Yes, the thought of bashing zombies with your friends on a tropical island sounds like a grown-up’s dream playground. No, that does not mean a game company employee should upload the developer’s sandbox to Steam for the public.

If you purchased the friend pack of Dead Island for you and your three best zombie killing buddies yesterday, you probably know what I’m referencing. Dead Island was launched yesterday on Steam, albeit the developer’s debugging version. That’s right. If you started playing yesterday you were just a keystroke away from entering debugging mode, enabling you to fly your character all around the map.

While this sort of mayhem seems like an ideal mishap for a game that thrives on chaos, this was not necessarily the case. As the game’s horrendously low story line score but strong overall score on GameTrailers indicates, Dead Island does not have the masses excited for its rich story and character progression. Rather, the game is appealing for its multiplayer co-op mode, which has been and still remains rather dysfunctional.

Watching four friends attempt to play co-op with each other for over 4 hours last night, I could not believe the issues multiplayer mode was having. On average, only two players were connected to each other at any given point. Characters were recreated and games were recreated left and right. Constant cursing resulted. Even their Twitch.TV stream was shut down out of pure exasperation and exhaustion.

Nevertheless, the troop continues today. While there are still bugs, connection issues, and the occasional need to restart, these sighs are overwhelmingly drowned out by fits of laughter, excitement, and grown men screaming like school girls. For, when the game does connect and function, Dead Island offers zombie killing bliss.

Whether you prefer to drive over zombies, hit them with blunt objects, or punch them into submission, Dead Island offers numerous satisfying ways to let out all the aggression pent up from trying to connect with your friends. One can only hope that the current bugs are corrected quickly so that we are free to expunge zombies without interruption. However, with the last patch having created more problems than it solved, the launch for Dead Island is looking nearly as dismal as the fate of its infected inhabitants.

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