Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Impressions: Your first look at Dead Island

11:00 AM on 02.17.2011 // Hamza CTZ Aziz

Hey, remember Dead Island?! No? That's okay, since the last time we saw some real info on this project was back in 2009. Developer Techland and publisher Deep Silver have been quietly working on their zombie title for the past few years now and Destructoid was among the select few who got an early look at the updated game.

Imagine Borderlands set on the Just Cause 2 island with the Left 4 Dead style of zombies, featuring a quest system similar to Fallout 3 and the weapons system of Dead Rising 2. Blend all of that together, and you get Dead Island; or, as Deep Silver likes to refer to it, a "first-person zombie slasher action RPG."

Dead Island (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Steam, PC [Previewed])
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
To be released: Late 2011

The first thing that needs to be stated about Dead Island is that it is just visually gorgeous. The Chrome Engine shows off the huge tropical island paradise called Banoi Island in such vivid detail, and every inch of the island -- from little villages to a large city -- can be explored. While the game isn't linear, there are some sections that need to be opened up within the main storyline in order to get to other parts of the island.

As for the story, you play as one of four playable characters who recently checked into the Royal Palms Resort hotel. While on this vacation, the player wakes up after a night of heavy partying to discover that some kind of zombie outbreak has been unleashed on the island. From here, I was shown the first mission, which serves as a sort of tutorial to the player. 

Your character has found himself holed up in a beach hut surrounded by zombies with other survivors fearing for their lives. One of the survivors begs you to go assist a lone person fending off the horde outside. The player then picks up a pipe and goes out to bash in some heads. 

Aside from the fact that the main four characters are immune to the zombie infection for some reason, they're all just normal people. So swinging the pipe will come off sloppy and wild at the start of the game. As you progress, though, your character will learn how to handle weapons better. Part of that comes from the skill tree system where you'll be able to learn new skills and upgrade abilities, such as learning the dash attack. The skill tree system wasn't shown off during this preview, but we'll have more info on how it works soon.

While there are guns, the main focus of Dead Island's combat mechanics are the melee weapons. You'll be getting your hands on pipes, machetes, shovels, bats -- even a freaking tree branch can be used as a weapon. The weapons do degrade over time and will eventually bust, so you'll have to find another weapon, or you can get it repaired at various locations on the island. Additionally, you can't simply go around swinging constantly at enemies. After a few swings, your character will be out of stamina and must catch their breath before attacking again.

Of all the features Deep Silver showed off, they seemed the most excited about how we'll be able to kill zombies. The main thing they want people to take away from Dead Island is all the gory ways you'll be able to kill the walking dead. You can chop a zombie's legs and arms off and just watch him as he flops around trying to gnaw at your ankles.

As for the zombies themselves, you'll have the standard slow zombies and the annoying running class. On top of that, there will be the special class zombies which will remind you a lot of the special infected from Left 4 Dead.

Similar to the zombies, the four playable characters each have a different play style, too. The cool thing with all of this is that friends will be easily able to jump in or out for four-player (online only) co-op fun times. Don't worry, you'll have the option of being whatever character you want so it's totally possible, for example, for four assassin characters to work together in co-op. 

While there's still a lot of work going on with Dead Island, we can expect the experience to similar to Fallout thanks to all of the sidequests you can take on. Techland really wants players to get absorbed into the story and if the trailer is any indication, we're in for a treat.

What I got to see was a really early alpha build of Dead Island. While it was pretty and the way you can chop zombies up was cool, I still need to see a lot more. More importantly, I want to get real hands on with the game and see first-hand how satisfying it'll be slicing up zombies. The entire concept sounds great and it's really refreshing to see a different type of zombie game out there. I know many of you are sick of the zombie genre, but I think there's room for one more when it comes to Dead Island.

Photo Gallery: (8 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I would really, really love if "publish now" could work without me having to post a blog multiple because the site is such a mess right now.
fitzen avatarfitzen
I got it all the way back in spring, but I still haven't finished Majoras Mask. Think I've done the first temple.. It's hard not knowing where to go. All those linear corridors and objective markers in games has made me dumb and impatient.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
A weekend open forum posted every Friday night would be really cool, at least until we get real forums again.
Parismio avatarParismio
Went snowboarding for the first time in years. Crashed a lot, many times into trees. All that training in FF7 didnt do squat!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
If I were to get Age of Empires II HD to play with you all, do you all have the DLC?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I am relieved to know Creed is a Rocky spin-off and not a feature-length documentary about the band.
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
the worst thing about that jesssica jones program is i keep getting "basketball jones" stuck in my head
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Been playing Gears of War 3's campaign on Xbox One. Looks great on there, and Sam's voice actor is Chloe's voice actor in Uncharted 2/3. Hell yeah!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: With all the controversy surrounding review scores, what do you personally consider a "bad" score versus a "good" score? Is there a game in particular that was panned by critics that you nevertheless enjoyed? Or vice versa?
TheVeganGamer avatarTheVeganGamer
Finally got around to playing Diablo 3 with some friends, holy smokes! That game is rad!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -