A Simple Question: Dead Island

Dead Island released for many people yesterday, and if it wasn’t for a certain trailer, you probably would have never known.  Generating mixed reviews (Stay tuned to Platform Nation for our review in the coming days), the zombie slaying game is being accused of being rushed, lacking story, and trying to take on too much.  And while praises for the game exist (such as its open world, multiplayer, fun factor, and length), it seems the negative vibe is the one felt most with this game.  I can’t help but wonder:

Did Dead Island’s well-received trailer set unrealistic expectations, and doom the actual game?

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The first time I saw the trailer, I was floored.  The haunting and tragic piano being played throughout set the perfect stage for what was being shown: a family being torn apart by a zombie horde.  The use of both forward and backwards moving video, as well as a focus on the young girl who could not be saved made the video all the more powerful. I remember watching it a few times after, enthralled with the world I was seeing, and the scene being played before me.  It was only on the third or fourth playthrough that I started to think about what kind of game Dead Island could be.  RPG? Survival Horror? Action Adventure? It didn’t matter, nothing would ever match the power of those 3 minutes I was just witness to.  I wanted to believe that Dead Island would be a game with powerful characters and a gripping story that would have me as emotionally invested over the course of 20 hours as I was for the 3 minutes in that trailed.  I wanted to believe, because Techland moved me.  And it’s exactly this reason that I think Dead Island was doomed before it ever released: we fell in love with a clip, not a game. It’s not particularly fair, but it’s the reality I am seeing for the game.

What do you think? Was there any way that Techland could have possibly lived up to the hype around the trailer? How would you have made the game?  Vote above, and comment below!

A Simple Question (ASQ) is a weekly segment for Platform Nation. Each week on Monday, I’ll ask a question on Twitter at #PNASQ. Give a response and let the world know what you think; there is no right or wrong answer here. If you have a suggestion for a question, hit me up on twitter @vttym.


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  • Karnagerulz

    I have not seen a negative review of this game yet so this is a 1st, I also havent seen the trailer your refering to yet. I simply got this game because it looks different Ive played too many zombie games over the past few years and its almost always the same heres your gun and ammo now blast everything undead…this has become so typical that I looked into games that are not in my norm like Dead Rising 2 (PS3) Im tired of the same MO and Im hoping this is

  • Trailer made me buy the game.  Game is nothing like the trailer.  Game is tedious and repetitious.  I want my money back. 

    • garus garus

      You are stupid if you buy games basing solely on CGI trailer. You got what you deserved.

      • while I think mr garuspl may have been a bit harsh in his wording, i am inclined to agree with him.  There has been more than sufficient information released about the actual game it self for you to form an opinion before purchasing. Personally, I have played and seen so many games now that I can almost tell how good a game will be just by watching at a minute or two of gameplay.  Of course, I would never base one of my reviews off of such an unfair judgment. But in the case of Dead Island, I agree the CGI trailer was fucking awesome, but I decided to pass on the game itself a long time ago after I saw the gameplay.  

  • Overlordm1a1

    Bottom lime, Dead islands game play is fresh and fun. I love it. PERIOD. No trailer can change that now. 

  • Anonymous

    A sandbox game with zombies. You accept missions from people to get weapons and equipment to fight zombies and hopefully find a way off the island. While and interesting premise I think the zombie fighting has been used to much lately. I think the game was advertized as survival horror, but it seems more about action adventure with zombies and not horror. Should have used terrorists or Somali pirates or something instead of zombies.

    • Popedizzle

      Pirates? Are you talking about Far Cry 3?

      • Anonymous

        I think the idea of zombies in games has been overused and its time to find different enemies to fight.  There are plenty of real world type enemies that could have been used.  If the story was engaging enough the whole zombie hook wouldn’t matter.  Far Cry 3, Prey 2, RAGE can be all examples of games that don’t have or need zombies, but they will probably do very well anyway.

      • Erockjenkins

        there ARE other games to fight different enemies, this game is for fighting zombies.  If you don’t wanna fight zombies…. don’t!!!

        • Anonymous

          I’m not going to.  I have no intention of buying the game.  Fortunately, for me I live in America where Freedom of Speech is guaranteed and have exercised that right.  A game like this needs more than the zombie hook to bring it together.  It has a lot of good ideas including the zombie hook itself, but I don’t see you ever finding out why all the zombies are there in the first place.  The story is non-existent.  If you have bought the game I hope you enjoy it.

          • Rambo


          • Teddy

            Still hasn’t been released here yet, but from what I’ve heard the reason the zombies are there is a central plot point and is revealed slowly throughout the course of the game….

          • Reaper

            First of. In america you have freedom of speech. A private server online like this website or various others, You do not have that freespeech. This is the internet not america. Servers are privately owned and the owner has total say on what you can or can not say.

          • Anonymous

            Since I’m in America and since this server probably is too or caters to that Western mentality I can say just about anything I want as long as I keep it civil.  So I’m going to be grateful for that opportunity and exercise my right to say whatever I want.  If you don’t have that opportunity where your at I wish you did.  Freedom of Expression is why America doesn’t go insane like other countries.  Have a nice day.

          • Demonichatered

            ^ this ^.^ ^.^

  • I haven’t played it yet myself, but I’ve only heard good things about it. “It’s not perfect, but it’s one helluva good time!”

  • Noctis171

    to dirkradke

    Oh look, another american bringing up fredom of speech. When are you going to realise that freedom of speech is a myth and your version of it is based off ignorance. It doesn’t give you the right to say whatever you want at all and it would do you good to actually learn what it is before bringing it up.

    The game was never advertised as survival horror nor did it ever portray itself as an emotional story everyone seems to think it was. They all based it falsely off one trailer that did nothing but show a “normal” zombie attack. The only reason it was thought of that is because it had a child in it and that means nothing in the slightest.

  • Justinlillico

    Reminds me of fallout but much better. And the inclusion of vehicles was a great idea. I don’t know about u guys, but the opening cinematic before the main menu was better than that trailer to me, though the trailer was also awesome :).

  • KiLSKi66

    It is a viciously violent good time. The combat is adaptive to players needs and sending heads arms and legs flying with every swing is gratifying at a deep primal level. Now I only need to find some fellow survivors on psn

  • Arty

    I find myself continuing to play the game because of the money I spent on it. The gameplay is repetitive and it feels like they did rush to release it. While there is some enjoyment to be had playing the game, I wouldn’t recommend buying it until it’s in the under $20 bin at gamestop.