PS3 News: Dead Island Flexing Some Role-Playing Muscle? - PS3 News

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Dead Island Flexing Some Role-Playing Muscle?

When we did our preview for Techland's bloody and seemingly engaging zombie-slayin' Dead Island, we mentioned the possibility of RPG-like elements.

And we should be talking to the developer tomorrow to learn more about the game but in the meantime, more information has arisen. Apparently, this comes from Deep Silver Special Products Consultant Doug McLeod, who talked about the weapon crafting system.

Basically, we'll be able to upgrade weapons we like, which sort of implies inherent weapon levels, or augmentations that enhance the effectiveness of the weapon. There's talk of a deodorant bomb of some kind, too... Also, it seems the weapons are divided into classes, each of which will be designated by a color. Rare items will be in green, while blue and orange weapons are especially strong.

The bottom line is that the more you use a particular weapon, the better you can make it. I love the idea but then again, aren't a lot of action games doing something similar these days? The lines between RPGs and other genres have definitely become blurred.

P.S. If you play Deus Ex: Human Revolution enough, you start to use the word "augmentation" more often.

Related Game(s): Dead Island

Tags: dead island, techland, deep silver, dead island rpg

8/29/2011 11:54:58 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

MRSUCCESS
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 12:30:02 PM
Reply

I'm rarely into horror games like these. I usually enjoy watching others play it, but not into playing them until I watched the trailer for this game. I am glad to hear they're going to implement some role playing mechanics. Deodorant bombs, huh? Seems like I will be throwing a lot of Old Spice around lol

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:55:29 PM

I would hesitate to call it a horror game.

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Cole
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 12:35:52 PM
Reply

I'm interested in this game and all, but it just feels like a missed oppertunity to me. After that first trailer , I was really hoping that we would finally get a 'serious' zombie game. Oh well.. still keeping an eye on this one.

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Highlander
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 12:38:19 PM
Reply

Oh goody, one of my least favorite game genre stealing elements from RPGs. </sarcasm>

The RPG just died a little more.

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Cole
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 12:53:23 PM

One of your least favourite genres you say? Are you referring to FPS's or survival Horror?

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TheAgingHipster
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:22:27 PM

C'mon Highlander, surely it won't be THAT bad! I've actually got high hopes for this one, based on the videos I've seen thus far. Weapon upgrades and maintenance! Story-driven gameplay! Quests! Exploration! It sort of looks like Oblivion with zombies!

...wait, is that a good thing? Dang it....

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Claire C
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:26:40 PM

Come on, adding RPG elements to other genres is a great thing! I'd rather play this with it's RPG-ness than typical FPS. Are you saying you don't like Deus Ex???

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Highlander
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:44:15 PM

Oh, yes, I just adore gore and zombies. Yes, they're like candy to my brain....

Survival horror and anything that's gore laden are among my least favorite kinds of game.

And Claire, no, it's not a good thing for RPG like elements to be added to other games, all that does is further dilute and weaken the RPG as a genre.

I'm so sick and tired of this creeping death for the RPG. Every time some action game of whatever other genre comes along and claims to use RPG like elements people say the same things. "Oh, well are you really saying it's a bad thing for RPG elements to be in other games?" Yes, I am. Look, the mroe this kind of thing happens the more likely gamers, especially new gamers, are to see these kinds of games as RPGs. If these are the new RPGs, they what of the classic, genre defining RPGs? If you put them side by side with these new action RPGs they are clearly not nearly the same genre, but so many people see these new games as RPGs. Heaven knows how they see old school RPGs, tell you what though, it's not flattering.

So, yeah, I'm grumpy, and not happy. This is simply yet another slash in the "Death by 1000 cuts" that the real RPG is enduring. I don't see why I have to be happy or like it, nor why I should do anything other than express my displeasure at it.

I don't like this kind of game, I don't like this kind of presentation, and I don't like that people call this crap an RPG.

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Underdog15
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:51:45 PM

Zombies may be candy to your brain, but my brain is candy to your zombies.

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Claire C
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:52:17 PM

I understand what your saying, I don't want true blue RPGs to go away either. This to me isn't stopping other devs from making them though. If asked whether I wanted this game with or without RPG influence, I'd say with. Hopefully RPG elements in other genres helps convert others to the more hardcore type.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:00:41 PM

Dead Island is not going to harm the RPG genre in any way.

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TheAgingHipster
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 6:47:47 PM

@Highlander, I'd like to hear how you define the RPG. Are you a proponent of the retro 8- and 16-bit RPG era? Or do you define them more by the freedom of choice and style, a la Elder Scrolls? Or are you a "D&D is the only true RPG" fella?

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Highlander
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 9:23:58 PM

If you mean D&D as in pencil, paper and multi-sided gem dice, then yes, I played those, and enjoyed them greatly. I also played AD&D, GURPS, Middle Earth, Pendragon, Traveller, and a couple of other games based on GURPS that I can't remember the name of. However if you want to know what I think a video game RPG is, why not look at my user reviews and my avatar. I'll give you a clue. User reviews of Atelier Rorona and White KNight, many threads in the forum about White knight, Aterlier, and many comments about both as well as Hyper Dimension Neptunia, Ar Tonelico (including Qoga), Valkyria Chronicles, Cross Edge, Agarest War, Enchanted Arms, and back on the PS2 the Xenosaga series (Kos-Mos and Shion are in my avatar), and of course Final Fantasy VII and VIII. I've missed out at least a dozen more games, many on the PSP. If you want to know what I think an RPG is, that should give you some evidence.

What I don't think an RPG is is an action game that co-opts parts of RPG game elements, like weapons that level up, and then call themselves RPGs. By that definition, Ratchet and Clank is an RPG. If you want to argue, every game with a character is an RPG since the player adopts the role of the character. But that broad definition is universally agreed to be a little broad.

So, if that doesn't make it clear enough, that's fine, I'll enjoy my Atelier Totori when it arrives, along with my White Knight Chronicles 2. Enjoy decapitating zombies.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/29/2011 9:24:18 PM

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TheAgingHipster
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 11:22:57 PM

@Highlander, based on the tone of your response, I think you may have misconstrued my comment as confrontational. I was merely curious. Sorry if it came across as sarcastic or inflammatory!

Everyone seems to have their own definition of what makes an RPG, and they're all a little different. For instance, I believe that the console and PC RPG will never be a true RPG, as that title is best reserved for table-top gaming. (But games like Elder Scrolls and Baldur's Game come awfully close.) All video games must be scripted, and, in my opinion, that scripting eliminates the role-playing factor. But video games are fun regardless, so I don't really care too much about the distinction--I just like hearing how others define them, since the genre's been blending with all the others for a while now.

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___________
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 3:32:44 AM

and they call me negative nancy!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 8:28:37 AM

No we don't. We call you many other things, though.

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___________
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 10:08:18 AM

yup, because having a opinion here is illegal!

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 10:37:15 AM

Hipster,

I'm annoyed that games such as this claim RPG status, I'm annoyed that the industry is willfully destroying a genre of game that I love. That is why I seem annoyed and combative. sorry, it's not personal, and I should not have made it seem so.

Mr Anonymous Cowherd, I've never called you a name including the name 'Nancy' in my life. You are the Anonymous Cowherd to me, and you always will be. There, I trust that makes you feel better.

Look folks, I'm not really all that sorry if you don't like my opinion. If your favorite genre of game was being diluted out of existence, how would you feel? How would you comment on it?

It's like that allegory about a frog in hot water. If you drop a frog into hot water and it jumps out immediately. But if you gently lower him into warm water and then heat the water, the frog never jumps out.

Gradually, the RPG has been redefined and marginalized. Some have been exclaiming about this for a long time. Personally I though the water was plenty hot enough to jump out about 4 years ago. Basically the RPG and it's fans are the frog. The water was deceptively warm 4 years or so ago, but now it's quite hot. But that frog has become used to the heat, and it's failing to jump clear of the danger.

Well, this frog jumped a long time ago, and this frog isn't remaining quiet about the demise of a gaming genre that shaped much of the industry we see today.

If you want another analogy, I refuse to fiddle while Rome burns.

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Claire C
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:19:40 PM
Reply

Someone wake up World, he's required to comment on every article relating to Dead Island!! =P

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:01:21 PM

Hey it isn't my fault Ben's power went out, blame Irene. And there's a special way I like to be awakened ;)

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/29/2011 2:01:33 PM

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Underdog15
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:17:19 PM

Your Hannah Montana ringtone?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:42:46 PM

hahaha

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TheAgingHipster
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:24:14 PM
Reply

@Ben, I've found myself saying "augment" much more frequently now that I'm 25 hours into DX:HR. It's driving my wife insane.

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Claire C
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:27:45 PM

You should threaten to "augment" her. ^.^

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TheAgingHipster
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 6:48:48 PM

I'm getting the social implant so I can use pheromones to adjust her mood and opinion.

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MadKatBebop
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 6:52:22 PM

Deus Ex is so freakin awesome I'm so glad I was able to get it!!!

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TheAgingHipster
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 11:25:26 PM

I'm about to start my second playthrough following the "I'm a total prick" story choices. :)

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Lawless SXE
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 1:31:34 PM
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Didn't know that you could upgrade your weapons... interesting.

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:03:42 PM
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It Farcry 2 with zombies, don't encourage 'them' to call it an RPG...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:09:57 PM
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Bloody hell, it comes out the same day I go back to university.

From what I've read though I'm very interested in these RPG and survival elements. Zombie games tend to be so shallow that there is no other draw. Dead Rising 2 was one of the worst games I've played this gen. So ya know I've been trying to knock it into people's brains (brrraaaaaains!) that this is not an FPS or any other shallow zombie outing but could instead be a kind of virtual early Romero film where you use what's at hand, drive what you can find, and survive in any way you choose.

I couldn't get a review copy and I'll be kinda busy so I'm counting on your review Ben!

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main_event05
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:10:51 PM
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I pre-ordered this when i got MK9. I'll use it as the vehicle for my 1st user review.

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MyWorstNightmar
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:33:29 PM
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I'm not sure I understand this. Back when this game was announced, I understood it to be a game about survival on a resort vacation island where there were NO weapons. That was part of the charm. You had to scounge around for axes, knives, gas powered hedge trimmers, baseball bats, rolling pins, etc. Now we have some sort of weapons leveling up system...on a resort island??

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 2:44:41 PM

It's still all of that. C'mon you don't want a plain combat system where you never get better with the weapons you wield do ya?

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MyWorstNightmar
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 4:24:43 PM

Well World...

1. Can you upgrade certain items that you find? Sure, why not. How about you find a shovel, and sharpen the handle side of it to make a spike on one end. You've just upgraded your weapon. But to call that RPG like? Naw.

2. Do I want a game where I find a hammer, and it is called "Weak Feable Hammer" (supposedly that is a real item that will be in the game), and then be able to upgrade that weak hammer to something strong? What? It is the same hammer, how does it get strong?

I didn't know what kind of weapons would be in the game, so I googled it. Seems there are weapons that start with the word "weak" which to me means you will be able to upgrade their effectiveness. There is a "Weak Tiring Big Baseball Bat" in the game. So I would assume since we are told there are RPG elements that you can upgrade it to a not so weak bat? Well how about instead you go into a shed and find an aluminum bat, and can ditch the heavy wood bat instead. See, find a new weapon, and have to choose which is better...heavy slow wood bat that could break, or quick metal bat.

Course I am only speculating by what I have read. We shall see what the final product is, but it just sounds strange to me.


Last edited by MyWorstNightmar on 8/29/2011 4:29:17 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 5:41:59 PM

I guess we'll find out soon, but I can enjoy it either way. It is a game after all, the fact that I can add a kit to my gun in Deus Ex that makes me reload it faster or add damage doesn't bother me any and that's a leveling system.

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MyWorstNightmar
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 6:23:22 PM

World, what you described regarding Deux Ex though at least somewhat makes sense and is what we are all conditioned to expect in that type of game. You are upgrading a gun. Yeah, with a gun, you can add a scope, use more powerful bullets, add a larger clip, gain experience with that gun. There are ways to upgrade weaponry in terms of that game, and it make sense.

In GOW, you can upgrade the weapons as well. Same blades, but you get new moves, and can land more damage as you upgrade them, but that is ok, because that is the type of game it is. It has an element of magic and obvious fantasy about it.

With Dead Island, I just don't think that it fits in the terms that I have my mind set on how it would be. But perhaps my mind is not visualizing it properly. With the type of weapons that will be at your disposal on the island, there are very minor tweaks to them that could be done to make them stronger, so I don't think that could be the RPG element they are talking about. It would seem the RPG element they mean, is that you can upgrade a knife to do more damage. It is the same knife mind you, but you just upgraded it, so now the zombie takes 25% more damage with the same knife. If that is where they are going with this, well, it wouldn't have been my suggestion if I was in the meeting room with them.

How about no upgrades. You find a knife, use it. Then roam around, stumble into the kitchen, and wow, look there...a BUTCHER knife. Swap it out. Now you go out to the maintenance shed, and how bout that...a MACHETTE. Swap it out.

I like that line of thinking, but I don't like upgrading the same machette to deal out 10% more damage. That just doesn't make sense to me for this game. Deux Ex, FF games, GOW yes... A game like Dead Island with randomly found generic objects to be used for your survival? ...no.

Perhaps I have it all wrong though, but without specifics, we are left to speculate, and that is all I am doing.



Last edited by MyWorstNightmar on 8/29/2011 6:29:19 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 7:14:38 PM

You might be overthinking it

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Fane1024
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 5:40:22 PM

If it's anything like the mini-game in Home, it may work something like this:

axe + axe + wooden stick + duct tape = long-handled double-axe

p.s. I agree this doesn't make the game an RPG.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 8/30/2011 5:41:53 PM

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MRSUCCESS
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 3:21:19 PM
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While what MyWorstNightmare says sounds reasonable I will have to side with World because I don't want to feel helpless on an island full of zombies. I want to be able to at least feel powerful at times and that's where the weapon upgrades comes in.

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Robochic
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 3:59:16 PM
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Can't wait for this game but I think i might wait a bit their is just way to many damn good games this falland I am going broke quickly

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The Doom
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 4:20:20 PM
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Before you know, 1st person RPGs might become their own official genre

Last edited by The Doom on 8/29/2011 4:20:41 PM

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Danny007
Monday, August 29, 2011 @ 4:37:51 PM
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I hear that you'll be able to rescue people from death and being attacked by a horde of zombies and then after you do, they'll try to sell you items. Sounds great doesn't it?

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___________
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 3:37:47 AM
Reply

please,please,please,please turn out to be good!
PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
been so long since we had a good zombie game!
and this being mostly meele instead of shooter.
really interested to see what the deformation tech is like, i remember seeing a tech demo of it years ago and it was really cool!
such detail seeing each layer of skin and muscle as you hacked your way into the zombies.
little worried though because 1 there has not been much hype for the game.
2 previews were not exactly spewing confidence. 3 less then a week till release and we still have 0 reviews for it! 4 the developers.
there not exactly known for making AAA games. hell there best game would probably be COJ bound in blood.
and that was not exactly a GOTY contender!

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berserk
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 11:30:05 AM
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Like you said Nightmare , we can only speculate but the way i see it , the more you use a certain weapon the better you become with it .

So after a certain time you know the reach of the weapon , the weight of the weapon and thus get better with it .All this make it so you can do more damage with a certain weapon .

Basically , the more you use a weapon or practice with it , the deadlier it become .That s one of the reason why a 10% increase for example make perfect sense to me .





Last edited by berserk on 8/30/2011 11:30:29 AM

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bigwho62
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 @ 1:14:52 AM
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No way shape or form am I calling this an RPG or looking at it as having RPG elements. Now I do have high hopes for this game. I am on the fence waiting for a review before I buy it, and I have friends who are with me on this. One main reason is the co-op. 4 people playing together at once killing zombies? That just sounds fun, but I don't want to pick this game up and be totally disappointed which I have had times where that has happened. I buy a new release game only to trade it in the next day. So please put out this game's review soon, so I can make a decision to preorder it.

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bloody_rootz
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 @ 3:01:23 AM
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HAHAHAHAHAHAH I had to laugh when I saw Ben use the word "augmentation" because its true, I bought the game 3 days ago and played it alot and I have even been using that word more often.

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