'Dead Island' Isn't Living Up to Its Disturbing Hype

Do you guys remember the massive hype surrounding Dead Island, the zombie shooter game that stirred up a bunch of controversy at the beginning of the year for its disturbing video trailer? Critics praised Dead Island for its clever editing, devastating imagery, and emotional gut-punch the story promised to deliver -- but judging by current reviews, it seems everyone forgot they were actually reviewing a trailer, not the game itself.

Not only is the freshly-released title from Techland getting a lukewarm reception for its game play, but the developers have an even bigger problem on their hands: Apparently they accidentally launched a broken, unfinished pre-release development build to Steam players in the U.S.

Oooh. Public-relations HEADSHOT.


Gaming publisher Deep Silver has scrambled to release a patch that supposedly addresses a huge number of issues with the game, which range from trivial to catastrophic, but unfortunately they haven't fixed that little problem of the wrong version being shipped to Steam players:

We deeply regret that an incorrect version of "Dead Island" was inadvertently made available to players on Steam launch in North America. We are very sorry for any issues you may have experienced while playing the game -- the correct, patched version will be made available to North American players ASAP.

If you ask me, the bugs on the Steam version sound sort of interesting: You can zoom out to a third-person view, see through walls, and warp to different areas of the island that shouldn't be accessible. Of course, they also make it impossible to play the game as it's meant to be played, but according to some reviews, that may not be such a bad thing.

While the consensus seems to be that Dead Island's open-world zombie RPG premise is unique and compelling, some critics say the game never lives up to its potential. CBS's Tech Talk writes:

The game tries to take itself seriously, but never explores the psychological trauma of waking up to find your favorite tropical island resort overrun by zombies. Characters feel hollow and the plot is uninspired and never successfully strikes emotional chords. (Players are presented) with one absolutely repetitive strategy: kick, kick, bash in skull, retreat, and repeat. This unimaginative game play is ultimately what makes "Dead Island" a complete bore to play.

What an anticlimactic launch for a game that had so much buzz over its trailer. As for me, I won't be playing it -- not because of bad reviews or buggy releases, but because that trailer scarred me for LIFE. It's definitely impressive in what it achieves via three minutes of CGI, but gah. GAHHHH. (The picture at the top of this post should give you a hint as to what you're in for.)

If you never saw the trailer back when it first came out, here it is, but don't say I didn't warn you:

Have you played Dead Island yet? Do you plan to?

Image via Dead Island

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