Last month marked the release of Dead Island - Game of the Year Edition, a feat that some might say would test the very definition of the term "Game of the Year" itself. In an industry atmosphere plagued by constant rehashes of long-established IPs, Dead Island has been among the precious few new faces to emerge in the past couple of years.
However, a part of its success is a combination of elements from some of entertainment's most popular series, from Lost to Left 4 Dead, and its ardent fans' ability to overlook its few but undeniable flaws. Dead Island has merits, but can it be said that they amount to a "Game of the Year"?
What even makes a "Game of the Year"? A compelling original story that carefully steers clear of established tropes? A gameplay style that is easy to adapt to while challenging classic conventions? High replay value? A well-chosen setting with a strong sense of atmosphere? The list is endless.
Whatever the criteria, clearly Dead Island failed to meet it, as virtually no reputable publication has called it "Game of the Year" to date. Where did Dead Island falter? How can Deep Silver course correct when approaching Dead Island Riptide? What will it take to usher the Dead Island series into an identity totally its own,worthy of the title "Game of the Year"?