Now Playing: Risking death for some vitamin C in Dead Island
This article originally appeared in issue 232 of PC Gamer UK.
A hidden menace lurks behind the horror of Dead Island’s undead invasion. The dreadful spectre of vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy would not be high on my list of worries in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, but who am I to argue? I’m just a high-heeled lady with a cleaver and resistance to zombification.
The real leader here is head survivor NPC John Sinamoi. He knows what he’s doing. Probably. But when he asks me to go out into the zombie-infested wilderness for orange juice, it’s hard to take him seriously. Partly because my co-op partner Tom Hatfield has wedged himself between me and John and is squatting up and down like a loon, but mostly because what the hell?
It’s OK. We’re pros. Tom H has got a big stick. We can do it. Where’s the juice? “Up in the hills.” Oh, you mean the incredibly dangerous hills we were told never to visit because we would need an armoured car to survive? Right.
We take a pickup truck instead and power our way uphill, swerving into roadside zombies at every opportunity. The objective marker is far beyond the beachfronts we’ve explored before. It leads us to an abandoned convenience store, where we crash through the zombie hordes shambling in front and dive out, weapons ready.
The undead are everywhere. Outside the store there’s a huge pool of sparking, electrified water. A hideous “Uuuuuuuugh!” comes from within. It’s a Thug, one of Dead Island’s toughest creatures.
We slash through the hordes, fighting our way inside with a barrage of flying kicks. It is dark. We proceed carefully, weapons at the ready. A drinks machine hums quietly. The place seems deserted. Perhaps there isn’t anything in here after- “Uuuuuuuugh!”
Oh God it’s behind me. SMACK. I’m sent flying across the room.
“I’m coming!” shouts Hatfield. He charges the eight-foot creature and whacks it uselessly with his plank. “It’s not working!” he cries. As I stand up, I spot four boxes of juice. I start lugging one towards the door. The Thug throws Hatfield across the room as I waddle slowly past with my prize.
Outside, I dump it in the truck. “I’ve got the juice!” I say. “I’m dying!” screams Hatfield.
There comes a time in every zombie apocalypse when a man must choose between orange juice and his friends. I linger beside the driver’s seat of the truck for a moment. Could I just... drive away?
No! I quick-select my finest cleaver and charge back into the darkness, to finish the Thug once and for all. I see it towering over Hatfield, slowly moving in for the kill. I dive at it, activating a high-powered backstab right into its spine. The monster doesn’t even react.
Time for plan B: desperate random screaming and slashing. The Thug slowly turns around, enormous arm pulled back for a savage swing. Hatfield limps away from the distracted creature. I dodge around it and we both back out of the doorway into the light.
“Get in the truck! Get in the truck!” shouts Hatfield. We’re barely outpacing the monster behind us. It emerges into the sun and roars. We dive into the front seats. I gun the engine and throw the vehicle into reverse, flattening the Thug with a dull whump. Everything is quiet. The floor is slick with giblets. The electrified water fizzes quietly. We’ve done it.
How is it not dead? “We’ve got the juice, just go!” I oblige. We skid out of the car park and bomb down the hill away from the convenience store. Our work here is done. Tonight, the living citizens of Banoi Island will drink Tequila Sunrises