I’ve decided to start a thing called ‘E3 Quickies’ for all of the games that I was only given a short time with. Please keep in mind all of these opinions are based on very brief hands-on time with the title and the judgements will be very rash, and based mostly on quick observations and assumptions.
The team behind Dead Island really know how to nail down a cinematic. The first trailer for the game made huge waves in the community with its frightening slow motion teaser played in reverse with a haunting piano theme reminiscent of TV’s Lost playing throughout. If obtaining buzz was their goal, they definitely accomplished it.
I was expecting a little more buzz around the game at E3, but the two times I had made my way over there, the six stations it was being demoed on didn’t seem to be getting the attention I was hoping for. Though in its defense, Square Enix had a solid lineup of games for people to check out. Nearby was a huge screen showing off some new story footage of the game, and as always it was done exquisitely. Like I said before, they really know how to nail a cinematic. But the big question remained, would the game be any good?
My extremely brief time with the game was quite a let-down in comparison to the attention the story and promotional videos was receiving. It felt like a slightly more realistic take on Left 4 Dead. Again, my time with it was super brief. The game allowed for a 5 minute play-through, and I began mine near the end of someone else’s slot. In my time with the game I was surrounded by a group of 3-4 zombies slowly cornering me as I tried to take them out melee style with a wrench (I think). I swung until my eventual death. To be honest, I don’t feel good passing any judgement on how the game will turn out based on my short time with it, but I can confidently say the feel of Dead Island did strike me too similarly to the way Left 4 Dead did the first time I played it. But I do have faith that there’s more to it than what I saw, and that the main story could hopefully be compelling enough to give it a fresh edge.