Remember that time when you watch the movie Titanic? It made you cry, it made you laugh and it made you think, "Hey! this movie really gets me you know?" Now imagine that movie, the movie which left feeling moved or thoughtful, and imagine it was all a big joke and wasn't very serious at all. Like as if the boat was really just a big time machine and Jack and Rose travel through time and go through crazy shenanigans together.
This was the feeling I got from Dead Island. Granted, I did like the game. It was very fun and I really dug grinding up XP with friends, but I must say, the finished product was not the game I expected it to be months ago.
Let us go back to when the teaser trailer came out for Dead Island. The music, the stylistic editing, the symbolism of a modern family being torn apart, both literally and figuratively, right in front of your eyes. That trailer had depth and emotion. It had something fresh that most zombie games lack. In short, it looked awesome.
The finished product was not so cool. Rather then a stylish new take zombie games, we got a Fallout remake with broken mechanics and probably the worst offense of all, the story is terrible and basically nonexistent.
Cuts scenes are terrible, the characters have no real depth to them aside from their back stories and their interaction with each other is just laughable. It feels like a cheesy B movie. This makes me quite disappointed considering how the game was depicted months ago. Stories with an end of the world setting have endless amounts of material to work with when it comes to creating good characters and story arcs. But it feels when it comes to video games these mature themes take a backseat to endless killing, stereotypical characters and action hero type story beats.
Maybe zombies can't be serious. Maybe when fighting off hordes of zombies you can't help but shout things like, "Damn! Lookin' like a mother fucking post card and shit!" Games like Silent Hill have explored excellent horror genre writing styles through symbolism and layered characters with some serious flaws. But that game was just horror, not really zombie oriented.
With a game based on The Walking Dead and another oddity called Lollipop Chainsaw things could change. There are of course new Resident Evils that will come out and Silent Hills, but for now I will just have deal with leveling up my retired hip hop artist and begging to answer the question, "Who do you voo doo, bitch?"
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