The control system takes a little to get used to, with weapons being mapped to the front bumper buttons for both right and left hand, though only one is wielded at a time. Management of the various sticks and paddles is a constant worry as each improvised death-dealing device will degrade over time.
Whilst there are plenty of other implements to replace those smashed earlier, we occasionally had trouble positioning the camera in order to trigger the 'action button'; this is not much fun in a zombie hoard crises moment.
Connecting against the rotting head of an attacker is satisfying, and the combat is certainly up-close and personal in Dead Island, occasionally we had to hit the quick-time sequence of buttons to throw off a zombie that was in our face. Much blood flows during the battles, and some of the zombies can take quite a beating before going down for good.
There was one boss-type battle we were exposed to in the first hour of play, adding a layer of strategy to the combat, but other than that, fun times with blunt melee weapons, and then discovering a drivable vehicle (perfect for mowing down dazed undead pedestrians) meant pretty straight forward combat experience.
There is an RPG layer that we manage to touch upon. Mere hours earlier we were fattening up with a lazy all-you-can-eat free buffet, now we were investing points into zombie-blasting abilities depending on our new-found combat preferences.
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