Dead Island has always been different than Dying Light in nature, in that Dying Light focuses a lot more on mobility. This is a jab in multiple ways because when I first started playing Dead Island, most of the experience was running out of stamina while trying to desperately stomp things to death, trudging slowly through the landscape/dying frustratingly, or experiencing insane loading times.
With the Definitive Editions released, however, my interest was piqued to give this series a second try. I have to say, the update to the graphics and engine (thus loading times also greatly improved) was a huge plus. The game became 'playable', and infinitely less frustrating.
With that said, the game's greatest weakness is the expectations that now come with the Zombie genre. Games like Dying Light have set the bar very high for the zombie first-person niche. With a game focused on high mobility, satisfying weapons, and a story that has at least some semblance of a substance, Dead Island is overshadowed in practically every way. It has a snoozer story, worse characters, frustrating travel/map, and less satisfying combat.
With that said, the Definitive Edition, with its upgrade to engine and graphics, was a welcome plus. The fact that I was able to finish the game from start to finish is a testament to how far this series had come. Overall, I'd say if you're a hardcore zombie fan, it's not a terrible way to go.