Developer Deep Silver has announced that the next installment in the Dead Island franchise, Escape Dead Island, will be available this fall. The game will bridge the gap between Dead Island and the upcoming next-gen title Dead Island 2.
The game will be a departure from the standard action-oriented Dead Island trademark. Escape Dead Island is billed as a third-person single-player survival-mystery and will focus on psychological horror rather than a “the gorier, the merrier” approach.
Players can look forward to surviving the latest incarnation of the ever popular zombie horde on PS3, Xbox One, and PC.
IGN reported that the game follows protagonist Cliff Callow, a man plagued by hallucinations, investigating the zombie outbreak on Nera Pala island. After their gameplay demo, IGN pointed out that the game features some very experimental, circular plot elements such as forcing the player to die in order to respawn in a different reality, still carrying the items they possessed before their untimely demise. Deep Silver has already likened the storyline structure to that of the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day.
IGN also noted that, in a departure from the first Dead Island, the graphics are cell shaded. This is done to give the game a more comic book feel and will be remembered fondly by anyone who played the graphic novel-based XIII.
Combat is reported to be very strategic. Stealth kills are said to be a very big factor while the game also features items to be used to distract the undead while you sneak past, such as radios. This continues the recent trend in horror gaming of stripping power from the player and forcing a stealth approach.
Escape Dead Island will also feature some adventure game elements. Players will find items such as ropes and maces that will allow them to shimmy down once unreachable ledges and to destroy boarded up doors, once blocking the way. This means players will be returning to previously explored locations in order to access the newly available areas and advance the story. This is very risky move by the developers as it will result in backtracking, and 99.9% of the time backtracking is the sign of a bad game. Can Escape Dead Island be the 0.1%? We will have to wait until the fall to find out.
On top of going in a bold new direction, developers have sweetened the deal by offering exclusive access to the Dead Island 2 beta to anyone who pre-orders Escape Dead Island at Gamestop.
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