It's quite a surprise that the Dead Island trailer took the internet by storm in the way it did. The game being developed by Techland has been relatively unknown since it was first announced in 2008 and I don't even think Techland expected their debut trailer to be as successful as it was.
Dead Island is an upcoming Cooperative Open World First Person Zombie Survival game. While that's quite a long name for a genre but Dead Island deserves it. This first entry in the COWFPSZS genre is set to combine elements from numerous games to create a fantastic zombie survival experience that, if the success of the trailer is any indication, should do quite well for Techland.
In Dead Island, players will be taking control of one of four characters who find themselves trapped in the fictional Royal Palms Resort (The titular Dead Island) in the country of Banoi located off the coast of Papua New Guinea when it become overrun by a zombie infestation. The four characters that players will choose from include a former NFL star by the name of Logan, a former Australian police officer turned bodyguard named Purna, a rap star whose fame is quickly fading known as Sam B, and lastly an employee of one of Royal Palms Resorts many hotels named Xian Mei. As far as zombie survival teams go, the characters of Dead Island certaintly win over the Left 4 Dead crew in terms of originality but it will be interesting to see if they can match the same personality that appealed to the gamers who played Valve's cooperative zombie shooters.
More and more developers are incorporating RPG elements to add more depth to their games and Techland is no exception. Dead Island features a full on experience system and skill tree's for players to customize their characters with. From the way Techland are describing the RPG elements of Dead Island, it sounds surprisingly similiar to Borderlands sans the eighty bajillion guns. The skill trees aren't the only method of character customization that players will have access to in Dead Island. Players will also be able to customize and upgrade their weapons as well as combine them together via a system that looks very reminiscent of the weapons crafting system in Dead Rising 2.
There is a lot in Dead Island that might remind gamers of Left 4 Dead and much like Left 4 Dead 2, Dead Island places a specific emphasis on the use of melee weapons against your undead foes. While both games feature characters slaying hordes of zombies with melee weapons, the big difference between the two games is that while Left 4 Dead is a fairly linear affair, Dead Island takes place in a massive open world. Another key difference that seperates the world of Dead Island and the world of Left 4 Dead is that Dead Island features a day/night cycle fully integrated into the games gameplay.
Dead Island is set for release on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and OnLive on the 6th of September in North America and the 9th of September for gamers in PAL territories.