Logically, zombies and the genre of first person shooters should go hand in hand. However, in the past few years, FPS fans have fought terrorists, aliens, people infected by aliens, demons, gangsters and defeated the Nazis (several thousand times), but no all out zombie game. At least one that was good, that is. On the other side of things, the 3rd person shooter genre offers several flavors of zombie killing, most of which are fantastic games. The Polish developer of the pretty cool Call of Juarez game, Techland, will try and change all this with Dead Island.
To be released sometime next year, the game follows the story of a vacationing couple whose plane crashes onto a tropical island. Naturally, the wife goes missing and the island looks practically deserted... Or is it? And so begins your zombie killing adventure, as you not only look for your missing wife, but find out how and why the island has been zombiefied.
Protesting their right for decent zombie-healthcare, the zombies have started a nice warm zombie-bonfire.
The action will be fairly fast paced with zombies coming at you with varying speeds and overall demeanor. Just about anything can be used as a weapon so being creative can probably get you out of some sticky situations. Don't like the looks of those zombies down the stairs? Take a barrel and roll it down for some zombie bowling. If you think that's not enough, you could always shoot it when it gets there for some, err, extreme zombie bowling! The various physics systems for things like electricity, gas and liquid will make for some very creative killing.
Hand-to-hand combat is also an option on Dead Island and is probably encouraged to get right into a zombie's grill. Speaking of which, the damage that will be taken by the zombie will physically show, so body parts will receive damage in an ever deforming manner, going from skin to muscle to bone. Hopefully we'll get to see some great burn (fire, chemical or otherwise) damage as well.
The AI will be a little interesting as well. The zombies will have distinct behavioral patterns that will show, however as the game progresses, the zombies will evolve mentally, changing the way you fight them off.
The overall scope of the game looks to be huge. The non-linear gameplay give you the ability to walk all over the island at your own pace, depending on how many zombies are after you. Using vehicles is also a big part of the adventure, as is choosing your allies. Another little twist to the game is that the story is multi-threaded, meaning that there are several ways the story ends, depending on how your character handles certain situations.
Zombies haven't exactly had the best track record in the FPS world, however survival horror fans have had their fun for far too long. It's time for a different point of view! And while it may look seem like a cross between Far Cry and House of the Dead, it could very well be much more.