Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jun 10, 2011

Dead Island Details Shambling From E3 [E3 2011]

Dead Island is a game that I have had my eye on ever since it was announced. I am a sucker for zombie games, and the whole “zombie apocalypse” idea just gets my gears turning. When the guys at Deep Silver announced that Dead Island was coming, I was already in the water waiting to get to that tropical island of horror.

The first Dead Island trailer released back in February, and it was so captivating I was literally left speechless. Deep Silver provided an extremely emotional experience in the announcement trailer, pulling fans in the gut all over the globe. The graphics in the trailer were only a preview into what the company had in store for us all, and now that E3 has rolled out, we’ve gotten a hold of more details regarding this great zombie title.

Dead Island isn’t your normal zombie FPS title. The game focuses more on melee combat, forcing players to get up close and personal with the horde, all while including an RPG infrastructure that allows for upgrading skills, stats, and more. Players can pick up paddles, cleavers, swords, and other items that cross their path and use them to fight for their lives. Kicking enemies is also allowed, which makes the combat a bit more personal. From the get-go the combat in the game is definitely not for the weak-hearted. It’s literally horrifying. The way that the zombies grab on to you, the way that it’s displayed graphically in the game, it instills that fear in you that you’re fighting for your life. Instead of mowing down the hordes of undead like in other games, you feel more inept to maneuver around them, avoiding them all together. Partly out of fear, partly out of pure strategy.

The game also incorporates a fatigue system, in which running, jumping, and fighting all drain the amount of energy you have. Over time, the gauge replenishes, but it’s not like lightning. This factor alone makes Dead Island different from the other titles out there – it’s a game focused on exploration and survival, not grabbing huge guns and blowing enemies away left and right. This pits the player against tough decisions right from the start. Do you avoid these idle enemies to have enough energy for the group ahead? Do you use your energy to rescue a survivor locked in a jeep, leaving yourself vulnerable?

Playing strategically is key in Dead Island. The environment often offers up multiple paths to any location, making exploration that much more important. The game’s minimap uses the “tilt” feature, moving and curving in attempts to redirect you to your objectives. This helps the player explore and learn new ways to get around enemies, as well as helping to avoid getting players lost on the island.

The demo wasn’t all that long, and you can see some gameplay of it below. Dead Island sure has built up a lot of hype, which I think is well deserved. We learned from Deep Silver that the game will release on September 6th this year for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Be sure to pre-order your copy as soon as you can, as I am sure this is a title that will shamble away from retailers at an alarming rate.

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