In Escape from Dead Island, players take on the role of a young boy from a wealthy family. His father, however, doesn’t believe he has what it takes to run the family business, instead given to his sister. The son sets off to prove himself, but he ends up on an island full of zombies and no way to get back.
Setting this apart from previous titles is the art style; cel-shaded instead of the more realistic design we’ve grown accustomed to. Another difference is the character you play as is not immune to the zombie virus, so one hit from your adversaries and he’s a goner. Thankfully, you won’t have to face off against an insurmountable amount of zombies at once. Throughout the demo we mostly encountered one. Deep Silver also stated they want the game to feel like a Metroidvania where there’s plenty of secrets and gear (the most important aspect) discoverable at different intervals.
A rope, for instance, can be used to go down rocky cliffs and to mix objects together. A screwdriver is the main source of defense through the demo, but an axe will be available in the final build. Since you’re not one of the lucky few immune to a few zombie attacks, stealth plays a key role. Zombies must be distracted by any means necessary, either by making noise or tempting them to your body and hightailing it out of sight. If you haven’t been caught yet you’ll get the chance to stab them in the head for an instant kill. Luckily, the items do not breakdown with time.
After a nail-biting session with Escape, we had the chance to sit down with two of the game’s developers.
[Hardcore Gamer] What makes Escape Dead Island different from previous titles?
[Deep Silver] This is a very different experience, as you can tell first off with the comic art style and fact that it’s third person. It’s a story driven and ties Dead Island 1 and Dead Island 2 together. It’s a game that has lots to do with the narrative of the franchise but also brings a new perspective to the series because you play as someone who isn’t immune. So you’re a lot more vulnerable as in if you take one hit you’ll die. So we put a lot more strategy in how you approach the zombies in this game.
But there won’t be hundreds zombies on screen trying to go after you at once? It’s going to be more sparse?
Exactly. The main character is a rich frat boy brat and his father a media mogul. His father disowns him and gives the empire to his sister, so the main character gets pretty pissed and goes on this journey to prove to his Father he’s actually worth being part of the empire.
So he ends up on this island with his friends called Narakara to do a documentary on what’s happening, in this world right now people don’t know of the zombie outbreak as well, but those on the internet are talking about the events of Dead Island, and this is set after Riptide in the timeline.
So there’s going to be lots of different routes to escape from zombies and find different areas?
Yeah there will be a lot of places you can go to depending on what kind of gadgets you have and how you approach the situation depending on what gadgets and weapons you pick up during the game.
Are they infinite supply, or do they break down after so many uses?
They’re infinite supply.
Other then the standard types of zombies, are there other types of zombies that sense you in a different way?
There are some types that sense you by smell, and very fast that can get to you instantly once they’ve spotted you. The normal types of zombies are still pretty dumb but they won’t stop looking for you if you get out of sight. If they saw you went behind a rock they’ll search to be sure, but will forget about you after a while. The stronger zombies will look for you longer and they’ll remember where they saw or heard you last.
When you find your friends do they become part of your gameplay experience or do they just hide away and do something else on their own time and you won’t have to worry about them?
You won’t have to worry about your friends at any point. I mean you should probably worry about them after finding them, because the story has a cause and effect if you choose to find them or not, but you won’t have to worry about having to defend them.
While playing we’ve noticed some files scattered around, will they shed more light on the story?
Yep, there’s a lot of different kinds of collectibles. You have your camera and you can take photos with it, there’s stories on different characters you can find that details their life on the island on what happened to them.
Keep an eye out for Escape Dead Island this Fall for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.