Grave Gamer News & Views — dead island

New Dead Island 2 Screens Caving in zombie heads is why mankind...

New Dead Island 2 Screens

Caving in zombie heads is why mankind created video games. The creator of Pong was said to have imagined the little pixelated dot darting across the screen as an undead severed head*. Virtual zombie killin’ is ingrained to gamer culture. That and killin’ virtual Nazis. And sometimes zombie Nazis (they’re like the Reeses’ cups of video game cannon fodder).

*May not be a genuine fact.

Dead Island 2 Gets Itself a Gameplay Reveal They say that no man...

Dead Island 2 Gets Itself a Gameplay Reveal

They say that no man is an island. Well, neither is Hollywood, California. But, hey, branding. Whatever. The real point is that the hacking, bashing, breaking, and bloodletting that made the unevenly enjoyable Dead Island a cult hit is back for seconds.

Since series originators Techland are off bending the concept of open-world zombie survival in Dying...

Escape Dead Island Announced; A Tropical Adventure Game Spiced Up...

Escape Dead Island Announced; A Tropical Adventure Game Spiced Up with Madness and the Undead

Publisher Deep SIlver is not about to let the zombie infested gravy train that is Dead Island ride away into the sunset without taking a bite…out of…zombie gravy… All right, I don’t have a degree in metaphors. Screw it.

What I’m saying is Deep Silver is making a shitload of Dead Islands. From dipping into the MOBA genre with Dead Island: Epidemic to barreling at next-gen with Dead Island 2, it’s a lttle eye-widening to hear that a third release is imminent, heading for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 this Fall. With this horde of the digital dead shuffling after our wallets, it’s a fortunate thing for Deep Silver that Escape Dead Island looks so promising.

Forgoing the Action-RPG setup of the original Dead Island (which was heavier on the action than the RPG), Escape is actually a third-person adventure game where you have to mix up stealth maneuvering and advantages in the environment to bust some undead skull.

More mindful of story in this single-player narrative, you’ll control Cliff Calo, an investigator sent this doomed chain of islands to figure out why the locals are bitier than usual. Cliff’s noticeable shortcoming as an intrepid photojournalist would have to be his loose grip on reality. Throughout the game, you’ll hallucinate outlandish sights that even reshape the environment – or outright kill you, thus pushing you through a “time loop” to before you went all Hunter S. Thompson.

The result makes Escape Dead Island seem like a combination of Far Cry 3’s dream sequences with a Darksiders-ish adventure game where your surroundings play into gameplay much more than just scenery. Sure, they might be flogging the zombie horse cranking out these Dead Island titles. But they at least show the same imagination and promise Escape does, I say ride that undead gravy train of horse flogging.

Escape to Dead Island in This Escape Dead Island Trailer!

The MOBA Genre Infects Dead Island (Or is That the Other Way...

The MOBA Genre Infects Dead Island (Or is That the Other Way Around?)

Deep Silver’s undead romp has apparently outgrown its open-world, RPG-lite genre bending ways and is entering the online multiplayer battle arena.  Is that right?  Or is it multiplayer online battl–  Listen, it’s a MOBA.  We all on the same page?  Moving on.

The newly announced Dead Island: Epidemic sees the series’ signature zombie evisceratin’ take a chunk out of the free-to-play model in a PC exclusive title.  Details are as murky as the crimson fogged waters surrounding Banoi, but Deep Silver promises the game will deliver on Dead Island’s trademark style while focusing on a desperate fight for survival between three rival groups (humans vs. zombies vs…. island fauna?  Again, murky details).

The game’s publisher says it’ll have more substantial information on this mildly intriguing spin-off at this year’s Gamescom (Aug. 21st - 25th).  Hopefully that includes who’s developing this little diddy – Techland has their hands full at the moment – and some percolating imagery to give us an idea just how close to hacking distance Epidemic is to its cult forebearer.

Dying Light (PC/PS3/PS4/Xbox One/X360 - 2014) For those of you...

Dying Light (PC/PS3/PS4/Xbox One/X360 - 2014)

For those of you who were hoping the zombie game craze that buried us this generation would die out in the next, don’t you realize you can’t kill what’s already dead?

Techland, specifically the team that brought us the first Dead Island (and not the rancid Riptide), is jumping right back into the open-world zombie domain with another co-op onslaught in Dying Light.  What stops their latest game from being just another Dead Island offshoot?  At the surface, not much, but there’s two key gameplay mechanics that’ll really have your inner survivalist’s makeshift fire cooking.

The first being a night-day cycle that directly impacts your play style.  By day, the undead slog through the tattered city streets, allowing you to explore and hunt for supplies with relative ease – if you’re the kind of person to feel at ease around walking, moaning corpses, anyway.

By night, the situation escalates from George Romero to all-out Zack Snyder.  Zombies gain strength from the nightfall and become more agile, alert, and awfully aggressive. You’ll be chased down and made chow faster than you can scream “28 Days Later” but here’s where Dying Light’s second exciting feature comes in: free-running.

Avoiding obstacles, darting down allies, and actually taking to the rooftops will be your only chance of surviving.  Clever little design touches like being able to look over your shoulder mid-run for pursuers and the ability to spot dangerous “powerhouse” zombies in the environment add to the flight-over-fight system.  The comparisons to Mirror’s Edge are inescapable – there’s no way to write “first-person free-running” without having DICE’s game immediately flare in my synapses – but the implementation within a horror game is too good of a concept to ignore.

The genre is well worn (“decayed” even), yet harnessing the next-gen might send a jolt of life into the dead.  [Although, it should be noted, Techland intends on releasing some sort of scaled down version of the game for current-gen systems].  Dying Light is looking at an ambiguous 2014 release date; more than enough time for Techland to win our zombie killing hearts over again.