Deep Silver announced earlier this year that the next installment in the Dead Island series is officially forthcoming. Titled Dead Island: Riptide, it takes place on another island in the same nigtmarish archiapelago as the first game. While we don’t know the details in full, we do know that the original cast will be making a return, as well as a fifth character.
This week, they gave us a look at the game through an all-new CGI trailer. And while it doesn’t reveal much about gameplay, it sets up the grim and forlorn atmosphere of a world gone straight to hell.
Here are our thoughts about the trailer and the game itself. What do you think?
This is a strange trailer to talk about because it really doesn’t tell us anything about the game for which it was made. Perhaps it doesn’t need to though, because we all know what Dead Island Riptide will be about: zombies. Instead, it can weave a beautiful, emotionally driven two minute story to introduce the game. It begins with a small vessel cutting through ocean waves. A man and woman sit at the ship’s wheel, heading… well who really cares where, so long as they are together. Everything seems so idyllic, and then this glimpse, this twenty second slice of life moment, is over just as quickly as it began.
The soothing melody of a ukulele is replaced with a cold, somber piano as the camera pans to reveal black storm clouds spelling doom for our sea-bound couple. The scene shifts into the boat where the same couple gaze into each other’s eyes with a mixture of terror and acceptance, both knowing that this will be their last moment together. Zombies paw at the windows of the boat. It is revealed that the couple are holding a lighter meant to ignite a stream of gas that has been leaked into the room. It is a powerful moment and the ultimate expression of free will: In order to preserve their own humanity and rebel against an existence of rot and base instinct to consume, the couple must take their own lives.
Gameplay aside, if Dead Island Riptide is able to deliver powerful emotional moments like the one found in this CGI trailer, then we are perhaps looking at a fresh new life for the stale (festering) zombie genre.
No one can deny that the original Dead Island had an amazing trailer. Sure, it had almost nothing to do with the actual plot, and the only time we actually see those characters is in the very beginning, it was a truly jaw-dropping trailer that, when shown to just about anyone, would be able to single-handedly charge up the hype train. Fast-forward to 2012, and while the trailer for Dead Island: Riptide is not as powerful, on its own, it stands quite highly. My only fear is that, much like with the original Dead Island, Dead Island: Riptide won’t be standing as high as its trailer.
This trailer almost has the same level of dread and helplessness as last year’s trailer for Dead Island did, with an equally-dark composed song and tone. Even so, I learned my lesson the first time around. I felt everything from sadness to guilt to helpless with Dead Island’s trailer, and when I played the game, well…I felt nothing of the sort. In fact, at times, it felt comical. I’m hoping that, this time around, Deep Silver will make Dead Island: Riptide as dark and dreadful as this trailer, because if it is, then I’m in for one hell of a ride.
When I was clicking on the link to watch the trailer for Dead Island: Riptide the last word I expected to say was “beautiful”. Amongst the chaos and the panic that is Dead Island, there is something to say about the company taking this approach to the trailer. More often than not, the love stories that exist in the zombie drama does not portray itself too far beyond a quickie and then the guy dies. I have always enjoyed the lover’s sacrifice that reflects the “if you die I don’t want to live” mentality.
The trailer obviously does not expose much gameplay wise, but it does introduce style. I think the depiction of the attitude and style of the game is just as important as how the game would look while you were playing. Based off of the trailer alone, I would have to say I am intrigued by a zombie game, once again. I would only hope that this beautiful trailer is not a fluke and that the game will have devastating, yet understandable moments throughout the story.