Sunday, April 29, 2012

How Dead Island Missed Its Mark

For those that don't follow the game industry that closely, last year a video game trailer shook the gaming world. The trailer, linked below, for "Dead Island" depicts how this little girl died but in reverse order. From being chased by zombies, to becoming a zombie, to trying to kill her father as a zombie. What was great about this trailer was that you were following a family who was on vacation and then watching in horror how they were overtaken by the zombie horde.

People were blown away by this. It looked as if you had to save this family from a zombie outbreak and get them to safety. How you had to save your daughter, protect your wife, and for you to continue to live so that the whole family can get to safety. Think about it, you are trying to get to a boat dock, but how do you get the family there alive? Let's see what options we have. You could carry your daughter on your back, but it will slow you down and make it harder to fend the zombies off. The wife would cover your back but she can only fend off one or two. You could send each member down a stealthy path but you have to do it in the right time or one of them could get snatched.  Or you run as a distraction and attract the zombie horde to you and let your wife and daughter run to the dock. (It would be neat if you did this option that you would play through the dad and mother. Once you got dad to a safe zone, it would reload the scene but now you’re the mom. As the player, you see that dad is doing everything you just did so now you can run your daughter to safety) The possibilities are endless.

Shortly after the trailer came out this article came out.!5775798/that-heartbreaking-dead-island-family-theyre-not-in-the-game 

What? Now you're telling me I'm essentially playing Resident Evil but on an island? How is this any different from any other zombie game? I'm ammo starved, must use what's around me, and you are trying to find out how this outbreak started. I'm sorry Techland, the developer, you missed a golden opportunity here. 

In the article they do mention that you will see small stories, side missions, about how people are affected by the zombie apocalypse. Those stories won't latch the player as much. It is like watching a daytime talk show and learning about someone who has this problem and seeing how they are now better. At the end of the day, you won't remember their story. I'd rather see one story, one family, and follow that them throughout the game. 

Then the game came out and did ok. Metacritic reviews came in at an 80 and people who played it seemed happy but said that they felt the game was lacking.

My two cents.

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