'I saw the Dead Island trailer and didn't feel anything'
2nd Jul 2011 | 17:30
On last week's mailbox Michael Haylett e-mailed in to talk about the disconnect between gameplay and storytelling.
This week Michael Hylett is back again, this time talking about his lack of emotional reaction to the Dead Island trailer and the hype around it.
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I had no idea the Dead Island trailer was 'trending' or what have you when it was released - I'm a loner curmudgeon who barely pays attention to the zeitgeist - but I've seen it and I didn't feel anything.
Now, I cry at films at the drop of a hat. In A.I. when the boy robot 'died' and got a 'real' mom... sugary pap, but I was in buckets. The end of The Mist, when the father does what he thinks he needs to do to save his child from harm and then finds out the reality of his surroundings... well I needed some tissues and a cuddle, quite frankly.
In games it's less likely, but when Agro came limping up the steps at the end of SOTC I was crying in joy and relief for that lovely, brave four-legged friend. He is my fave horse in gaming and always will be. The end of MGS4 when we think Snake has finally ended it... there were tears from me. So, I cry, and being a six foot-tall man I'm not afraid to admit it.
But I watched the Dead Island trailer and I was thinking 'Oh, zombies' and 'Ah, reverse story telling, just like Memento' and 'Sigh, zombies'. At no point did I say to myself 'Ah, that young girl has been bitten and then falls to her zombie death, isn't that sad'. I am not a parent but that doesn't stop me feeling empathy for children and parental anguish, but this trailer just didn't do it for me.
They looked video gamey and it took me out of any emotional context. Anyhow, it's a good trailer but I can't see past the fact that Dead Island is just a fi rst-person melee zombie open world game from Techland. Are my hopes high? Are Nail'd and the Call of Juarez series any indication of their talents? Do I want The Last Guardian more than every other video game in
2011 combined? No, maybe and yes.
PSM3 says: Yes, the Dead Island trailer has been divisive, with some claiming they couldn't watch it all the way through because it was too upsetting, and others wondering what the fuss was about. We're divided, but it's not like Memento (seriously, watch the film) and is feted more for its clever storytelling, originality and score than its ability to make people cry.
CVG says: We get where you're coming from Micheal, the trailer was undoubtedly cool, mostly because of the whole Momento effect thing, but we weren't overwhelmed with emotion. Given the amount of zombie themed games, movies, books and comics we're exposed to seeing a kid as a zombie isn't exactly shocking. We've seen the first episode of The Walking Dead, enough said.