So “Dead Island”, a game about zombies on a (wait for it) island, got a bit of press a while back for a pretty gut-wrenching trailer. Basically a little short film about zombies that was pretty sad. Here! You can be sad:
So yeah, that was impressive, no? Now, the thing is there is basically not a good way to convert that sort of thing into a game. Now, I should clarify that actually you could probably take that as a challenge and produce something really interesting with similar emotional resonance. But there’s not a solid “invest $40 million” game design methodology in existence for producing that sort of art in games. The trailer depends on things that movies are good at, and frankly interactivity would likely not do much for it. I’m sure indie developers are right on that, but you’re a madman if your plan for a AAA game is “let’s see if we can make it about existential terror, and less about ‘playing'”.
So what exactly is Dead Island if it’s not a tactical weeping simulator?
Well, it’s a pretty fun looking open-world FPS/RPG game about an island populated with zombies. It seems a lot like a western studio “Dead Rising”. That is, slightly more serious and much less full of incredibly annoying boss fights and escort missions (I hope). Fun times! I don’t know why, but seeing numbers pop up when I hit something and when I kill something just makes a part of my brain tickle.
They released a pretty long chunk of gameplay for you to peruse at your leisure assuming you’ve not decided zombies are “played out” because you’ve heard it’s cool to say that:
Lots of first-person melee zombie killing. Could be fun! Certainly one to watch.