Some Facts on the Dead Island Trailer and the Game Itself

By Michael Perry

February 24, 2011

Last week, the Dead Island trailer unleashed on the gaming community and created a huge buzz about the game. What is this game exactly and who is responsible for this amazing trailer? The trailer shows no gameplay but involves a family being overrun with zombies. Before we dive into the video itself though, let’s solve some details about what this game actually is.

Aubrey Norris, new PR and Market Manager for Deep Silver, confirmed with TheGamersHub that the game is actually a First-Person Melee style game not relying heavily on guns. Guns do exist in the game, but are not the center of combat. Set on a tropical island named Banoi, Dead Island will be an open world game and include RPG elements, which seems more and more games are bringing RPG elements to help flesh out their games. The biggest news in my opinion is that this game will feature four-player co-op, something that I believe adds an abundance of replay value as long as it works great and you have friends that also want to join.

The game is being developed by Techland of Call of Juarez fame but is not responsible for the trailer. The creators are called Axis which is a UK based animation studio responsible for a handful of game trailers working on titles like Tron and Enslaved. I do believe Dead Island is their best work though; it’s even sparked interest with movie producers about making Dead Island into a feature film.

The score combined with how the trailer is paced really sets a new benchmark for how game trailers should be handled. It alone has brought in millions of views in only a couple of days and has the whole community buzzing about the game. This puts Techland in a spot though where they have a high benchmark to live up to. Remember the famous Killzone 2 trailer at E3 where nobody thought it was possible to have gameplay look that nice? Let’s just hope the game can live up to what Axis has created; I will say they are off to a great start though.

“When we were initially approached by Deep Silver about Dead Island we were really excited about the idea of getting to grips with zombies.” said Axis Executive Producer Richard Scott. “As we started to collaborate with the Deep Silver team on the story ideas and creative treatments we felt that there was something else special about this opportunity.”

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The trailer really plays on the emotional aspect of the little girl and the family having to see their daughter turn into a zombie. You see the dad throwing the girl through the window after being bitten, which means that whole happy family is dead. There is no way the trembling mom holding the knife survived that wave of attacks. It also is popular largely in part for the music chosen to help set the mood of what is happening. Try to watch the trailer with the volume turned down, it just doesn’t have the same impact. That’s why trailers like the Inception trailer was so popular, not only was the editing nice, but the sound effects really stood out to the viewer.

“Deep Silver were really keen to create something different, something that would really stand out and when they put forward the initial idea for the ‘reverse’ sequence I saw the seed of something great there.” said Axis director Stuart Aitken. “Working with the Deep Silver team has been fantastic.” continued Aitken. They put a huge amount of faith and trust in me and the rest of the team and it has paid off for everyone.”

Like I stated above, Techland has set a high benchmark, and hopefully can deliver when the game ships sometime in 2011.

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