I’m jaded in many ways. I’ve seen enough zombie movies and played enough zombie games that, while I can enjoy them, they rarely strike me on an emotional level. The original Resident Evil made me jump a couple of times, but it didn’t feel me with a sense of horror. Which is something you’d expect a horror movie or game to do.
So you can imagine my surprise when the trailer for Dead Island had me with a tear or two running down my cheek. Warning: There is some graphic bloodletting in this video, but it’s not the gore that affected me. It’s the very short and very horrifying story it tells:
For those who’d rather not watch it, the story it tells is of a family on vacation in a hotel meeting their doom at the hands of a zombie horde. I think part of what makes it so effective is that the story is told in two directions — from the end and beginning — at the same time by jumping back and forth in time with the end sequences running backwards and the beginning sequences running forward. It’s a little confusing at first, but as both halves meet up in the middle and the full realization of what has happened dawns on you…
I think it’s that sudden realization that hit me so hard. I totally didn’t expect it and the means in which it plays out is so disconcerting that you’re thrown off guard. I was totally choking up at the end.
I have no idea if the game will be any good or not, but I have to give them credit for making a jaded gamer feel some real emotion with just a trailer. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one.