I can join someone else online in cooperative gameplay. Co-op made everything work better, since I wasn’t overpowered so easily, but the hordes of zombies also increased to try and keep the difficulty level higher. After playing for a bit, the game started to glitch out – I wasn’t able to move my character and zombies are approaching me quickly. I start thinking I brought up a chat box or something, so I start pressing keys; Esc, Enter, T, Y… all of a sudden, now there’s no UI or HUD, but I can move around. Great… now I’m in a no-clip mode. I start flying around and exploring, while trying to figure out what’s going on. As I’m zipping through the maps, the game goes nuts and crashes. I re-launch the game, pretty upset at the moment, but figure it was some glitch, I’ll get passed it. Nope.. after another 10 minutes or so, I get into the same scenario. My inventory from last savepoint was gone, but I assumed this was part of playing online in the game. I found the key that engaged the ‘noclip’ mode – “Y” and found I could turn it on and off. I launched myself 20 feet into the air and disengaged noclip and my character didn’t find this amusing and started screaming.
Now onto why this happened… It appears that in the haste of rushing this game for a US September 6th launch and with no public beta testing, Techland / Deep Silver sent Valve the Dev version of their game – hence the easy access to noclip. As the complaints started rolling in, they scrambled to get a patch out to correct the blunder. Hours later, it appears that the Steam servers are finally up and the patch is already available for download.
Multiplayer and Matchmaking improvements
- Maps are now correctly synchronized when player joins during map loading
- Games now filter correctly in lobby
- After joining a coop game enemies now spawn correctly
User guidance improved. (Quest guidance, UI, shop)
Additional Interface polishing
- Map tracking now works correctly after loading checkpoints
- Health and stamina bars of enemies now display correctly in coop.
- Locations of invisible NPCs are no longer shown
- More than one player can now use the same ladder simultaneously
- Focus on items in shops is not changing after operation (sell, buy)
- Additional Interface polishing
- Fixed displaying gather rings near some door
Player death behavior improved
- Respawn position now saved when playing in cooperative mode
- If player dies whilst inside vehicle, menu will now be hidden
Save game mechanics extended
- Added distinction between quest checkpoints and other saves
Minor animation fixes
- AI animation now displays correctly after fast travel or travel through portals
- Improved enemy awareness (zombies)
- Enemies reaction to fire adapted
- Enemies are now able to successfully reach player on some arenas
- Shooting enemies no longer spawn infinitely
Balancing changes in difficulty
- Item level will be calculated correctly when playing in second playthrough
- Kick interrupting reload now adapted; after clip is inserted reload is treated as successful
- Health regeneration is now disabled during grab.
- More HP for all escorted NPCs
- Removed all instances of Butcher during escorts
- Purna can gain bonus rage from both ?Grim Inspiration? and ?Inspiring Kick?
- Only “Walker” type enemies increase the extra XP of the “Combo” skill from Xian?s Survival skill tree
Pause Option added
- Added information about players requesting pause (Co-op)
Looting rules improved
- Thrown items now cannot be picked up by another player for 5 minutes.
- Items from just-opened containers cannot be picked up by another player for 5 seconds.
Minor graphical glitches fixed.
- Rectified occasional graphical glitch with NPC’s hands bending awkwardly
- Animations now display correctly when trading
- Stomper animation now displays correctly when same target is hit by another player
Sound bugs fixed
- Volume of pickup’s engine has been increased
Quest bugs removed
- All side quests in Laboratory can now be successfully completed
- Potential walkthrough blocker removed when quest “Knockin’ on Heaven?s Door” is completed before talking to Dominik during “On the air” quest
We’ll bring a review for the game next week after we get done testing all the features and the online mode more extensively.