Dead Island: Ryder White|
The folks at Techland have seen fit to extend the gameplay of Dead Island through the release of the add-on pack Dead Island: Ryder White. The $10 DLC pack chronicles the adventure of Dead Island’s villain, Australian Colonel Ryder White, on his mission to contain the infected masses within the confines of Banoi City, and the subsequent attempt to rescue his wife Emily from the island’s prison.
The $10 (800MS) DLC pack delivers a more traditional first-person shooting experience than the melee-focused original – arming the titular Colonel to the teeth with rapid-fire weaponry and plenty of ammo rather than boards and pipes. The detailed weapons upgrade system is still in play, but to a much lesser degree than in the original. Still, I found it as much (if not more) enjoyable to blast away at enemies than I did at whacking them with a 2x4.
The Ryder White campaign takes a mere three hours to complete, but that is plenty of time to enjoy the story from the perspective of the reluctant villain blasting through waves of the very same enemies that haunted our characters in the original storyline. The action is undeniably more frantic and intense, and the linear gameplay structure does away with much of the incessant fetch-questing and aimless wandering of the original.
The only bummer is that Ryder White’s campaign is single-player only and cannot be played cooperatively – which was one of the big draws of the original Dead Island. And to be honest, if there were a mission to be played cooperatively, Ryder White’s is the one – as gunning down the masses of infected would be much more enjoyable (and manageable) with a partner.
On the presentation end, the Ryder White DLC seamlessly integrates itself into the original title, becoming an additional campaign option from game menu. The add-on does little to improve on the original game’s visuals and sound – and even comes with its share of puzzling software glitches that will leave you scrambling to pick up weapons that appear on the screen but are not registered by the game.
Finally, for all you Xbox Achievement Whores – be warned that your $10 investment in the Ryder White campaign will net you no additional achievement points. Technical glitches aside, Ryder White’s linear FPS campaign is enjoyable – at times even more so than the original title. There are times when we all simply want to run from objective to objective, blasting anything that gets in our way. But with the lack of cooperative play, and no achievement points, the incentive to continue plodding through the campaign gets harder and harder to realize, and by the end of the three-hour trip, Ryder White feels more like work than it does like fun.
At a cost of $10, Ryder White hardly breaks the bank, but there are some really great titles to be found for that same cash. This one is necessary only for serious fans of Dead Island.