If there’s one thing you absolutely need to do today, that’d be watching this Dead Island official announcement CGI trailer. Humanity’s survival depends on it. Not really, but you should watch it anyway, because it’s sublime in almost every way. That’s all I’m going to say, because I’d rather not ruin it for you.
Now for some details, courtesy of IGN. Originally announced back in 2007, Dead Island’s lack of a willing publisher had people sceptical that it would ever see the light of day. Developer Techland (Chrome, Call of Juarez) refused to just let the project wither and die, continuing their quiet work on the game for the last few years. Now they’ve found a publisher in Deep Silver, and Dead Island is good to go – and thank the gaming gods for that, because even based on the few scant details that have been revealed so far, it’s clear that there’s a ton of potential here.
You’re shoved on a tropical island paradise (a remote island called Banoi in Papua New Guinea to be precise), a major tourist attraction turned zombie-infested hellhole. You play one of the few uninfected survivors who are fighting for their lives after the outbreak. You’ll gradually work towards uncovering the mystery behind the zombie infestation in a game that promises to focus heavily on its story – despite the fact that it’s an open-world, sandbox-type game. Weapons are basically whatever you can find scattered throughout the game world. Almost anything you find can be picked up and used to break undead faces. Melee combat is key here, because firearms aren’t exactly easy to come by on the island.
There’s talk of light RPG elements, but there are very few concrete details so far. Stat progression and a skill tree have all been spoken of. The developers have labelled it a “first-person zombie-slasher/action-RPG,” and with four-player co-op (drop-in/drop-out) included in the deal, this all sounds like a mix of Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising. It’s hugely intriguing, so we’re eager for more details. For now though, go watch that trailer again.