I first became aware of the game Dead Island through a friend, who was raving about it on his Facebook page.
After reading more about the game, and liking the insanely gory graphics, which resemble Lucio Fulci's gorefest masterpiece Zombie, I decided to let my friend Andrew Alonso, who has spent an intimate amount of time with the game, to tell TG about his experiences battling the dead, and what you can expect as a player yourself.
Alonso, who is a 3D artist, says he considers himself "a hybrid casual / hardcore gamer. There's so many ways to define a gamer these days, I think anyone with over forty games is a gamer, whether they want to think so or not. I'm just three short of fifty PS3 games, and I've been playing games on and off for the last twenty years or so."
As far as horror themed games, Alonso says, "Blood and horror are mainstays have been with us for over fifteen years, starting with the first Resident Evil back in 1996. I've played more horror games than any other genre of games. Dead Island is a different kind of monster in the genre, because it melds many types of gaming experience into a unique cohesive entity all its own.
"The evniornments are rich, well designed, and allow you to really feel like you are there, especially if you have a large TV and surround sound. Hearing the creatures approaching from off screen is especially scary in the beginning. I only say that because after forty hours of playing, one will likely lose some fear, but not interest."
As far as how this game compares to other horror, or other zombie games, Alonso says, "I'd say the realism is a great advancement on the horror (game) genre. Your weapons aren't impervious to damage, which is really awesome. When your hero is running around, there's little tension because you know you're safe, but when you are at risk of losing your defenses, it makes the fear factor a big more intense."
Yes, killing zombies is "extremely satisfying" for Alonso, and he adds, "Games are outlets, especially this one. Gaming is a powerful therapeutic tool despite what much of society thinks."
Alonso has played close to fifty hours of the game, and says, "I'm a 'completionist,' so I can not stop a game until it's finished, and Dead Island was one of the cases where I didn't mind putting in so much time. When it comes to immersion in the fantasy, I don't know a horror game that has done it better."