We were given a glimpse of the upcoming FPS Zombie game Dead Island in the form of a cinematic trailer that tells the story of a man and his family struggling to survive on an island infested with zombies. The story is told in reverse and specifically highlights the final minutes in the life of a young girl. The cinematography in the trailer is chilling and 1.7 million YouTube views confirms that we’re looking at a huge hit. This trailer may have taken 3 minutes to revitalize the zombie survival franchise (assuming the game doesn’t suck).
The resounding opinion is that the trailer is amazing, but in the days since it was released a group of journalists have begun posting articles that call the developers artistic direction into question. Their concerns lie, in general, with the decision to focus on the little girl.
Ben Parfitt, writing for MCV UK, wrote an article that expresses these concerns far better than I ever could. In summary, those speaking out againts the trailer are concerned with the developers depiction of the gruesome death of a child.
I’ll level with you Connecticut. I was unnerved by this trailer after I watched t a few times and fully understood what I was seeing. As a father of two young boys with a hyper active imagination (that still has me running around in a panic whenever I am alone in the dark) I find anything that fuels horrific images involving my children tends to drive me away.
In this case, I don’t necassarily think that sense of unease is really a bad thing. The survival horror genre has been in shambles recenly. (Did you see what I did there?) A genre built around the idea of fragile people being trapped in horrific situations and struggle to survive while playing through a narrative has been replaced with third and first person shooters in scary locales. What better way to demonstrate a characters vulnerability than these scenes?
Those of us who cringe at the thought of our children being the ones in this type of scene have a unique perspective here. No one else has the chance to really understand the horror these characters are “living” through. This could potentially lead a more immersive experience. I, for one, think that I am ok with that.
What do you think Connecticut? Did it bother you that this about a young girl? Would you have preferred it if it were an adult? Would it have made you turn the trailer off half way through? Sound off in the comments!
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And, if you’re a CT or Tri State resident and really dig zombies, you can play your own LIVE version of Dead Island right here at Dystopia Rising Larp. (A New England area Zombie Apocalypse Larp)