Now that the dust has almost settled on the blood-stained streets of HELL-A in Dead Island 2, it is time to get something off my chest. Something that has been affecting my moral compass since 2014 when myself and my two best friends played through the original Dead Island in co-op mode, from start to finish.
I won’t say I have sleepless nights over it, or come out in a cold sweat whenever I think about what we did, because I maintain it made the game a much better experience for us all.
But I cheated way to the full 1250G in the original Dead Island game. And not just a little bit. Substantially too.
First, some context. Me and my two friends – who shall remain anonymous for this heinous act – would occasionally plan ‘Xbox weekends’. But we weren’t half-arsing these by sitting online with a headset to communicate with one another. Three players, three TVs, three Xbox consoles, one living room. Our respective other halves weren’t forcibly ejected from the living room, but we didn’t leave them with much choice either.
During our Xbox weekends we have played through many different games: Zombie Army Trilogy, every single heist in Grand Theft Auto Online, Remnant: From the Ashes and more. Dead Island though, remains our favourite; the camaraderie we had whilst playing it hasn’t been bettered since. We assigned NPCs a host of different names – usually expletives – and we still quote the game to each other from time to time. It only takes one of us to open something even remotely fizzy and another will shout “Ooooo, champagne!”. If you know, you know.
Despite this, when the definitive version of Dead Island arrived on Xbox One, we all vowed we would never return to the island of Banoi. Mainly because we weren’t sure if the cheat we employed would work again.
Dead Island allowed for four players to play online together in one game. Despite there only being three of us, we left a slot open in public for those matchmaking to join us. This was for two reasons: One, another friend may occasionally join and two, there was an achievement called People Person that required you to play with ten different co-op partners for 15 minutes each. Once their 15 minutes were up, we politely booted them out. Should they join again, we weren’t so polite.
It was the Xbox 360 era, a different time.
However, there was one particular person we allowed to stay a bit longer.
As normal, they arrived into the game close to where we were fending off the undead. As we were just in Act 2, the sight of them with a gun was an unknown entity to us at this stage. We were impressed.
During a moment of downtime from splashing the innards of zombies all over the place however, this random player dropped a gun on the floor. He then proceeded to start shooting at it. Now, anyone who has played an online game will tell you that this non-verbal method of communication is the other player telling you quite clearly to pick the gun up. And my friend was only too happy to oblige.
The beauty of all being in the same room was that we all saw instantly that this gun was no ordinary pistol. It didn’t quite have unlimited ammo, but the ammo number was so high that it would never have mattered. It also only had a clip size of one, but when tested that just meant it never needed reloading. He then decided to take it out for a live-fire exercise.
I feel sorry for those first zombies he encountered. They were guinea pigs as he tested out the gun, but they were very much dead guinea pigs. This gun was essentially the golden gun from GoldenEye 007, except it wasn’t made of gold. It did however, kill everything with one bullet.
Spoilers: We used the gun for the rest of our time with Dead Island.
Now, at this point, my other friend and I were rightly feeling a bit left out. But my friend wasn’t a greedy person and was only more than happy to trade with us.
I have spent a fair bit of time in the years since trying to find any mention of this one-hit-kill gun from Dead Island, but it doesn’t appear to have been a common glitch/exploit/bug/mod due to the lack of information out there regarding it. Weapon duplication due to multiplayer trading though is a far more common glitch. And whilst I stress we stumbled upon this aspect of our cheating ways by accident, needless to say, it wasn’t long before the three of us had several versions of this unique weapon in our inventory. We were also victims of the weapon disappearing glitch, so we wanted to counteract that where possible. I am aware how hypocritical that sounds.
What followed can only be described as a riot. We ran through those undead walkers without a care in the world. We were essentially invincible because they never even got close enough to attack us. Even the special infected were down in one shot, with the only enemy requiring more than one being the final boss. It was a blast.
But whilst these guns negated any sort of difficulty, we still had to play the game. That meant running from A to B, completing quests and collecting items. It just meant we weren’t bogged down by having to struggle through the boring bits such as weapon degradation. And I will maintain that any method of cheating should be allowed to not have to deal with that – the worst of all videogame mechanics.
The gun also made absolute mincemeat of the wave-based arena DLC, for what it’s worth.
So yeah, I will hold my hands up and say I cheated in Dead Island to get every achievement and fully complete the game. But I will also maintain that my friends and I had one of our greatest Xbox weekends thanks to that, and it is a game we still hold in high regard. I guess in a way, we have been searching for the next Dead Island since. Not in terms of cheating, but in terms of all-out fun. Remnant: From the Ashes came close but only because my friends played it so much out of multiplayer that they were a bit overpowered, but we had unique expletive names for all those enemies too. So, unless those guns are present in a future version of Dead Island, it is a game we will never play again despite loving.
If you have ever accidentally cheated at a game like this, the comments section below is a safe space for a cheat amnesty.
The original Dead Island is not backwards compatible but you can play the Dead Island Definitive Edition for £12.79 on Xbox One from the Xbox Store.