Dead Island

In truth, there are a few things that stick to me about the trailer. In fact, everyone is giving it credit for the chopped up reverse chronology of it.

The way I see it, the trailer is actually too long. By halfway through you get a sense of what happened, and it is just a matter of getting there. The odd method of portraying events merely made it take longer, and longer, and longer even though you knew exactly what was happening.

As for the play of emotions, I have mixed feelings on that. If this game genuinely tries to capture a more serious tone, actually trying to provide the honest tragedy that is the theoretical zombie apocalypse, then this trailer is perfect. More so if you are ever placed into a position where you have to choose whether to kill someone (be they child or adult) or wait until they turn.

My issue is, for some reason, it no longer feels tragic after the girl turns in, like, forty-five seconds. At that point you see her as a monster, and all that fear and suffering was, well, very brief. My initial thoughts on the trailer, when everything was in reverse, was that the father was knocked back and she was accidentally thrown out the window while he was trying to protect her. When watching the video in chronological order, I was feeling the emotion up until I realized she had become a zombie. Granted, I think of a little girl being bitten once and my heart crushes a bit (I think of my niece being bitten, even once, and I get disturbed). But, by making the transformation THAT fast, all empathy of the child's suffering is gone. It's no longer as if she is in pain, and it was, on the whole, not that painful a death as far as it goes.

To me, the loss of the child be it by accident (my original assumption that the father was knocked back and his living daughter lost grip and flew through the window) or by forced choice (killing her with the full knowledge she WILL be a zombie, but STILL his daughter) would have been a much greater emotional impact.

Nonetheless, I think it is valuable that we are discussing this sort of thing to begin with. If the gameplay actually manages this sort of tone, then Hell yeah, games are art. If it's just another series of Halo trailers, then meh. At least the trailer tried.

In short: It is not a perfect trailer, but it's better than "HAI GUYZ, UR MAWM HAYTS DED SPAYS TOO!"

Quintin_Stone wrote:
nel e nel wrote:

You talk about the proud tradition of infected zombie babies and neglect to mention the Dawn of the Dead remake birth scene?

And now you've got me thinking about the baby scene in Dead Alive (Braindead) and for that, I hate you.

Braindead is the only film I've ever walked out of. It was too much for me.

I really liked the Dawn of the Dead remake. I particularly enjoyed the Jolly, 'fun at the mall' musical interlude that ends with a gunshot (as soon as I saw the pregnant woman I knew that pregnancy wasn't going to have a happy outcome.)

ccesarano wrote:

My issue is, for some reason, it no longer feels tragic after the girl turns in, like, forty-five seconds. At that point you see her as a monster, and all that fear and suffering was, well, very brief. My initial thoughts on the trailer, when everything was in reverse, was that the father was knocked back and she was accidentally thrown out the window while he was trying to protect her. When watching the video in chronological order, I was feeling the emotion up until I realized she had become a zombie. Granted, I think of a little girl being bitten once and my heart crushes a bit (I think of my niece being bitten, even once, and I get disturbed). But, by making the transformation THAT fast, all empathy of the child's suffering is gone. It's no longer as if she is in pain, and it was, on the whole, not that painful a death as far as it goes.

I see this exactly the opposite. Instead of just having her turn and be a zombie, the way the story uses reverse and forward to tell the story actually enhances the emotion by continuing to portray her as a scared child that needs help. She is actually just a zombie for a short time, because the entire and acts more as a memorial to her death and stops showing her as a monster.

At the same time it emphasizes that the parents love for her which drives their need to ave and protect her was in fact their undoing. Seriously, it really was a great piece of art.

I guess I'm just callous, but I didn't see anything wrong with the kid flying out the window. She was clearly a zombie by that point, so the only natural thing for surviving humans to do would be to put them down by any means necessary. Human instinct to live and all that.

Heck, even if she turned, remained passive, and her parents were safe from the other zombies don't you think they'd try to "release" her anyway? It would be tough, but far more humane than letting her go on as a inhuman travesty of what she once was.

Did they explore that in an early episode of Walking Dead? It was where the main cop holed up in the residential house with the father and son, where the father's wife was out walking by the house in a zombified daze every night.

Aaron D. wrote:

I guess I'm just callous, but I didn't see anything wrong with the kid flying out the window. She was clearly a zombie by that point, so the only natural thing for surviving humans to do would be to put them down by any means necessary. Human instinct to live and all that.

Heck, even if she turned, remained passive, and her parents were safe from the other zombies don't you think they'd try to "release" her anyway? It would be tough, but far more humane than letting her go on as a inhuman travesty of what she once was.

Did they explore that in an early episode of Walking Dead? It was where the main cop holed up in the residential house with the father and son, where the father's wife was out walking by the house in a zombified daze every night.

But that sort of misses the point-- natural parental instinct is to protect your child, not to use logic and determine whether it is your child any longer. It was your child 5 minutes ago, it looks just like your child now-- I can totally see the natural instinct to protect her remain intact even after she was zombified. But that's the main purpose of zombies as a source of horror (and where you seem to have missed the point)-- they were once human, and still generally look the part.

They also explored this aspect in Walking Dead-- when her sister was turned and she sat over her crying throughout the night, and continued to hold her even after she had completely turned. It's hard for anyone to simply let someone else go after they died-- to simply sever all ties to a person simply because they're now dead is nearly impossible. If that dead person is still animated in front of you, it is even more difficult, I'd imagine. So it should still be a powerful image, right or wrong, in that the little girl went flying out the window-- she still meant something to her parents even if she was in fact dead, or at worst (and in this case) a clear threat to them.

WipEout wrote:

They also explored this aspect in Walking Dead-- when her sister was turned and she sat over her crying throughout the night, and continued to hold her even after she had completely turned. It's hard for anyone to simply let someone else go after they died-- to simply sever all ties to a person simply because they're now dead is nearly impossible. If that dead person is still animated in front of you, it is even more difficult, I'd imagine. So it should still be a powerful image, right or wrong, in that the little girl went flying out the window-- she still meant something to her parents even if she was in fact dead, or at worst (and in this case) a clear threat to them.

Also covered in another early comic. To avoid spoilers, I think mentioning a barn and family might clue in people who've read them as to what I'm meaning.

Furthermore, I felt that we didn't realize she was a monster until the scene cut to her running from the real monsters, then back to her attacking her dad. You get little hints, but it isn't until you see later bits that you think back to what happened to her. Therein lies the real effect of the video. The thought process is quite literally "Oh sh*t! A girl among danger! Oh sh*t, she was thrown out a window to her death! Oh sh*t, she was actually a zombie! Oh sh*t, she was their daughter! Oh sh*t, they couldn't help her! Oh sh*t, now they're dead too!"

Couple this with the editing back and forth in time and sequence, and the video is playing little tricks on our minds, forcing us to rethink what we just saw and thus dwell on it longer. Now, clearly this doesn't work for all of us for varying reasons, but you can't please everyone all the time.

WipEout wrote:

But that sort of misses the point--...

All valid points that were never lost on me to begin with.

My take was more of a slant on the negative backlash the clip has been garnering from individuals mortified that a child was fictionally killed in spite of the fact that it's a generally accepted rule-set of protocol in the fictional world of zombie infestation.

Aaron D. wrote:

My take was more of a slant on the negative backlash the clip has been garnering from individuals mortified that a child was fictionally killed in spite of the fact that it's a generally accepted rule-set of protocol in the fictional world of zombie infestation.

In other words...
IMAGE(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3246/3056871500_14f7fdff18.jpg)

Aaron D. wrote:

My take was more of a slant on the negative backlash the clip has been garnering from individuals mortified that a child was fictionally killed in spite of the fact that it's a generally accepted rule-set of protocol in the fictional world of zombie infestation.

I'm mortified by its use as a gimmick. That this is a gimmick used in a boat-load of zombie fiction doesn't absolve its use here.

Burnt Toast wrote:

Gah. What a trailer.

I'm an old fart too, and consider myself fairly jaded in many respects. Nevertheless, I'm also noticing that as my own kids grow, seeing children in horror or violent scenes gets me more and more. Not in an "ooh powerful, dude" way. More like nausea.

Get out of my head, Toast. The trailer is absolutely horrifying to me (yes, I know that's the point of the genre). It's not the kid thing, I think, that bothers me as much as the family thing that bothers me, if that makes any sense.

Even if it ends up being on multiple GOTY lists, I'm not sure I could hack it long enough to play--and I've enjoyed both Dead Rising and the L4D series.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Aaron D. wrote:

My take was more of a slant on the negative backlash the clip has been garnering from individuals mortified that a child was fictionally killed in spite of the fact that it's a generally accepted rule-set of protocol in the fictional world of zombie infestation.

I'm mortified by its use as a gimmick. That this is a gimmick used in a boat-load of zombie fiction doesn't absolve its use here.

I would hesitate to call it a gimmick. I can't say there is a lot of zombie media that I've seen that use the powerful imagery of kid-zombies (although I admit after Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, I more or less got off the zombie popularity bandwagon, save for the Walking Dead tv show). I mean, I know what you're saying-- in that showing the images of dead children is going too far to sell a product (and I mean that in a broad sense of product, be it artistic, or a box of cereal).

But where I hesitate to agree with you is in the fact that the trailer doesn't really pull punches anywhere else-- at least not the same punch. It is a stark, disturbing, depressing image that sets the tone of the rest of the footage, and the rest of the footage maintains that sense of fear and desperation of a family trying to survive against all odds, even after they see their failure is inevitable. The whole piece was serious, and even though the girl could have been replaced with someone older, I don't think we would have gotten the same effect of a tight-knit family being torn apart. I mean, with the story being told the way it was, we need all the iconic clues we can get to develop the base story for ourselves without making the trailer 5 minutes of back story to explain the 3 minutes of main content.

Now, if they make killing kid-zombies a regular thing in the game, and claim that it is to further the effect/traumatic experience of seeing/killing kid-zombies, then I'd be right there with you. In this case, however, I see it as a powerful image used to great effect to evoke a particular emotion of fear due to losing the battle of survival versus maternal instincts.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
nel e nel wrote:

You talk about the proud tradition of infected zombie babies and neglect to mention the Dawn of the Dead remake birth scene?

And now you've got me thinking about the baby scene in Dead Alive (Braindead) and for that, I hate you.

And now you've got me thinking I really need to rewatch that because all I remember is the lawnmower scene at the end.

nel e nel wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
nel e nel wrote:

You talk about the proud tradition of infected zombie babies and neglect to mention the Dawn of the Dead remake birth scene?

And now you've got me thinking about the baby scene in Dead Alive (Braindead) and for that, I hate you.

And now you've got me thinking I really need to rewatch that because all I remember is the lawnmower scene at the end.

I remember being completely traumatised by that film the first time I saw it. However, seeing it again, I find it really difficult not to find many of the scenes (including the zombie feeding scene where they're around the dinner table) completely hilarious. I can only concluded that the first viewing did some permanent damage

To follow up my "why so serious?" post, I thought I'd share the fact that G4 has uploaded a "funny" remix of the trailer using comical music and sound effects.

Spoiler:

I'll admit it. I chuckled. If that makes me a sick bastard, so be it.

I saw the trailer and started wanting Left 4 Dead 3 and missing Walking Dead.

Extremely sad for me as I missed the last two episodes of Walking Dead and from what I hear they were really good.

Won't be getting this game tho. Dead Island sounds okay but.. I've got left 4 Dead 1 and 2 for my zombie needs, I've not roamed any farther. Not even the Red Dead Redemption expansion.

After seeing the reaction in this thread I have one thing to say about the Dead Island trailer -

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

(hope the game is as good!)

lordpolish wrote:

After seeing the reaction in this thread I have one thing to say about the Dead Island trailer -

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

(hope the game is as good!)

Agreed. Not sure I'd even heard of the game before this trailer. Did it's job.

I'm not concerned that it's not a seminal artistic tour de force, or might be a bit manipulative (it's advertising). It's a nice trailer that did its job.

Oh yeah, two other things that occurred to me:

1) Why was the girl all alone to begin with? Did they just not know about zombies yet? (This is, of course, just nit-picking

2) On zombies in general: y'know, for being such hungry creatures, it seems zombies never really devour anyone. They take one or two bites, but then everyone's still in shape enough to run and chew after you. What the Hell man? Why isn't there a minimum of zombies and most everyone else completely chewed up?

Wow - I step away from a thread for a day and this happens.

I respect the opinions of the critics here. Yes, manipulative. Cheap? Maybe - but LobsterMobster makes a nice point that the kid is seen as just another victim. I wholeheartedly go with the side that this trailer does its purpose extremely well - generate buzz. It will take much more to advertise the game, but for now it will get all kinds of word-of-mouth attention in a zombie-saturated market.

While I respect many opinions here, some seem very . . . misguided. Specifically, talking about "the kid died being thrown out the window" or "the father killed the kid."

No. No, no, no. None of that matters.

DrSugardaddy wrote:

Get out of my head, Toast. The trailer is absolutely horrifying to me (yes, I know that's the point of the genre). It's not the kid thing, I think, that bothers me as much as the family thing that bothers me, if that makes any sense.

Not only makes sense, but I think was the point. The pathos, the cheap manipulation, the twist of the knife - call it what you will - is when the child turns (or was bitten, for we jaded cynics).

That's it. The parents failed. Parents are supposed to protect children. She was so relieved and he seemed so happily surprised that he got her. And it was useless.

The mother sees the child turn. She is horrified, nearly drops her only weapon. The emotional part is done. Doesn't matter if he threw her out the window, if she fell, if they fell together - that's all dénouement. I'm not mortified that a child was killed. It was good story, and it worked in that I was affected.

WipEout wrote:

. Therein lies the real effect of the video. The thought process is quite literally "Oh sh*t! A girl among danger! Oh sh*t, she was thrown out a window to her death! Oh sh*t, she was actually a zombie! Oh sh*t, she was their daughter! Oh sh*t, they couldn't help her! Oh sh*t, now they're dead too!"

Yes. The quick-cuts between the ending reversing, then to the past in normal-forward: neat, works well, and I appreciated that. It's not earth-shattering or new, just clever.

And not why after watching I wanted to go sit by myself and wait for the little acid-ball in my stomach to fade away.

[size=9]("There's just something in my eye.")[/size]

You and me Burnt: right on the same page. I've been thinking of something write all day about this that you nailed it perfectly.

I'm a Zombie genre fan, so this is supposed to be good news for me.

But what I'd find more interesting is a game with great graphics that's about taking your family on vacation.

If you hadnt seen it yet and you start watching it at 2:40, that's what it seems to be about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZqrG1bdGtg&feature=related#t=160

ExitPursuedByBear wrote:

That 3 minutes was better than the entire first season of The Walking Dead. Wow.

My first thought exactly. They somehow put a soul in those digital mannekins that poor Frank Darabont couldn't dredge out of his human cast.

first-person zombie survival RPG with strong emotional resonance- if they're brave enough to keep a piano soundtrack I'm on board.
I can see the pants-tightening press release now:
NO co-op.
NO multiplayer.
NO achievements.
NO techno.
NO third-person perspective.

Pianos.
Fear.
Vulnerability.
You are not a bad-ass on this island. You do not fight a zombie boss and win. Your crowning glory is survival.

Well, that would tighten my pants, at least. If it's not a Dead Rising clone I'll be satisfied, and even if it is, I'm half tempted to give them money anyway for the joyful hope I experienced during the trailer.

ccesarano wrote:

Oh yeah, two other things that occurred to me:

1) Why was the girl all alone to begin with? Did they just not know about zombies yet? (This is, of course, just nit-picking

2) On zombies in general: y'know, for being such hungry creatures, it seems zombies never really devour anyone. They take one or two bites, but then everyone's still in shape enough to run and chew after you. What the Hell man? Why isn't there a minimum of zombies and most everyone else completely chewed up?

1. There is a problem with the fact that they have weapons vs the fact that they daughter is out and about but the trailer is so good that I'm willing to come up with elaborate scenarios to excuse it.

2. The whole zombie thing is a bit of a house of cards. That's why I like the 'fast' zombies. Not only do they scare the crap out of me but you've really got to have them in there for an outbreak to stand a chance of overwhelming a country. Especially a country with ready access to guns and fencing materials.

Higgledy wrote:

1. There is a problem with the fact that they have weapons vs the fact that they daughter is out and about but the trailer is so good that I'm willing to come up with elaborate scenarios to excuse it.

The trailer shows the dad grab the fire axe off the wall when he runs out to save his daughter, and the mom gets the knife from another room after she puts the girl on the bed.

It's been a long time since I've bought into a game this early. These days, as a hardened, veteran gamer, I don't get invested in any game, no matter how pretty it looks or how I like the subject matter or the look of the game play. I wait until the game is out and then gauge peoples reactions.

With Dead Island part of my brain is telling me I haven't actually seen anything about the game yet while the other side is just shouting, "This game is going to be Soooooo greeeeeeat!" over and over. I really hope the game lives up to the trailer.

Higgledy wrote:

With Dead Island part of my brain is telling me I haven't actually seen anything about the game yet while the other side is just shouting, "This game is going to be Soooooo greeeeeeat!" over and over. I really hope the game lives up to the trailer.

Absolutely. If what they actually have is essentially Dead Rising with bikinis, they've shot themselves in the foot somewhat with this ad. The bar has been set high for the experience this game will deliver.

Higgledy wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Oh yeah, two other things that occurred to me:

1) Why was the girl all alone to begin with? Did they just not know about zombies yet? (This is, of course, just nit-picking

2) On zombies in general: y'know, for being such hungry creatures, it seems zombies never really devour anyone. They take one or two bites, but then everyone's still in shape enough to run and chew after you. What the Hell man? Why isn't there a minimum of zombies and most everyone else completely chewed up?

1. There is a problem with the fact that they have weapons vs the fact that they daughter is out and about but the trailer is so good that I'm willing to come up with elaborate scenarios to excuse it.

2. The whole zombie thing is a bit of a house of cards. That's why I like the 'fast' zombies. Not only do they scare the crap out of me but you've really got to have them in there for an outbreak to stand a chance of overwhelming a country. Especially a country with ready access to guns and fencing materials.

Because I can't let this thread go!

1.) - there are umpteen reasons why the girl would be alone at a resort without any need for elaborate scenarios. She wanted to go get ice from the machine, was at the arcade, was with friends we didn't see in the trailer, heck - most vacation spots that cater to families have tons of optional kid-sitting/occupying activities to keep them busy while parents relax (sports/games/lessons, movie-time, crafts, etc.)

Also, Muttonchop referred to showing them finding items nearby. If it's an exotic resort they might have people cut up fruit right in front of the guests so a big kitchen knife nearby is not too much of a stretch.

2.) Yes and no. The fast zombies are a bit of our generation's need for the "Boogada-boogadey!" surprise scare. It is also just a different way to do scary movies/stories. There can still be a lot to be said for the slow zombies but it's a different kind of scare, closer to classic horror. It's the anticipation, seeing the inevitable. The Walking Dead TV show does this all right, and it was done well in the original black-&-white 'Night of the Living Dead' : sure, you can board up your windows and doors, and you can even probably take out 3-10 slow-movers with relative ease. Oh- wait, we still need to go out and get food and water. Oh - looks, now there are about 300 of them out there, and I see more on the horizon. Oh - look, the combined weight of several dozen pushing against each other is popping the boards and such on our doors and windows. OH GOD! THEY GRABBED ME AND PULLED ME OFF MY FEET AND ARE DRAGGING ME THROUGH THIS HOLE IN THE WALL!!!! NO! IT'S TOO SMALL! MY ARM!! AAHGGGGGGGH!

Just depends on how you do it.

kexx wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Awesome, insightful questioning of game's motives.

I think the way they can achieve everything you say, is make this game more about story, and less about the game, if that makes sense.
....
I hope Dead Island can achieve the former.

The thing I love so much about Valve's games is the little quirks that go a really long way. The humanity the L4D characters manifest from all the back and forth and contextual comments, the honest-to-God feeling of discovery when you manage to wedge through for the first time in Portal and learn about "rat man". Yes it's story, but it's how gameplay delivered the story.

Looking at the trailer, the sense of the zombie attack feels much more real, has more consequence. The trailer reminded me of something that gets left behind in L4D: You can die in a the zombie apocalypse. L4D has only immune players that can be healed medkit after medkit after medkit. If that wasn't enough L4D2 allowed revivals through a defibrillator. The finality of survival was sacrificed for entertainment. Don't get me wrong, I love L4D/2, but I see Dead Island and see other game mechanics that could be EXTREMELY fun.

So my approach to infection would be: Any and all players can get infected by a bite, scratch, puking, whatever. Players that become infected will not know right away and will continue to play normally. Unlike the trailer, the infection will take X amount of minutes to take on full effect. X is about about half a map session, so in a 10 minute map, an infected player will become a zombie in about 4 minutes or so. Not all zombie attacks will necessarily result in an infection, so after an attack, there's this feeling of uncertainty. The game's goal would remain essentially unaffected: keep heading to the safe zone.

So why this mechanic? Infected players can still play normally, until first signs of the infection appear. Just a visual effect easy enough to recognize so a player can let his teammates know he's been compromised. Infected players will still try to help un-infected players reach the goal/safe-zone.

Maybe it was play-tested in L4D and it never reached the final development stage, but imagine for a minute that you and 3 friends are trying to reach a safe house and you get bitten. You let your friends know that you can no longer enter the room with them when you reach it. Zombies will keep attacking you, the infected player. Although doomed, you're still part of a team.

Infected players don't lose HP to the infection, don't become slower or hit weaker. They're just running out of time. It's a race against the clock to see how long the infected player can help his teammates before the teammates have to shoot him in the head.

ccesarano wrote:

Ah, I've been wanting to see if they'd play the trailer in order of the actual events.

I saw the trailer like 8 times and only until I saw the re-edited version going "forward" do I notice the expression of the mother who is happy her child wakes up for only a fraction of a second before realizing "my daughter is now a zombie".

It's those brilliant attention to details I look forward in the game.

and finally....

MannishBoy wrote:

How does the mother come up with a chef's knife in a resort hotel room?

You're obviously having the boring type of sex.