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Offtopic (and NSFW) blog post - Dead Island Trailer

02-16-2011 6,054 views Video Games 9 Comments

I typically try to save my video game/movie/off topic stuff until the weekend, but when I saw this video today I had to share it. As a warning, this video is incredibly NSWF for violence reasons. I consider us all adults here so if zombie level violence turns you off, please stop now. Anyway, watch the video, then I'm going to chime in with some thoughts.

Wow. So I've watched this video close to 5 times now and I'm still not sure if I'm disgusted or impressed by it. I am not a fan of bloody horror shows. I much rather a suspenseful show where the gore is kept to a minimum. I've like some of the recent zombie flicks, but in general I'll avoid shows like Saw. It just feels too real. I know there is real death out there. I'd rather my monsters be the Cloverfield variety or ghosts. (Ghosts aren't real - no matter what weird sounds I've heard in this house.)

But - it isn't the violence really that hits you. It's the kid. I've found that my lack of interest in really bloody horror films seems to have come about right around the same time my wife and I grew our family. It seems that kids (teenagers) are the prime victims in horror films and I'm not ashamed to say I find it hard to watch. Back a few years ago I reviewed Prey. The game featured the very violent and very realistic murder of a child. In my mind - even though the game takes place during an alien invasion - and yeah - if these guys are eating us like a drunk at Taco Bell then certainly they are eating kids - I just don't need to see that. I'll take my realism in frames per second and resolution. I don't need that much realism.

I felt the same way in Revenge of the Sith when Anakin (off screen though) slaughters children. Yeah - I get that the Empire is bad. But you know what - I didn't need some Nazi comparison in my Star Wars movie. I wanted escapism - not the monster that may actually live next door.

So that's a long winded way of saying - I don't want to see kids getting butchered in my video games... but in this trailer - it didn't feel quite as inappropriate as I'd expect. From what I know - the story is that you and your family are on an island when a zombie outbreak occurs. If there are very real consequences to not keeping your family safe and it's not gratuitous as it was in Prey - I could see this being a damn good game.

And wow - just the mechanics of this trailer and freaking amazing. The cuts between the different time flows. It's awesome. You see and appreciate more with each re-watching.

So I've probably over analyzed this to death. What do you think?

9 Comments

  • Eric Reeves #
    Commented on 02-16-2011 at 10:44 PM
    Very interesting; hadn't seen this yet. Am I the only one that immediately thought of Lost with the repetitive piano music and slow motion scenes? Lost never really did a backwards thing (that I can remember), but definitely played with time...
  • Commented on 02-16-2011 at 10:54 PM
    ha, yeah just posted it on my site too, thought it was great and a nice change from the typical game trailer featuring all powerful space marines blasting everything in sight... you really feel that this guy is fighting to save his family and he probably won't win!

    Take a look at the recut linear version, strangely I don't think it looses much...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktT9DXs88HA

    By the way, thought Prey was excellent and played it through a couple of times, didn't have a problem with the kids stuff in context... if anything this video is more disturbing because of the emotion involved, that's not some random kid it's his daughter he can't save who then turns on him and he ends up killing... that's pretty dark really!
  • Commented on 02-17-2011 at 8:01 AM
    @Eric: I was reminded of Lost as well.
    @Adam: Agreed - but the non-linear cut is more engaging.
  • Commented on 02-17-2011 at 8:37 AM
    It's very visceral in a family way to be sure, and I think it should almost appeal more to a parent/older player than a younger one. There are plenty of books and movies where the loss of a child is part of a character's background, motives, or burden. Here, it looks like they're going to put you front and center to that moment, and be a part of that narritve, instead of just having it installed as a plot point. I think it has the possibility to be very effective. I think to shy away from putting it in as an active part of the story you feel at a gut level, should give someone pause the next time the hero says "...and I lost my daughter," and we just accept it device and move on.

    That said, it reminds me how kids end up with more of games like this in their hands than they would be able to walk into a rated R movie. I think it's easily a trivial moment to most players under 25, and trivializing it gets engrained the younger the player is from there.

    All that said, I'd a) hope parents wouldn't be such tools to not watch what their kid plays, and b) would definately play it (if it doesn't suck).
  • emmet #
    Commented on 02-17-2011 at 9:51 AM
    I've watched it several times as well. The musical score was amazing. The first time I watched in silence since a coworker was on the phone. It just looked like a rather well edited cutscene. Cue in the music on another watch and I was emotionally drawn in, chilled and saddened to the point that its effect lasted long after. In fact, as long as the song stayed in my head.
  • Michael #
    Commented on 02-17-2011 at 1:16 PM
    If the quality of the trailer = quality of the game, this could be a really good one. DISCLAIMER: we've all been fooled by trailers before.

    Either way, this VERY effectively evokes parental sympathy (rather than excessive disgust).
  • Commented on 02-17-2011 at 6:30 PM
    Video. Is. Awesome!!!!
  • Peter #
    Commented on 02-22-2011 at 1:07 PM
    As a father of three young girls (9,6,3), I found I had to remind myself that it wasn't real - several time. I think you are totally right that once you start having kids, everything changes with respect to killing and horror and gore. Give me a good psycho-thriller any day.

    Of course, the whole gaming thing in general is out of control - its becoming more and more death fantasy and war p0rn...
  • Pete #
    Commented on 02-23-2011 at 12:54 PM
    Cannot wait for this to come out! I’m gonna throw on my favorite t-shirt and go to town on those zombies!!! http://www.crazydogtshirts.com/servlet/the-2551/zo...

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