‘Dead Island’ Co-Op Trailer is ‘Left 4 Dead’ Melee Edition

Aug 9, 2011 by  

Dead Island Co-Op Trailer

It’s been over about six months since Dead Island shambled onto our radar with one of the most provocative game trailers in the history of the industry. The Dead Island trailer went on to win an advertising award at Cannes – but provided very little information about what players could expect from the tone and gameplay of the upcoming title.

Overtime, through a series of character and class reveals, it became increasingly clear that Dead Island was not going to be an emotionally-charged scramble for survival (as the trailer seemed to indicate); rather, the first person shooter title was going for a somewhat cartoonish, and especially bloody, trek through a post-zombpocalyptic landscape – as a result the latest Dead Island trailer, highlighting the co-op gameplay (and f-bombs), is especially reminiscent of another zombie-liquidation co-op title.

Admittedly, it’s selling the team at Techland a bit short to simply refer to Dead Island as Left 4 Dead: Melee Edition but the similarities in the title are becoming increasingly hard to ignore – albeit with less bullets and more melee killing in the case of Dead Island. Players take control of a rag-tag group of caricature protagonists that have to make their way to an escape point – while killing endless hordes of infected, and mutating infected, along the way. No doubt, Dead Island will feature a larger overarching campaign story than the serialized “make your own story” approach in the Left for Dead series – however, given the stereotypical Dead Island player characters, it’s hard to imagine that the story will be able to come close to the complexity of the original trailer.

Judge for yourself by checking out the Dead Island Co-Op Trailer: “Part 3: Fight Together” below:

No doubt some players will froth at the mouth over the sharp visuals (or taking a butcher knife to a zombie hoard) but the game is facing an especially difficult uphill battle at this point because 1) It’s hard to imagine Techland, the developer behind Nail’d, improving on a format pioneered by Valve, arguably the most creative development studio in the industry – and 2) gamers were excited by the Dead Island trailer because it seemed to offer something new – something daring.

Instead, players are being fed the same rehashed point and shoot mayhem that dominates the genre (Left 4 Dead 2, Dead Rising 2, and even the Call of Duty zombie maps). As Resident Evil became less about tense scares, and more about mowing down waves of Majinis (evidenced by the equally Left 4 Dead-like Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City), many players were hoping that Techland would be offering a new, and smart, journey through a zombie-infected landscape, a journey that didn’t hold back – a journey where mommy, daddy, and even baby doll daughter weren’t safe.

Dead Island E3 Preview Screenshot 1

Another discouraging point was the response to Techland’s latest game, Call of Juarez: The Cartel, which isn’t even out and has been mostly panned by critics (read our Call of Juarez: The Cartel review) for outdated game mechanics, throwaway characters, and lack of emotional complexity. As a result, it’s looking increasingly likely that Dead Island could be the next game in the industry to be crippled by a combination of brilliant marketing, high expectations but average, or even mediocre, game design.

Obviously, we won’t know until the game releases in a month – but, it’s hard to imagine that, based on what we’ve seen of the game, as well as our hands-on impressions, that Dead Island is set to deliver anything more than a hold-over until Valve’s unannounced, but inevitable, zombie follow-up Left 4 Dead 3.

Follow me on Twitter @ benkendrick.

Dead Island releases September 6, 2011 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

13 Comments

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  1. Neither. I expected it. All games nowadays are becoming the same. any FPS feels like all other fpss and the GTA style games all feel the same, like InFAMOUS, assassin’s creed and prototype… the only games that are still fun, new and exciting are Nintendo’s.. like the Mario series and Zelda series.

    • Please tell me thats sarcasm! How can you see Nintendo games as “new” (when every single Mario and Zelda game is the same) but see something like inFamous as the same as GTA

  2. Though it’s clearly not as emotionally challenging as previously hoped, I’m still having a hard time seeing this game as not looking awesome. I love me some L4D but even it lost most of it’s punch by the second game. This game just looks like it’s just going to be fun. I was hoping the combat would have a little more weight to it where fighting a zombie was a calculated risk. Still though, even a L4D clone with an actual story and RPG elements is already better in my books.. with all due respect to Valve, they revolutionized multiplayer gaming but they didn’t actually contribute anything to the Zombie genre (which interests me more). I hope this game lives up.

  3. I’m still looking forward to this, even if it’s a hold over. And honestly the trailer didn’t remind me too much of L4D. I mean of course any zombie killing will remind you of L4D but this looks tons better, it’s new and seems more intense. I even saw a zombie get ran over by a car. It’s a small detail but still a real good one. On top of that, it’ll have a nice solo campaign, more open and some good co-op. So while it may not bring too much new, I think it’ll still be a fun ride. At the very least, something to hold us over until L4D3 (which I hope is soon).

    • Actually, the trailer reminded me a lot about L4D. The “special” zombies, the molotov cocktail, and the scene where it appears something they did have activated a horde, just like in the L4D games, and the melee combat just looks almost exactly like L4D 2 except for the throwing the knives thing, but that’s the only difference I could see in this trailer. I know there is more to the game than L4D, but this trailer didn’t really show any of that…

  4. soo is it still a open world game in coop? or is going to linear like l4d

    • Yeah, I thought it was suppose to be drop in co op and it would be open world during co op and not linear. This article sounds like it’s trying to say it’ll be linear. If the co op story will be linear then why didn’t they include local co op?

  5. I dont see this game being a left for dead clone at all. To note tho i am a huge fan of L4D and Valve in general but I dont know about you but i laugh in the faces of 40+ zombies rushing at me in L4D, but in this game it seams to be that 2-4 zombies is ok to handle by yourself but after that it gets increasingly more difficult. You dont have infinite stamina and picnic tables full of ammo at your disposal. I think the way this trailer was made it made it seam more run and gun then it may be in order make it entertaining, and comparing it to L4D is selling it a bit short.

  6. Wow, they need a better writer! The black guy’s best quotes “Stick together, or we’re gonna get f#$%ed”, “WTF?”, and “oh s***”. Great way to sell a game!

    Never played L4D, it looked stupid. This one seems to suit me better. But this also seems like one of those games that are boring without other players.

  7. I hope this isn’t another L4D. Don’t get me wrong, L4D was good, but I prefer something with an actual storyline and less mindless killing. When I splatter a zombies brains, I want to have a reason for doing it.

  8. this looks nothing like l4d, its an open world rpg style zombie game htf is it ‘like l4d’ or like a fps ? the dev team has said themselves that guns wont be paying a major part in the game, and that the main focus is on melee combat + making new weps (kind of like dead rising, but less cheesy/stupid).

    i think the game will do fine, so long as people don’t compare (like they do with everything else) >:(
    i’ll prob get this a few weeks after i get space marines, b/c to be honest i’m not a total zombie lover and space marines looks like a good friday night game ;)

  9. Who wasn’t expecting this honestly knew as soon as i saw the trailers and gameplay that it was L4D and Dead Rising which i don’t see a problem with both are really good games so why does it matter. And @ Joe if you think nintendo’s the only one that publishes original games you’re wrong mario and zelda game aren’t different they’re just the same games over and over again you can read any article about any recent mario games and see they’re like the other 3-7 in that series alone and nintendo’s 3ds best selling is a remake of zelda better check your facts. I honestly don’t think this game is going to do good though it has alot of comp. Saints Row 3,uncharted 3, Battlefield 3,MW3,MGS collection, Resident Evil Collection,Rage I can go on but even though they may not be close release dates which some are everyone is going after big titles

  10. This is a real shame considering I was looking forward to this game! I’m really getting sick of the same game different title virus that’s hit all games lately. every damn FPS is the same. We need something different added to the table.

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