The latest DLC for the tropical Zombie romp Dead Island has nothing to do with Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays fame, or Shaun White the snowboarder. It is all just a happy coincidence…
Instead, the Ryder White DLC takes players back to the island of Banoi and lets them expereience the Zombie outbreak from a different perspective, that of Ryder White, who will be familiar to anyone who has completed the main game. Set predominantly before the main game, the Dead Island tale is fleshed out a bit more before the DLC finally collides with the full story towards the end.
So far as telling a story is concerned, the Ryder White DLC will please anyone who just wants to see the mythology of the island expanded, explore familiar areas from a different perspective, or just wants to enjoy a good story. In this respect, the DLC does a great job and should be entertaining.
However, anyone who was hoping that this DLC would build upon the games’ core mechanics, or even offer something new, may well be disappointed.
Ryder White, the playable character from this DLC, is at a fixed level and cannot improve, aside from through the gamers’ skill, with no skill points to distribute. In many ways, this is understandable as the campaign is only short Ryder White is already a soldier who is quite capable of dealing with any pesky Zombies that may come his way. But for the players out there who found the RPG element of the main game to be the most enjoyable aspect, this is a big chunk of the appeal removed.
Another win from the main game was the inclusion of co-op, allowing players to enjoy the glorious sunshine, beautiful beaches and flesh-eating Zombies with friends. But Ryder White is a single-player affair, which again is understandable as it tells the story of a single character. Still, it is slightly disappointing.
Crafting makes a return though, with a couple of interesting new bodged-up weapons to enjoy. Although it is a shame that these can’t be taken into the main game, they are still nice to see, nonetheless. Dead Island’s entertaining melee takes a back seat in this DLC, with a lot more emphasis on gun play, which in turn is a lot more enjoyable thanks to the better availability of ammunition.
The entire story measures in at about 3-4 hours of gameplay, which is relatively short for the 800 MSPoint asking price, especially given the lack of any new areas to explore or additions for the main game. That being said though, it will certainly offer a challenge, especially towards the end when the difficulty really ramps up.
The Ryder White DLC will certainly not be bringing any new fans to the game as it offers less than the main game by way of functionality. However, anyone who has enjoyed spending time on the island will get a kick from the story, being able to see things from a different perspective and the chance to kill some more Zombies.