Dead Island – Ryder White Campaign Review

Back in September of 2011 Techland released their most anticipated title, Dead Island. As the game launched, it was a bloody mess. After a few patches later, the game finally worked and the DLC train could start to roll in. Following the launch of the Blood Bath Arena, Techland have finally released the next Dead Island campaign titled ‘Ryder White’s Campaign’. Should players fork over their money for this DLC, or should it be forgotten with the rest of Banoi?

Set during the events of the main Dead Island story. Colonel of the Australian Defense Force, Ryder White, is given the task to be deployed on Banoi to contain the outbreak. When Ryder White and his team arrive the whole island has already been taken over by the infected. During the course of the story, players will explore the city of Moresby once more, along with the entire prison level to uncover the secrets of the island. Unlike the main campaign, Ryder White has more of a motivated and superior story than the main campaign. This story basically tells how Ryder isn’t really a bad guy, but just a big tool in the end. It’ll make you feel quite sorry for the poor fellow.

As good as the story is, the core gameplay has been untouched, bar a few reductions in the overall mechanics. The core gameplay of using melee, guns, kicks, survival, and modification of weapons is still there. Sadly, other mechanics have been completely removed. This would include leveling up, co-op campaign, the skill tree, and the open-world of Banoi. Stripping most of the gameplay for a more streamlined and linear adventure is good and bad for this campaign. It may offer a more narrative tale, but it tears apart most of the core gameplay. The bad news is that it will feel restrictive by eliminating most of the features listed above.

The overall presentation of Dead Island is good, but still suffers from technical issues. The graphics of the island are basically the same gorgeous looks with a lot of variety thrown in, but the issue of screen tearing still persists. voice work however has been improved, Ryder’s scripting and dramatic quality stands above the work featured in the original campaign. Ryder doesn’t sound like a stereotypical person, he actually gives life and emotion to the story at hand. Audiophiles will find nothing distinguishably different here though as sound effects and music are all reused from the on-disc sound banks.

Dead Island has grown over the months of being released. Techland has addressed all problems that plagued the game from the start and have finally released all the DLC needed for the game. The Ryder White Campaign is a good addition to the Dead Island storyline. It offers a good immersive tale from beginning to end. The core gameplay is still there, but with reduction in most of the elements that were found in the main campaign. The presentation hasn’t changed, the same gorgeous graphics remain as do the same niggling technical issues. Though the voice work for Ryder is better than the original characters, the soundtrack has simply been reused with nothing that wasn’t already on the disc being present. Overall, the Ryder White Campaign is a good, but is still has a long way to go to be great. If you want to uncover most of the hidden truths within the Dead Island storyline, then this DLC is for you.

Final Score: 3.5/5


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