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Hey RPG Fans, You Might Want To Check Out Dead Island

A few days ago, we presented the complicated question: "What is an RPG?" And while developer Techland hesitates to label Dead Island as "role-playing," fans of the genre should still pay attention.

And here's why. We participated in a roundtable discussion concerning the promising title that launches on September 6. And while it technically isn't an RPG, check out some of the details:

  • Characters level up, and weapons will have level designations as well (i.e., Lv. 3 Machete here, Lv. 12 Machete there).
  • Story-driven with a large, open, explorable map. The only caveat is that not everything will be open immediately.
  • Loot drops
  • Weapon crafting system
  • 30+ hours to complete; 50+ if you choose to do everything and find every collectible.
  • Region-specific damage system; severed leg will cause a zombie to fall and crawl towards you, for instance.

And beneath it all lies a definite semblance of realism. The reason there aren't a whole lot of firearms on the island is because, as they put it, you don't usually pack an arsenal when you head out on a vacation to paradise. Survival is the name of the game.

Furthermore, while co-op will be a big draw, the developer insists that the single-payer experience will be equally fulfilling, and we will play by ourselves if we go solo. In other words, no AI-driven allies. But don't be too quick to slap the RPG label on there; Techland says their game is closer to Borderlands than something like The Elder Scrolls.

You can't create a character from scratch or change how they look with equipment, and that's a big part of RPGs. But considering the rest of the information, there's no doubt that role-playing fans might get a lot of enjoyment out of this one. We're willing to call it a hybrid, actually.

Related Game(s): Dead Island

Tags: dead island, dead island rpg, techland, dead island details

9/1/2011 10:02:04 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (68 posts)

Zemus101
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 10:43:41 AM
Reply

Definitely sounds like something I'll have to keep an eye out for. I got totally lost in the world of Borderlands for a LOT of hours, so I don't see why I wouldn't enjoy a game like Dead Island.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:03:52 AM
Reply

Yeah this could very well become my coop-fix until Saints Row 3 arrives.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 11:07:07 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:34:53 AM

Strike that. I just saw a 20 minute gameplay video on youtube. I am sorry to say it was one of the most boring gamplay vids I've ever seen.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 11:36:11 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:41:14 AM

Saints Row 3 is going to be my Game of the Fall. Skyrim is for pussys!

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duomaxwell007
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:40:31 PM

yeah WKC2 would be a much better co op fix heh

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:46:52 PM

Survival and madcap action don't really go hand in hand.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:09:50 PM

No of course not but have you seen that vid World? Head over to youtube and search for "Dead Island: 20 Minutes of Gameplay Footage"... At first it looks good, but then... Nothing much happens at all. Not really survival either, just splatter imo.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 1:10:01 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:46:29 PM

I'm not too worried about it, I can wander Fallout wastes and Elder Scrolls rolling hills for longer periods with nothing happening and be plenty content. A desolate tropical island sounds fun to poke around too, just stumbling on the occasional dumpster diver and putting a bat between his eyes.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 2:07:24 PM

i have to agree with beamboom...the gameplay looks pretty boring actually. i remain very skeptical of this game.

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main_event05
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 2:36:43 PM

I gotta disagree. It may be uneventful, but it isn't boring. kinda reminds me of classic RE or SH where you spend most of the time searching. Although I must say that the gameplay is almost like King's Field. Anyway, i'm sold on this 30+ hours min?? yes please.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 3:31:17 PM

I *love* open world games.
There's not a single spot on the Fallout 3 map where I have not set foot. I can spend hours wandering aimlessly around in those games, just looking at the scenery.
But there have to be at a chance to discover something - items, sightings, maybe a side quest even, or a hidden location - that is motivation enough, I don't even have to actually find much!

But in the mentioned video it doesn't look like there is anything to discover or anything special to see *at all*. Just some bodies scattered around that - surprise surprise - start moving when you approach them.
... And that's it.
I hope I am wrong here, I really do. And lord knows I have been wrong before. But those 20 minutes showcasing gameplay were *dull*. 30 hours of *that*? Uhm... No thanks!


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 3:33:59 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 4:00:08 PM

alright I'll get off my ass and look at it, see if there's anything I can add.

Okay I've looked at the footage. I wouldn't defend a game just because it looks good to me, I really think or at least hope there's something to the "feel" in this. By that I mean the way open worlds have their own feeling that keeps you coming back which can't be gleaned from a video.

Personally I don't watch the Skyrim videos because of this very thing, they are boring and crappy to watch. They look awesome to fans because fans think of what they have played before only better as they see changes. I'm getting the game, I loved Oblivion, and I know I'll have that wide world fantasy feeling of control over things but gameplay videos of open world games always look boring to the uninitiated. The problem is with Dead Island it's adding something typically without depth or imagination: zombies. So there's no "feeling" evoked by watching this just as watching footage of a Fallout game will look better to someone who has lived in that world than someone who has not.

Here I feel I'm watching somebody play Far Cry (on a basic level) and I can't think of anything more boring than that from a game that's fun to play. Also I think the wandering here is on purpose. Either they didn't want to give away any side quests or searches or possibly that stuff just wasn't ready to show at the time of this gameplay demo so they are showing what they can which is the environment and random wandering.

I think any open world game looks the same to a simple observer when the player is just wandering doing nothing. If I'm wrong I'll be the first to admit it and apologize if anybody bought a bad game based on my rants.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/1/2011 4:11:09 PM

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main_event05
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 4:16:06 PM

I'm agreeing with world here. You can clearly see that a few side missions were skipped.

also, 20 minutes of a 30+ hour game doesn't really speak much and honestly I didn't watch the entire thing. But from what I did see, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this is just the start of the game. Having said that I think its safe to assume that this might even be a tutorial type level.

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Beamboom
Friday, September 02, 2011 @ 2:30:14 AM

I hope you guys are right. There's nothing I want more than a 4 player campaign coop game to succeed, there's way too few of them around.

The graphics in itself looks good enough for an open world this size, let's hope the same can be said about the content. The reviews are just around the corner!


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/2/2011 2:30:36 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:04:49 AM
Reply

..............

I Thought we cleared this up on the article you posted at the beginning this is not an RPG. niether is Fallout, Mass Effect or even the few you of you that are silly enough to think Bioshock is an RPG....Nonsense!

This is a first person shooter, you'd think audiences this generation would understand what that implies after the bucket load we have had this generation... it seems the mass is just overwriting the RPG's existance, which is sad.

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 9/1/2011 11:05:58 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:09:59 AM

Isn't even Fallout a rpg anymore, now.
Hehe! A weird community, this. But fun nonetheless. ;)

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:13:11 AM

Fallout is a game which has just took a load of genre's and mashed them up into 1. its not a turn based rpg, tactical RPG, action RPG. I call them PAG's personal action games, as they require the player to step i nthe portagonist's shoes rather than following a main character through an adventure like FFIX for example.

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 9/1/2011 11:13:32 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:17:37 AM

Maybe if you'd actually read the article, you'd see I say Dead Island ISN'T an RPG. I say it twice, in fact.

And nobody confirmed anything concerning RPGs; your definition isn't the be-all, end-all. That's why it's such a complicated question.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:25:22 AM

You said it isn't but you're clearly hinting at it being so... I'm just sick of people thinking that just becuase you can customise weapons or make your character stronger in progression that classifies the game as an RPG. Utter poppycock.

There is a clear difference from a game:
- RPG's likeFinal Fantasy/Star Ocean
- to action RPG's like Neir/Zelda/ Fable
- to what ever Mass Effect/Fallout are
- to FPS's like Borderlands/Bioshock/Dead Island & people need to realise that.

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 9/1/2011 11:31:44 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:39:17 AM

Ultima,

I don't believe he is hinting about anything. He simply was suggesting this game to those that like RPGs as it seems to include some RPG elements.

I wasn't going to check this game out until World informed me last night about some of its "depth" of gameplay. After reading more about it and taking Ben's suggestion into consideration I plan on playing this down the road.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:40:38 AM

@Ultima: So you don't follow a main character through an adventure in the Fallout games? Uhm... Ok.

What do you think about White Knight Chronicles then, and your characters role in that game?

(... and why the heck am I revitalizing this topic again... :D Sorry)

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 11:43:14 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:52:44 AM

No I don't, In fallout the main character is not written, he (or she) is transparrent, the player essentially steps into his shoes and the story and is told by the characters and situations which happen around this avatar you control in the game. It's not an FF game where you follow Tidus through the story with a party of characters.

I have yet to play White Knight Chronicles, I did not like the battle system which seems similar to an MMO. But the second game seems to have made the combat fast and give you the 1st game with the gameplay mechanics of the 2nd, so I am tempted.

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 9/1/2011 11:52:56 AM

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TheAgingHipster
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:54:03 AM

Wait... you think Fallout 3 isn't an RPG? With its character development, gameplay suited any any play style, open world exploration, and leveling such that two maxed out characters can be wildly different?

...really?

Last edited by TheAgingHipster on 9/1/2011 11:54:37 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:12:57 PM

Ultima, in wkc your character doesn't play a role in the story *at all*. You are quite literary a bystander. Still, is it a rpg? Yes of course it is. It's one of the most RPGish RPGs I've played on the ps3 so far!


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 12:15:49 PM

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Underdog15
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:13:11 PM

Poppycock was on a season of America's Got Talent.

As for WKC, $10 says your avatar becomes a more active part of the story, or at least a more active part of the party.

Dragon Quest games are the same. The main character (you) never has any dialogue. But is the "hero" as the story unfolds around the characters around them.

I'm not actually making a point about anything. Just adding to the conversation. :)

Last edited by Underdog15 on 9/1/2011 12:20:24 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:26:51 PM

... And was Dragon Quest a RPG? Indeed. Glad we got that sorted out.

But more importantly: Are there any *real* FPS released anymore? No! There are NO real shooters, they are all just a load of genre's mashed up into fps lookalikes!
Damn them rpgs, messing up the fps genre. A FPS *have* to have a weapon wheel or they are not real FPS!

;)

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 12:29:57 PM

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:28:15 PM

WKC has an online mode doesnt it? So do you control you online created character through the story or this Leonard chap? If it is the 1st...well then the game is just flawed.

I think one of the main feats of an RPG which many forget is the sense of an adventure, RPG's story should revolve around a quest, to which a party of character will build up as you meet them on the way, each with their own motive. This is what many of these false RPG's lack.

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:29:33 PM

Excuse me... you cannot be serious! are you really asking if there are any first person shooters this generation.... this conversation is over **walks out the door**

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duomaxwell007
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:40:02 PM

In both WKC1 and 2 your created character is just a bystander in the single player campaign.. he isnt the main character nor is he even referenced to in the story AT ALL.. however he is the person you play with online (in online the game consist of your created avatar with other players created avatar.. the single player story characters arent used at all online).. however there are free DLC quests (in japan at least who knows when EU/Us will get them) where theres a new storyline that takes place after the ending of part 2 where your created character IS the main character and actually gets referred too and talked too/acknowledged in cutscenes... so he becomes the main character eventually.. just not in the single player campaign of part 1 or 2.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:51:16 PM

"one of the main feats of an RPG which many forget is the sense of an adventure, RPG's story should revolve around a quest, to which a party of character will build up as you meet them on the way, each with their own motive. This is what many of these false RPG's lack."

You just described Fallout 3. You are treading water poorly Ultima.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:14:08 PM

I tried to be ironic, Ultima. :)
That said, if a person really, *really* hated rpgs and all their gameplay elements I can easily see how such a person could say that "RPG is ruining the FPS games". It's a matter of perspective, really.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 1:19:45 PM

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:25:38 PM

Ultima, Not getting into the RPG debte; tis simply not my place but to call Dead Island an FPS is folly. The focus is on melee combat and survival, so if by the S of FPS you mean survival or slasher, then I'll agree, but you've lumped it with Bioshock and Borderlands, which is just wrong. Dead Island is not an RPG, but it has strong RPG elements. The best I can say is that it is an incredibly deep action game.

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Underdog15
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:31:37 PM

@Duomaxwell

[sarc] Ah! I am -SO- insulted! [/sarc]

My avatar is not a he. It's a she. ;) Much nicer to look at, I find.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:48:16 PM

Love your avatar Underdog, that Pepsi is the underdog who got his ass beat.

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Underdog15
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 3:29:31 PM

lol I know. My username is such a huge descriptor for my life. I wear it with pride. lol. I'm neither a pepsi nor coke fan. Just love the pepsi. But we all know that pepsi will RISE LIKE A PHOENIX AND BECOME THE GREATEST COLA OF ALL COLA'S!!! PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE!!!!!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 4:13:50 PM

I'm an underdog lover too, not the cartoon dog though. I usually enjoy games that go big with ambition and fall a bit short of elite where other people just see that it isn't elite and ignore it or badmouth it.

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Underdog15
Friday, September 02, 2011 @ 8:28:46 AM

I'd never even heard of the cartoon Underdog until that movie came out a year or 2 back... It was really disappointing to learn of its existence. I even used to have a theme song called "Underdog" by a band called Audio Adrenaline. Was a motivator in high school for me for sports and things. It was a cool song once... now it's sort of dated.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:08:20 AM
Reply

Island of the dead coming my way, bang!

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 9/1/2011 11:10:34 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:52:09 PM

That was the most simple and brilliant thing said during this whole foolish debate.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 8:58:39 PM

thanks dawg.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 9/1/2011 8:58:56 PM

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Highlander
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:18:37 AM
Reply

Still not buying into this, I really am not a Zombie game fan. You're talking of realism and I'm thinking gore aplenty in combat. Not my cup of tea at all.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:52:35 PM

If you shoot off a zombie's leg, does he not bleed?

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:20:48 PM

How do you know, World? Most of them look a bit dry to me... :)

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 1:21:10 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:48:49 PM

A fresh zombie then, with plenty of circulation. At least there's no danger of kids in Highlander's house seeing any gore.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/1/2011 1:49:17 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 3:36:40 PM

rofl - you are wonderful :D

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/1/2011 3:37:15 PM

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big6
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:27:01 AM
Reply

Is this game 4-player co-op, or just 2?
It'll be the difference between me getting it or not.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:32:17 AM

Four!

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:40:22 AM
Reply

If you get 3 friends on Steam to go in on a 4pack it's only $34 a piece!


...I don't have 3 friends that want this game....

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Geobaldi
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:40:53 PM

But I do, and we bought our copies already :)

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NiteKrawler
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 8:39:09 PM

I don't have 3 friends...Just kidding. ;)

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Dustinwp
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 11:52:15 AM
Reply

Already pre-ordered Dead Island, WKC2, and Resistence 3. This is going to be a damn good month for gaming! Even though I still have to play through Alice and Shadows of the Damned.

Last edited by Dustinwp on 9/1/2011 11:53:42 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 12:42:57 PM
Reply

There, now can we put to rest the idea this is just another FPS with zombies?

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:30:02 PM
Reply

I was going to get this. Probably will next year some time but El Shaddai comes out sometime soon, and I want it more, as well as R3 and the Splinter Cell trilogy.

I actually really like the details of it, 30hrs is great, and the damage system reminds me of Dead Space, which is just cool. I just wish that the story was a bigger focus...

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 9/1/2011 1:30:25 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 1:50:34 PM

yeah I'm not expecting much from the story, but mission based first person games tend to grab me just by virtue of having side quests and stuff. I enjoy the side quests in Deus Ex more than the main story.

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PlanetDelirium
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 2:01:37 PM
Reply

bards tale 3 thief of fate beea+ches . rpg old school style.

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SaiyanSempai
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 2:23:51 PM
Reply

Not feeling the First Person Zombie slaying....

Actually, saying that makes it sound extremely enticing. But for me, more enticing to say than to play, unfortunately.

Not my cup of tea, so I will be staying away.

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berserk
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 3:15:41 PM
Reply

" yeah I'm not expecting much from the story "

Same , you re surviving a zombie infection afterall , you re not there to save the world .

Oh man , look like it s not an rpg .I can t even say it got some rpg element either because you re not on an epic quest with some emo kid following me .Is nt that right Ultima .

Last edited by berserk on 9/1/2011 3:17:54 PM

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evilmunkie
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 3:20:30 PM
Reply

I don't know about most of you but I think alot of these RPG imitating games would either be mediocre or just plain suck if they had their RPG elements 'turned off' by some sort of update. I know Borderlands won't be keeping my attention for long if the did away with the progression, side quests, exploration and ditched the energy shields for taking cover till your health replenishes. How many other games do you think would suffer if that were to happen? That will never happen but if it makes it easier just think about these games not shipping with these enhancements. How jaded will players be if everything stayed confined to whatever definition any genre falls under? Theres alot of games that certainly can stand on their own like Uncharted, that will never need RPG elements. If we cram it with RPG stuffs, keep the third person shooting and set the story in space, will I love it as much as Uncharted or any RPG I've played? NO, I hated Mass Effect yet Fallout was great in my book (trying to prove a point, not trying to say Uncharted and ME are the same). In a traditional 'full blooded' RPG you have no business hiding behind cover, unless we are taking about a reflect spell, and any shooting is done turn based.How many of these games would get over shadowed by more popular ones if its got little or nothing setting it apart from the herd? How many lost jobs/future games would that be? I see alot of people talking about the qualities RPGs had when they were at the top,its genre truly has timeless appeal if you get into the battle systems. Do we really need HD graphics for these games though, maybe just square to do the cut-scenes. I remember playing FF8, the part where your swinging by a cord trying to to knock someone else off it while a riot of sorts went on in the background and thinking 'Holy **** this is awesome'. These games do hold a special place in my heart but I also think other genres need to adapt and change to remain entertaining/relevant.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 3:35:19 PM

"alot of these RPG imitating games would either be mediocre or just plain suck if they had their RPG elements 'turned off'" <- truth right there. They'd fall flat on their face.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 4:15:26 PM

definitely, it's like I said before I feel that RPG's were cannibalized to make other, lesser games better.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 4:16:17 PM
Reply

With this game and Lollipop Chainsaw I'll have my Zombie fix this generation. A friend of mine would give his left nut for Valve to give us L4D though. They really should with Steam and everything.

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tes37
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 5:03:14 PM

Here's hoping for your friend's sake, that someone at Valve needs a left nut.

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Claire C
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 6:35:13 PM
Reply

Looks good. My interest is slowly growing more and more. Oblivion and Fallout 3 are two of my favs so if Dead Island can pull off the same type of stuff I may buy this faily soon.

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Douchebaguette
Thursday, September 01, 2011 @ 8:50:14 PM
Reply

I'm not too sure whether the execution will be up to par with it's concept, however the request of my friend to 4 player co-op along with out regular group of 4 leaves me with little choice but grab a copy. We'll see how it pans out.

The idea of RPG has been put into a solid stereotype, adopting and adapting from a name that technically covers all genres of gaming [ you role play as a character in every type of game]. So tbh, whatever we all percieve as an 'RPG' now should get a name change, because everyone seems to have their own variable idea of what an "RPG" is.

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___________
Friday, September 02, 2011 @ 5:01:15 AM
Reply

those do not a RPG make.
its nice to see limb decapitation, something im really pissed about NG3 removing!
i wish more games would use the damage system from soldier of fortune payback.
it was so cool blowing a enemies arm, head, legs, or torso off.
so funny shooting a enemy in the leg then having him fall on the ground and crawl towards you as you blow his head off!

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berserk
Friday, September 02, 2011 @ 7:51:44 AM
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Man the Q&A can t come soon enough .

Man , the first Soldier Of Fortune was so great for this .The second one was even better since you could even see you re bullets at the exact place where you shot the guy .

Can t believe there are so many games without this kind of details .Could say the same about not enough game using the way the enemies react to getting shot to difference place like in RE 4-5 .

Beside the damage showing is that game any good THE GUY ABOVE ME .

Last edited by berserk on 9/2/2011 7:52:54 AM

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___________
Friday, September 02, 2011 @ 11:06:02 AM

no not really.
give it a try if you want since its quite old so it will be really cheap, but its not exactly the best shooter out there.
it does have awesome head shots though!

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amonte
Friday, September 02, 2011 @ 10:12:21 AM
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I prefer the classic turn based, helicopter camera view (like classic Zelda and Killzone: Liberations camera view).

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