For the past week or so, the gaming world has seemingly been up to it’s knees in news AKA dick-sucking festivals regarding the announcement trailer of a new videogame titled Dead Island.
Developed by the Polish studio, Techland; and incorporating first-person, open world play mechanics, married with some RPG elements, Dead Island is nothing if not an ambitious undertaking.
I suppose it’s also worth noting that the game has been in development for over 5 years at this point.
Curiously enough, a quick look at Techland’s portfolio of games reveals that the vast majority of their products were racing games, with notable exceptions being the first-person action/adventure games of the Chrome and Call of Juarez series.
That being said, I’m not here to speculate on how Dead Island will or won’t succeed, rather I’m just here to lend a few of my thoughts regarding it’s much hyped/publicized trailer.
In short, I found the trailer to be both clever, and technically impressive.
And this is coming from someone who regards zombie games/movies/TV shows/muffins as being overplayed these days.
Taking advantage of it’s brief running time, the trailer is effectively, and cleverly arranged in such a way as to reach out to it’s viewers on a visceral level in the form of showing us a dead kid, while playing out it’s content in ultra-smooth reverse motion.
While it might sound, um, “wrong” of me, I’ve always felt that kids should be fair game in movies.
Seriously man, nothing pisses me off more than watching a movie and getting that nagging feeling that some kid was spared getting his head torn off just because some producer or PR guy felt it would hurt ticket sales.
Tangents aside, my point is that the trailer does a good job of working from a short running, while managing to tell a very complete story despite itself.
Curiously enough, said story, that of a family going on an island vacation only to be killed by rampaging zombies; (or is that, be killed by rampaging zombies only to end up going on vacation?) feels largely familiar despite very likely being unique.
This most likely stems from visual and tonal similarities to other, pre-existing films.
Case in point, the theme of having an “innocent” child turn against her family as a result of becoming a zombie is something we’ve seen in many other zombie stories, most notably the original Night of the Living Dead, as well as the opening sequence of the Dawn of the Dead remake.
I know there are very likely a billion other zombie films that utilized this plot element, however I haven’t seen them, most likely won’t ever see them, and sure as hell don’t need you posting some fatty complaint about how I failed to represent them on this blog.
It’s not often I take opportunities to say “fuck you” to whoever might be reading this blog, however consider this my way of saying just that to all the zombie-whores/hipsters across the globe.
*Ahem!* All tangents aside, let’s get back to talking about stuff that reminds me of other stuff.
It’s a minor element, but the “found footage” segment at the end of the trailer seems to bears some resemblance to the closing moments of Cloverfield.
A quick Google search also reveals that some people believe the whole trailer bears some resemblance to a Coldplay music video as well, but at this point I’m done being an ass, so don’t expect me write about that, let alone even watch the fuckin’ Coldplay video to confirm the validity of said claim.
Coldplay and the Azn Badger…. Let’s just say they don’t mix…
Such resemblances to pre-existing shit throughout the trailer may in fact be intentional on the part of the production crew, however that doesn’t change the fact that I found the home video portion of the trailer to be more than a little extraneous.
I get it, they’re a family.
It’s sad that they’re dead.
You don’t have to spell it out for me.
On a side note, the minimalist piano score of the Dead Island trailer deserves just as much credit as it’s animators, as it manages to hit all the right notes, making for an experience that feels much more genuine than it likely should.
Make no mistake, the Azn Badger is not one to get emotional over a trailer for a fuckin’ zombie videogame, however I tip my hat to the production team, as despite the core concept of the game they were working from, they did a pretty swell job of balancing the fun and serious in this clip.
Did I really just use the word “swell” in a sentence?
Anyway, I think I’ve just about run out of steam on this one.
It’s a neat trailer, worth checking out if you’re into digital art, videogames, or *sigh,* zombies.
I don’t see why it’s success was deemed significant enough at this point to dictate a purchase of the Dead Island movie rights, long before the game has even debuted; however such is the arcane world of business and marketing.
Anyway, thanks for reading!