Dead Island Definitive Collection

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Dead Island Definitive Collection Game Poster Image
Bloody, intense zombie collection only good for series fans.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Story of survival where people often help each other, but theme of camaraderie largely drowned out by bloody violence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Playable characters have dark pasts, such as a football player who killed a woman during a street race. They try to find some redemption in heroic acts helping strangers on island, but these acts consist largely of vicious combat.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but zombies are fast, combat can be very challenging, especially if player isn't equipped with right weapons.


Extreme melee violence; players chop at zombies with knives, axes, many other makeshift weapons. Blood gushes, screams heard with each strike. Guns -- rifles, shotguns, and the like -- explosives, vehicles can also be used to kill enemies. The more violent the kill, more likely it will result in gore, including severed heads, amputated limbs, injuries that reveal internal organs.


Many female characters wear skimpy bikinis. A line of text references incestuous molestation.


Frequent strong language, including "s--t," "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Player's character can consume alcohol, causing first-person view to distort in imitation of drunkenness.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dead Island Definitive Collection is a first-person shooter and melee combat game that pits players against an island full of zombies. Fighting is frenetic, intense, and often gory. Characters literally use whatever they can get their hands on -- pipes, paddles, diving knives, and more -- to fend off undead aggressors that come so close they virtually fill the screen. Even long-range gun combat can result in lots of blood and severed body parts. The playable characters are a motley crew with shady pasts, but they seem to be genuinely interested in helping most of the other survivors they come across. It's a resort island, so players will see lots of women (and zombie women) in skimpy bikinis. Some characters curse profusely, and the heroes can drink alcohol and get drunk, causing the player's window into the world to blur.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDaniel Gellar February 20, 2020

Perfectly fine for teens

Great game with just a bit of gore but most teens are used to by other media.
Adult Written byTodchuminski June 17, 2020

Fine for muture 11 year old kids.

Hi, this game is the same thing as dying light and is even using the same engine ( for looks and graphics) but in some parts look even wires, it has less graphi... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byGameplayPigeon June 14, 2020

If they’re mature

There is a bit of gore (similar to most current games) but other than that there isn’t really a lot.

Fun zombie game but not as good as dying light, which was... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMr.ChrisGold June 15, 2016

Bloody, Gory, Violent...

The title says it all, contains overloads of blood and gore, chopping zombies with knives axes ETC. I don't know why a parent would buy there 12 year old k... Continue reading

What's it about?

DEAD ISLAND DEFINITIVE COLLECTION puts a pair of older but popular zombie games -- Dead Island and its sequel Dead Island Riptide -- into a single bundle. Both games take place on isolated islands that have been overrun with zombies. Players choose from a quartet of heroes, all with dark or at least shadowy pasts, who are immune to the outbreak. Using anything they can find as a weapon -- including wooden boards, hammers, shovels, and countless other items (often combining them with other items to craft even more powerful weapons) -- their primary objective is simply to survive and escape. They also find and help other survivors along the way and work to accomplish plenty of side objectives. Both games have been visually enhanced for the Definitive Collection release and include bonuses such as a One-Punch mode that lets players pound zombies with superpowered fists and a bonus game called Dead Island Retro Revenge, a side-scrolling brawler designed to emulate the look and feel of games released a quarter century ago, though with significantly increased blood and gore effects.

Is it any good?

This collection is for two kinds of players: those who didn't play the original games but always meant to, and those who loved them so much they've been itching to play through them all over again. Everyone else -- including people who played but didn't absolutely adore these games in their previous-generation incarnations -- can safely pass it by.

To be sure, both have been polished up nicely for current-generation consoles, sporting noticeably improved character models and better surface textures that place them nearly on par with many contemporary games. But enhanced graphics alone don't make a game worth buying a second time. And while the one-punch mode is novel for a while, it won't be enough of a gimmick to keep most players entertained for the 50-plus hours it takes to finish both games. The only really fresh aspect of the experience is Dead Island Retro Revenge, a completely separate game that mixes old-school brawling with a more modern lane-based endless-runner design. It has dozens of levels of increasing difficulty and requires a surprising amount of strategy. Still, you'll need to have a soft spot for early '90s arcade games to appreciate and be wooed by what it's trying to accomplish. Deep Silver clearly put some work into Dead Island Definitive Collection, but it's better considered a love letter to the series' truest fans than a reason for average gamers to revisit this gory extravaganza.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Have you ever physically flinched from an attack while playing a violent game? What might that say about your level of immersion and the impact of the violence?

  • Talk about strong language in games. Sometimes writers use profanity to create more authentic dialogue, and other times it's used for shock value, but have you ever played a game where the language felt too harsh or frequent for the scenes in which it was spoken?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate