Dead Island roundtable scares up some details

by: Peter Skeritt -
Earlier this week, select members of the gaming press were invited to participate in a conference call roundtable for Dead Island, one of this year's most anticipated games. Questions during the call were fielded by Deep Silver Brand Manager Vincent Kummer, along with public relations superstar Aubrey Norris. Here are some interesting points of information taken from the call:
  • Expect the crafting aspect for weapons to be important in Dead Island. While some new weapons can be found, players will need to track down the right materials to make weapons that are powerful enough to drive fear into the zombie outbreak that has taken over the resort island. Players will start with a basic knife for survival, but don't expect to last too long with just that weapon. 
  • For anyone hoping that the process of leveling up your characters would be quick, like in the demo that E3 attendees got to play, you can forget it. It's going to be a more gradual process, and money won't be all that plentiful. Players will certainly get stronger over time, but there are still some eleventh-hour design decisions being made that revolve around player levels and balancing. In addition, players will be forced to be selective with what they spend their money on. 
  • One of the highlights for the development team at E3 was seeing players having fun with the game and that the first-person melee system was executing well. 
  • Zombies will have several standard hit zones when struck during melee combat, including the head, arms, and legs. There will also be damage modifiers based on weapon type. Impact to limbs with a sharp weapon may result in the severing of that limb, while blunt weapons may break or shatter the limb. 
  • Character interactions won't affect the overall ending of the game, but they certainly add to the overall story. One particular situation has a man pleading with you to kill his wife, who has been turned. This seems to be a moral dilemma, but is only one of many kinds of interactions to be expected during the course of the game. 
  • Dead Island's gameplay pacing will vary. Combat situations will definitely quicken the pace, while exploring the island will slow down the pace. It's not necessarily an all-out action game, but there will certainly be action and combat to be experienced. 
  • Early on in the planning stages of Dead Island, it was to be a zombie-focused RPG. As development progressed, however, the game has become something different. RPG elements will remain, but several other game mechanics will be prominent as well. The game changed several times in the process, going from RPG to strict co-op before settling on the product that we'll see in September. 
  • Modding for PC has not been ruled out at this time, but it hasn't been confirmed yet, either. Expect to find out more as the release date approaches. 
  • The Dead Island experience for solo players will differ from the co-op experience in that the number of enemies will be adjusted along with the zombie "levels". Co-op games will have more zombies to face and they will naturally be tougher to dispatch, 
  • At this time, a pre-release demo is unlikely as development is in its final phases. The possibility of a demo being made available either on launch day or soon afterwards does exist. 
  • For those who don't preorder Dead Island from GameStop, the Bloodbath Arena DLC will eventually be sold. The Ripper weapon, however, will not be. The arenas in Dead Island are similar to Horde Mode in other games, as it's the players versus waves of zombies as they compete for spots on the leaderboard. 
  • Expect a 25-30 hour experience from Dead Island. Beating the game once will unlock a challenging difficulty setting. Replayability will largely be derived from using all of the game's characters as well as playing with friends. 
These details are only the beginning, as the countdown ticks inexorably towards September 6th, as that's the date that Dead Island will be in stores. Not only are Deep Silver and Square-Enix excited for this game, but consumers are, too. Dead Island is currently 5th on GameStop's list of most preordered games currently, behind predictable entries like Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and Gears of War 3. It's a new IP with a unique approach, and you can bet that we're eager to get our hands on a copy just like you should be. 
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