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.