Many people welcome the thought of going to a tropical island and relaxing for hours on the beach without a care in the world. The light blue-green water washing up on white sandy beaches, and splashing against the sharp lava rocks along the shoreline. Palm trees shading them from the bright warm sunlight, as they sip brightly colored tropical drinks from coconuts with little umbrellas in them. Not a care in the world, that is until a flesh hungry monster tries to rip the still beating heart from their chest, and begins feasting on other various body parts. Beauty and horror intermingling to become one horrifying mixture is the premise to the new game Dead Island.
In the game, the Player will be allowed to pick from one of four main characters. There’s Xia Mei, an employee from the Royal Palms Resort, and from the art that’s been revealed seems to carry a katana. Sam B., a washed up rapper who had one good song, and is struggling to keep what little fame he has left, who seems fond of blunt objects. Then Logan and Purna, which Deep Silver has yet to reveal to the public, are expected to round out the cast of characters. However unlike many games the characters are not limited to simply the weapons that they start off with. In Dead Island a weapon is simply a jumping-off point because every weapon can be upgraded into many various forms. Is that machete not good enough to take down a few staggering zombies? How about an electric machete, or a shooting blade, or even a barbed wire wrapped machete? The game has a complex weapon upgrade option, which is in essence, the point of the entire game.
Dead Island has a complex RPG element, which involves leveling up both the player’s character and their weapons. Deep Silver has stated that the game will be of the 60+ hour game play variety, with many missions, and side quests to keep us all busy for weeks, disposing of the undead scourge. The entire island will be open from the very beginning, and players will be allowed to roam freely. Whether or not that’s a good idea to do has yet to be seen. For example, there might be only a few zombies in the path along a certain part of the beach, however cross the wrong dune, and there might be an entire horde of flesh eaters after the player. Much like Capcom’s Dead Rising, the Player will meet survivors along the way that will join the survivors in the Players group. However not everyone who is among the living will be on the Players side automatically. Some survivors will be looking out for themselves, or their own band of survivors, and will happily take the player’s characters and friends to take what they have. So instead of just worrying about the hordes of flesh eaters on the island, players will also have to protect themselves from other breathing threats.
Many of the fans of the survival/horror genre were in an uproar after the trailer was released; apparently angry that it was completely computer generated, and didn’t actually show any real game play. Deep Silver struck back by releasing a series of game play screenshots, and the fans once again went into an uproar, this time in a positive way. There has been such an outpouring of support for the upstart zombie title, that Deep Silver has recently released a fansite starter pack. In other recent news about the title, the North and South American release of the game will be by mega-publisher Square Enix. The company that brought Final Fantasy to the western world will also be responsible for the zombie terror Dead Island will surely bring to the gaming world.
Many zombie games come and go, and only a hand full will ever survive. Those have nothing original to offer the genre, however Dead Island looks to be one of the few that has something new to bring to the table. Will it be the next Resident Evil, or will it be the next Shellshock 2? For now we will have to wait and see, but if pre-orders here in Charlotte are any indication, than this is going to be a best seller.