E3: A Visit to Dead Island

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So, you’re hanging at the beach, sipping a fancy drink with an umbrella, soaking up the rays. What’s missing? Well, duh! Zombies, of course! We were lucky enough to check out the tropical undead of the new game Dead Island at E3 today. Though it was a super short demo, it looks like a blast.

Zombies are all the rage these days, from games to TV to films. In Dead Island from Techland, they’re all over the beach. While zombie killing, we got the synopsis. “Basically you’re on a beach. The beach of Banoi. In the demo here, you wake up and the next thing you know, you’re surrounded by zombies.” And they look pretty great, all bloody and gut covered and sporting the latest in beach wear. Yes, there are zombies in bikinis. Simple plot, with lots of smacking zombies upside the head with boat oars and found weapons. We were also assured that there would be guns.

“In terms of gameplay,” we were told, “it’s much more realistic than Dead Rising or Dead Rising 2. It’s definitely an upgrade from those previous games where you can throw boxes or teddy bears or whatever. In this game, you can actually throw weapons of use like sticks, oars, knives…there is actually quite the list of weapons in this game. You can also, like in Dead Rising, find items all along the area and create weapons.”

We were attacked by regular zombies, flaming zombies, weapon-wielding zombies, zombie waiters…this is a fancy resort after all…and they kept on coming. “Another neat thing about Dead Island is that the characters actually have an RPG-style status where you can level up the characters. They haven’t released who the other characters yet. The zombies have a life bar…”

We asked about the over all goal of the game. Was it to get off the island? We didn’t really get an answer, but we were told that there are specific character objectives. “In this demo specifically, you have the choice to go to the lifeguard house and secure a certain object or clear out the zombies…you can just kind of go around and have fun, but it does have the RPG-style objectives.” No word on boss zombies yet.

Dead Island will hit stores on September 6th, 2011.