Somehow, Dead Island Became A Fun DOTA-Style Game

I got a beta code for Dead Island:Epidemic. I didn't love Dead Island. I couldn't get into DOTA 2. So I didn't expect to enjoy this game at all, but it's actually a very accessible version of the biggest competitive games in the world.


Around the time I started at Kotaku, I actually spent a dozen hours playing DOTA 2 tutorials, determined to learn the game. Something about it just never clicked with me, and I was never able to get into it. So when I got Dead Island: Epidemic, I wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. Except I actually kind of enjoyed it.

The first big thing I noticed is that you run around using the WASD keys, which feels far more natural to me than constantly clicking. The other is that there's no item shop to worry about during a match, so there's no massive list of items to learn about. Those two changes alone make the game far easier to jump right into for a player without any MOBA experience.


The goal of the game is also different. Instead of two teams fighting to cross the map and destroy the enemy base, DIE (get it? Zombies?) has three teams trying to collect supplies and return them to their base. This is done by capturing control points on the map, killing zombies, and occasionally a "hoarder", which functions somewhat like DOTA's Roshan.

The game is in closed beta for PC, you can sign up on the game's site here.

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This game is actually much better than you'd think from just hearing "Dead Island MOBA". One thing the article part of this post (didn't watch the video) doesn't even mention is the co-op mode; it's just 4 people and you run through a map defending points for a few waves each, then you fight a boss. Each run of that is about 12ish minutes (if you get a decent time). I've been playing since the last major overhaul that makes it like it is now (the upgrade system was much different in the previous version of the game).

Edit: Also wanted to mention that I really don't care for this genre of game but I actually enjoyed this one. So if MOBAs aren't your thing, still give this a look.