Trailer for upcoming game “Dead Island” is surprisingly upsetting.

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.

7 thoughts on “Trailer for upcoming game “Dead Island” is surprisingly upsetting.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Trailer for upcoming game “Dead Island” is surprisingly upsetting. « Stupid Evil Bastard -- Topsy.com

  2. Yeah, it seems to be having that effect on a lot of people. The fact that it managed to hit a nerve with me piques my interest.

  3. Eurgh. Won’t be playing that one. 🙁 Really good trailer – but dude, kids in peril, I can’t handle.

  4. I’m all for smacking zombies, and I’ve had the conversation with my teenager that I would take him out if the time came, but yeah…that was a bit rough.

    Lucky for me, our playing L4D 1-2 has us all agreeing that no one gets a bullet until they turn 🙂

  5. Can someone explain this one to me please? I just see a family being attacked by zombies. Sure, the kid is new (they usually leave the kid killing out of games). As far as I can tell nothing new or noteworthy is being introduced here. It just makes you think about things you normally don’t see in these types of games (torn apart families, etc). To me it points at peoples inability to see beyond the first impression. Still its a really good trailer.

  6. MC, I gave my best guess as to an explanation in the entry. It’s not so much the fact that a kid buys the farm and turns on her family, that’s been done before in both games and movies, as much as the way it plays out.

    It’s not immediately clear, or at least it wasn’t to me, that the child on the ground and the child in the hallway were one and the same. Then ending it on the moment where daughter and father are reaching out to each other after having seen both halves play out really drove the point home. I think the music also played a very effective role in that it wasn’t the shrill and tense sound scenes like that usually have.

    The modeling wasn’t the most realistic depictions of humans I’ve ever seen, but they got the expressions on their faces just right. It allowed me to empathize without knowing a whole lot about them.

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