In a press release today, Deep Silver announced that they will be collaborating with Square Enix for the North and South American distribution of their upcoming zombie action romp, Dead Island. The game grabbed many gamers attention with its riveting debut trailer, which pulled on the heartstrings of viewers with its somewhat off-the-beaten-path portrayal of the zombie survival genre.

Developed by Techland, Dead Island combines realistic first-person melee combat, character development and RPG-like customization of a wide variety of weapons. After the highly-praised announcement trailer, we were given very few details on the actual game.

However, after plenty of screenshots we were able to bring you some details on the gameplay. Dead Island is all about survival gameplay in which players will be forced to use anything they can pick up to smash zombies to bloody paste.

However the finished product turns out, we now know that the release should go smoothly, with Square Enix claiming the rights to distribute the game. On the decision to work with Square Enix, Deep Silver Operating Officer Geoff Mulligan made no attempt to hide his enthusiasm:

“Square Enix’s impressive distribution and marketing capabilities, combined with their  proven success with launching top-notch AAA titles, makes them the absolute best partner for Dead Island… We’re thrilled to be partnering with their dedicated and talented team and look forward to collaborating with them in order to bring Dead Island to gamers.”

Right away, gamers will draw comparisons between Techland‘s game and other zombie action games like Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising. Left 4 Dead emphasized co-operative combat but came off as unrealistic with its safe havens and plentiful guns. Dead Rising built its fame from its massive inventory of everyday items players used as deadly objects. Dead Island builds a middle ground between the two games, combining first person co-operative gameplay and wanton melee action.

Firearms are available but rare, and ammunition is even rarer. So, players are going to have to arm up with whatever items they find on the way and swing for the fences. The game will have four customizable character classes with a leveling system that helps improve various aspects of your chosen survivor.

While certain gameplay aspects are similar, Dead Island differentiates itself with its inclusion of a supposedly “immersive” story. Left 4 Dead set itself up like a TV show serial, with episodes that took players through a small arc, but without a grand narrative journey.

Any horror fan knows that like movies, the stories in zombie games are usually overlooked and the violence takes center stage. The developers are careful about revealing details about their game, giving little insight into the story, and only small peeks at the gameplay.

It all sounds good on paper, but we can’t be sure how it will all work out until get our hands on a build of the game, or at least see a gameplay demo.

With an experienced company like Square Enix handling the distribution for the title, we can be sure that Dead Island will be released for Xbox 360, PS3 and Windows PC later this year without a hitch.

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