WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

There's been a slight buzz in gaming circles and among some squeamish folks over the trailer recently released for Dead Island, a zombie apocalypse action game with RPG elements due out this year on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Here's the trailer, but be warned that it depicts graphic violence and we're blogging about it specifically because it's been upsetting some people...
 

 

Did it sell you on buying the game? Did it horrify you with the depiction of children being mauled by zombies? Are you going to talk about how "beautiful" it is because you got suckered in with some somber piano music and slo-mo footage? The Woot Writers ran the gamut, from "that trailer is extremely well done" to "if you can't sell me your product without images of violence against children, I have no disposable income for you."

It IS a well-done trailer. It's rare to see such effort and attention put into a spot for a video game; normally it's a slew of explosions and hyper-quick edits to assure you that there will be frantic, fast-twitch gameplay. Speaking of gameplay though, this trailer offers none; that's generally cause for concern when it comes to upcoming "groundbreaking" and "amazing" games.

But the controversy isn't that they may be hiding subpar mechanics behind shiny cinematics. A lot of people have reacted negatively, as happens with polarizing things like violent video games, but several comments online talk about feeling just...depressed. Video games are supposed to be fun, challenge your reflexes, feed our primate curiosities with puzzles, and sate our outdated bloodlust with digitized gore. Rarely do we fire up the Xbox to weep softly at the loss of a young family helplessly overcome by circumstances they could not have foreseen.

Let us know in the comments what you think: if you're psyched for the game, unable to finish the trailer, or sick of every form of entertainment being saturated with zombies and gore and clinging desperately to that new release of You Don't Know Jack.

david12156


quality posts: 0 Private Messages david12156

I like it,it shows that there is more to zombie apocalypse then just adults there are children involved too, that survivors risk their lives to help and that usually get adult survivors killed

bsmith1


quality posts: 101 Private Messages bsmith1

I agree that the trailer was nicely done and was more effective in this style than the fast-pace action clips we've seen before. This was more dramatic and also painted a more realistic picture of what it will really be like when the zombies attack. It'll suck, that's for sure. I don't think we should expect the zombie apocalypse to be 'fun'.

Without seeing any actual gameplay footage, however, it's hard to say if the game is any different from what is already out there.

blocheed


quality posts: 0 Private Messages blocheed

Horror. I'm a first time parent. That ought to be all you need to know. I would be willing to bet that not a single person who likes that spot has kids of their own.

Listen2Reason


quality posts: 4 Private Messages Listen2Reason

I don't really like it because it just seems...manipulative. However, when you said:

"Rarely do we fire up the Xbox to weep softly at the loss of a young family helplessly overcome by circumstances they could not have foreseen."

Personally, I don't EVER really want to see/read/experience a story like that. Not really my thing. However, I believe computer games SHOULD be able to move us in that sort of way; they SHOULD be able to evoke a wide range of emotions in players. Your opinion that they can't is just more stereotyping about games, and it blinds you to their true potential.

LukeDuff


quality posts: 3 Private Messages LukeDuff

I'm creeped out more by the comments here than the trailer.

BC4L!

dmorrell


quality posts: 4 Private Messages dmorrell

This makes GTA look like Katamari Damacy

madelk


quality posts: 0 Private Messages madelk

I want to shoot zombies in the faaaaaccccee

Assassin15


quality posts: 161 Private Messages Assassin15

This makes Zelda look just that much better.

PULL UP YOUR SKIRT, WE'RE ON A MISSION/
WE NEED A HERO, NOT A POLITICIAN - "Panhammer" by Phinehas

citizenjames


quality posts: 0 Private Messages citizenjames

funny. people complain how unsophisticated, simplistic and mechanical most games are and then someone creates one with actual emotion and get thrown under the bus for it.

if this were a trailer with just kids getting mauled i'd agree. the entire trailer is a father fighting to save his daughter and wife and then abandoning her once he knows she's infected. it's saying the zombies aren't the real horror, its the lengths we'll go to to survive that's the real horror. there is a lot of sophie's choice drama there.

i know a woman who hates "titanic" based on one image of jeanette goldstein comforting her children as their cabin floods. sorry, kids died on the titanic and that scene doesn't make light of it.

in the event of a zombie outbreak, kids will be zombies and abandoned (if not killed) by their own parents. deal with it. if you can't, i'm sure there is a new mario game this year that'll keep you happy.

Quibby


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Quibby

I like a game that can strike me emotionally or has me emotionally vested in the game to where I actually care about the characters. This seems like it is trying to do that, but the execution makes it feel more exploitative than emotional.

grayskunk


quality posts: 0 Private Messages grayskunk

I am not offended but I don't think I'd play a game that, as you alluded to, would just make me feel like crap. I like having fun in games, unlike my movie taste which can be more forgiving when it comes to content. And yes, manipulative.

cbrett42


quality posts: 8 Private Messages cbrett42

Not outraged. Just bored.

coverton341


quality posts: 0 Private Messages coverton341

I personally think it will be a good game. At least from the trailer it shows that they are trying to convey a sense of emotion and there needs to be much more of that in the video game industry if it is ever to be taken out of the "just for kids" category and seen as a viable form of entertainment for adults.

Cieloan


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Cieloan

I think it's cool what they're trying to do--the concept of really showing the reality of this kind of situation is a good one. However, I hope I'm never so desensitized that the graphicness of the violence mixed with the emotions shown in the trailer don't make me want to crawl out of my skin a little bit.

The kinds of situations this game would be depicting are the kinds of situations that seriously mess people up--not something I ever want to pay money for.

Turbospeak


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Turbospeak

I'm not outraged by the trailer, but I wish I had known that it was going to involve such graphic (and depressing) violence against children. As a mom, I couldn't stomach watching the whole thing and just ended up leaving the room. I don't enjoy games or movies like this, which is my perogative, just as it is the perogative of others to enjoy and watch/play horror movies and games. I personally have no desire to dwell on Things That Suck Royally, particularly in my entertainment. I'd much rather be out doing something to prevent or alleviate real-world Things That Suck.

Cinematically, the animation and styling makes this more than a typical zombie movie/game trailer. But, it doesn't seem to show anything meaningful about the gameplay of the game. I thought that game trailers were supposed to both show you glimpses of the storyline, but also let you see how it will be to actually play the game.

Slydon


quality posts: 17 Private Messages Slydon

Staff

As marketing, it's clever, I guess, because everyone's talking about it. But as a game, what does shooting zombie kids bring to the table that shooting zombie adults can't offer? And "realism" isn't a fair answer, I feel, because if someone wanted "realism" they wouldn't be shooting zombies.

Plus, if there aren't kids in the game, why put them in the commercial? To me the real beauty of this is how they made a decent short film out of the zombie attack, so why go for the cheap attention with the kid? Why not trust their skill to speak for itself and make the story about a rich Jersey Shore type with two party girls, one of whom turns on him and ends up going out the window? I'd shoot up that kind of zombie all doggone day.

Hi, I'm one of the writers. My powers are limited but I'll do what I can.

Serr


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Serr

My thoughts in my blog.

Tl;dr - I think it's a good trailer and definitely needed in the industry, and does a lot outside of just marketing.

http://www.rogue-gamer.com/2011/02/dead-island-trailer-perspective.html

hotbbq


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hotbbq
blocheed wrote:Horror. I'm a first time parent. That ought to be all you need to know. I would be willing to bet that not a single person who likes that spot has kids of their own.



You'd be wrong. I'm father to an 11 month old girl and it didn't phase me in the least. It was interesting enough to hold my attention until the end. That said, will I play it? Probably not. But that is because zombie games bore me, but because I thought this one would be too horrific.

GSaw


quality posts: 0 Private Messages GSaw

This is a cinematic trailer with no signs of gameplay. There is no way to judge the game based on this trailer.

That said, whether you like it or not, it is a fantastic trailer, in that it accomplishes what trailers are there to do: generate interest and buzz in the product.

What bothers me more than the trailer, though, is the line "Video games are supposed to..." Traditionally, video games have been about testing reflexes and problem solving skills, but there shouldn't be any kind of limit put on where games can go or what they can do. In fact, I wish more games would have mature themes that are found in books or film.

sporeman


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sporeman

its a zombie game, people die in zombie games and movies, night of the living dead came out in 1968, and a young girl turns into a zombie,kills her mother and is killed by the dad i think it was (been a long time since i have watched it) that being said i think the trailer was very well made, better than many real movie trailers, tho shows no gameplay.

SBCJester21


quality posts: 9 Private Messages SBCJester21

I am Offended! I can't believe w00t writers would post something like this. I will never buy anything from w00t again!... oh wait... I thought were were talking about Egypt again...

Kid killing zombie game trailer? cool!

Canuckintn


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Canuckintn

It's sad and depressing; not just the trailer, but also some of the comments posted. First off, the game is not going to be anything like the preview...I'm sure it's going to be fast and graphic and loud and bloody and have no real connection with the "sentimentality" generated in the preview.

Second, the inclusion of a child in the violence isn't designed to represent the harsh "realities" of a zombie apocalypse, it's designed to tear down one of the last vestiges of innocence; childhood.

I don't like it, I don't like it one bit

talonkarrde88


quality posts: 0 Private Messages talonkarrde88

I think it's almost impossible to judge what the game will be like based on this trailer alone - it's pure cinematics and has no gameplay. That being said, carrying forward the spirit of the trailer would present for a pretty good game, I think.

As a couple other people have said, I think reaching out to people and affecting them emotionally is a good thing. Games shouldn't just be about entertainment, but also about evoking some sense of connection, much like the best movies/books/art/comics do.

What it comes down to for me is that the graphics artists and coders for the trailer absolutely earned their keep. There are a lot of zombies out there, but this reaches out to return some of the 'horror' back into the genre: instead of them just being ugly monsters you have to shoot, it reminds us that they were your friends and family.

McGurk


quality posts: 5 Private Messages McGurk
GSaw wrote: That said, whether you like it or not, it is a fantastic trailer, in that it accomplishes what trailers are there to do: generate interest and buzz in the product.



+1

As stated, this has nothing to do with gameplay, and very little to do with storyline. It is about 10 seconds of realtime action stretched into almost 2 minutes of cinema. It did exactly what it is supposed to do: get people talking about it. Doesn't matter if it's good or bad, praising or outrage, or even condemnation. It just needed to be talked about, which it did.

Mission Accomplished. The only way to combat this type of marketing is to ignore it. P.T. Barnum said it best: "I don't care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right."

Xexus


quality posts: 6 Private Messages Xexus
blocheed wrote:Horror. I'm a first time parent. That ought to be all you need to know. I would be willing to bet that not a single person who likes that spot has kids of their own.



revisit this comment in about 10 years, and I suspect your opinion will have softened a bit. When I first became a daddy, I had trouble watching the end of Mad Max,

Signature censored by Woot

Xexus


quality posts: 6 Private Messages Xexus
Turbospeak wrote: I couldn't stomach watching the whole thing and just ended up leaving the room.



I hope the kids weren't still in the room when you walked out.

Signature censored by Woot

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
talonkarrde88 wrote:That being said, carrying forward the spirit of the trailer would present for a pretty good game, I think.



I agree, but to REALLY carry forward the spirit you'd have to have some connection to these characters other than "this is supposed to be my guy's daughter."

Would you play a game that had you rear a tiny digital infant from birth to 'tweenhood, THEN viciously took her from you in a zombie apocalypse? None of that sounds fun.

toddvj


quality posts: 0 Private Messages toddvj

Meh. If there were a Zombie Apocalypse, I'd use my kids as human shields/fodder.

madfrisbee


quality posts: 6 Private Messages madfrisbee
Turbospeak wrote:I personally have no desire to dwell on Things That Suck Royally, particularly in my entertainment. I'd much rather be out doing something to prevent or alleviate real-world Things That Suck.



Yeah, exactly. And as Scott says, the talk of "This is cold, hard reality and we should all face that" when we're discussing a zombie video game (?!?) is just making me a little crazy.

We have all sorts of grim reality in this world that geniunely needs to be faced and dealt with; I suspect that anyone who sees this as one of those realities is actually using this sort of "entertainment" as an avoidance mechanism for facing and doing something about the true problems in the world.

fadecomic


quality posts: 0 Private Messages fadecomic

I don't quite get the suckered in comment. I mean aren't those things people think are beautiful? It's a little like saying, "Did you get suckered into thinking cheetahs are fast because their displacement per unit time is high?"

Xexus


quality posts: 6 Private Messages Xexus

This trailer has words to it

Signature censored by Woot

eternaltriumph


quality posts: 0 Private Messages eternaltriumph

I think people are just being overly sensitive. It's a child made out of pixels. If you catch feelings about it, guess what? It was an amazing trailer. If you felt pity, sorrow or disgust for an animated character, you were paying attention.

That being said, I believe it was excellent. Like someone here said, in a zombie outbreak children will not magically be immune and ignored by flesh eating zombies/infected/undead. They are human and also targets.

I love that people say "OH MY GOD THEY ATTACKED A LITTLE GIRL" instead of "Oh my god, that poor father."

And while your suspension of disbelief is active, try to imagine how you'd react to the situation.

zak1ap


quality posts: 2 Private Messages zak1ap

Disturbingly well-done.

pojster


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pojster

NOPE....I will stick to killing zombies in Call of Duty...