Dead Island is a title I wasn’t really expecting to see coming from Square Enix, of all people. I mean, it’s not the most random thing that I’ve seen come out of them, but it’s definitely a unique title to their library.
The premise of Dead Island follows your more typical zombie horror flicks. You’re enjoying yourself at a party, getting drunk to all hell, and then all of a sudden zombies start ruining everything, as zombies tend to do. From that point, you’re basically trying to survive on an island full of things that want to bite your face off.
Unfortunately, during all of my adventures at Comic Con, and all the time I could spend on other games, I was only allowed five minutes of playtime with Dead Island (including dialogue sequences) for some lame reason, so my actual playtime with it was limited. I’ll do my best to give the juicy details.
Dead Island has some tidbits that are similar to most zombie oriented titles, but also some things that are unique to the formula. The usual zombie avoidance part is still prevalent, albeit in a FPS format, similar to the likes of Left 4 Dead or Killing Floor. However, one of the more unique aspects is the emphasis on character interaction and story. You can actually take on quests where you need to do things such as help out other people on the island, hold a specific place, and more. Along the way, you may even run into other events, such as a passerby trying to fight off zombies, or a person trapped in a car amidst a horde of undead freaks. It helps to keep things more interesting, compared to your usual zombie shooting affair where you just shoot everything that moves.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t really much else to look at during the course of my playtime. There were hints of some sort of crafting system, where you could pick up random objects that zombies have on them in order to make something else, weapon durability, as well as RPG elements such as experience and skill trees, but that’s about the extent of what I got during my limited playtime. I couldn't even finish the quest I had undertaken, which was to find and hold a lifeguard post.
If you want a more story driven zombie blasting experience, then Dead Island may be right up your alley. For those who want a bit more, you may want to wait for more information to pop up before putting down five bucks for a preorder.