E3 2011: Dead Island Hands-On Preview - Cooperative Multiplayer

The gang's all here during our hands-on multiplayer session with Dead Island at E3 2011.

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Dead Island, the first-person survival game from developer Techland (Call of Juarez), may take place on a tropical island, but there won't be a whole lot of rest or relaxation. Instead of dressing up in silly outfits or traveling around with a wise-cracking football coach, Dead Island's somber inhabitants spend their time in quiet desperation. Escape, survival, and deceased family members are the only topics the locals want to discuss, and it seems everyone has his or her own tragic story to tell. At this year's E3, we finally got the entire four-person cast together for a brief cooperative multiplayer session.

For today's demonstration, we were back in the same metropolitan area that we saw at the end of our previous coverage. Our mission this time was to leave the safety of the heavily fortified church and venture into the zombie-infested city. While there, we would hang up flyers informing the possible survivors of the church. Of course, we were the only ones who could do this because we were all immune to the zombie virus. Once again, we were in the shoes of rapper-turned-zombie-slayer Sam B., who excelled at bludgeoning his foes to death with blunt, melee weapons.

There's safety in numbers in Dead Island. We found this out quickly after our group promptly split up and was easily overwhelmed by packs of undead. Once your character takes enough damage, he tumbles to the ground. From this prone position, you can either get helped up by an ally or help yourself up after a set amount of time. Doing so will automatically restore a bit of your health so that you don't instantly fall down again. Of course, while prone, you could always just get beaten to death by a zombie as our character did--constantly. When you die, your character respawns right where he fell at the cost of some money and experience.

And when it comes to money, it's finders, keepers on Dead Island. Whatever weapons, items, health packs, or money you pick up is yours to keep (or to share with your friends if you're feeling generous). Sharing health packs is especially easy because you just have to walk up to an injured player and tap a button to quickly administer some first aid. On the flip side, you can also walk up to a prone zombie and, if you line yourself up with its head, tap a button to cave its face in with the heel of your boot.

Techland is still adjusting how the game will handle players entering a co-op game who are vastly under- or over-leveled compared to the host. The cooperative play is also online only, so if you were hoping to stomp a few heads split-screen, then you're out of luck. At any rate, you can get marooned on Dead Island this September on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Discussion

57 comments
MarioKovacic11
MarioKovacic11

@TriumphantToad thats sucks your gonna miss out on a good game! theres still single player!

FetalAlphaDog10
FetalAlphaDog10

I don't get it. Why can't Techland make the Dead Island game at least 2 player splitscreen with 4 player system link? I feel that the game is gonna be an awesome game. I've always wanted a game like Dead Island. But I also feel that people with/without online can experience the multiplayer gameplay Techland gave us. I would like to play offline 4 player system link just like L4D and L4D2 with my friends/ family just like CoD: Black Ops Zombies. Why is is that game creators can't think about people with/without online? They should make games that will benefit both kinds of gameplay. Halo, MW2, and Black Ops thought about these things and now they are best selling games and the companies are very popular. Because there are more people without online than with online wether they have a PS3 or Xbox 360. I hope Techland and many other creators of games read this message and consider doing these steps. If anybody know how to contact the Techland Co. please copy/paste this message and send it to them. Thanks.

Flavorysoup
Flavorysoup

I can't wait for this game, but I swear, if they mess it up. I will burn down their studios, to the ground.

Maxxgold
Maxxgold

@TheWarscent That's what an internet connection is for. Split Screen sucks. I hate looking at half a screen.

TheWarscent
TheWarscent

This game MUST have split screen...What are devs thinking these days?Real people ouside a dev studio still like hanging out with buddies while playing games.Especially one like this! WTF

TriumphantToad
TriumphantToad

No split screen co op? Why does there always have to be a catch :/ I mean if you're going to spend time to make a game why not make it the best it can be. For me, the lack of split screen co op is a complete deal breaker. I won't be buying it specifically for that reason.

cpinheiro2
cpinheiro2

I miss some split screen coop games though

ZombiePhoenix72
ZombiePhoenix72

Looks cool but I'll wait for some reviews first. Either way, everything comes out about a week late for me so I'll can pre-order it if it's good.

oaklawnplayboy
oaklawnplayboy

ugh from what i see im not buying this, from the review on the single player game i dont think i will enjoy this to much without co op, id rather be playing with people next to me. much better than playing on live with my friends. its always funner when ther are there

efoxneo
efoxneo

No splitscreen? boo to that.

Flavorysoup
Flavorysoup

@Philthy101 Well if your going to be technical about it EVERYTHING looks better on a pc if you have a good one :) And we can play the first crisis :D

kaem79
kaem79

At first I thought this could stick out and be something. Now I'm not so sure. The consoles and consol gamers drags the quality of games down. I mean, play 5 year old PC games and they look better, controls are better and so on than new consol games.

iamnessie
iamnessie

It's understandlable they're not able to make it split screen based on the high polygon count, but people do still use it. It's a factor if i buy certain games. Plus, who wants to go over to their friends house just to watch someone else playing the game? Online is good for people with no friends.

ISZIO
ISZIO

the thing i hated about dead rising was when a weapon breaks like a hammer.do weapons break in dead island?

ISZIO
ISZIO

lets just forget about old zombie games and focus on this one and lets not talk about until it comes out and see some gameplay

anshanlord
anshanlord

This is gonna be awesome...I always dreamt of an open world realistic Survival horror game...not like dead rising that game is just cr@p to the core....But dead Island...It's a "must buy"....

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

They keep calling it a "first person shooter". It's more focused on melee. If anything it's just in the first person perspective. Not a shooter. meh, it is GS afterall...and not sure why everyones crying about split screen, you ppl still do that? Get online like the rest of us. I'll send you an invite ;)

MoeDiggity
MoeDiggity

My brother and I play these types of games together a lot (Left 4 Dead) and we've always used the split screen. Sucks that it won't have it, but i get sick of it anyway. I almost appreciate the fact that we'll have to buy two and play on two separate tv's. I do like the idea of this game though. Scarce resources in a zombie game makes much more sense than running around with shotguns and assault rifles and infinite piles of ammo sitting around every 10 feet. Dead Island, you have my attention.

LtShade
LtShade

wow no spiltscreen coop really bugs me :(

cynicalundead
cynicalundead

Sure you could just write this off as, "just another zombie game," but it sure does look pretty, doesn't it? And I think this game is more authentic than any zombie game that has come before it. This game reminds me of Lucio Fulci's Zombi. if you haven't seen it check it out.

skeleme
skeleme

Sandbox Zombie game. 'Nuff said

Zee_production
Zee_production

i really like it man...you have to survive using anything u got !

fafnir1256
fafnir1256

another zombie game..never gets old does it?

X-Rocky-X
X-Rocky-X

@ccb320 and it looks awesome!

ccb320
ccb320

dead island = left 4 dead 2 and farcry 2's sick and demented child

IsaacMelendez31
IsaacMelendez31

This game is nothing like other zombie games ok,this is more realistic and better,L4D is a good game on its own but you cant compare this game with L4D they are way different,Dead Island is open world,L4D not so open,Dead Island more realistic cuz its hard to find guns and stuff,L4D infinite pistol ammo,Dead Island zombies look awesome,L4D zombies r okk,I want dead island i even already pre-ordered

FetalAlphaDog10
FetalAlphaDog10

I don't get it. Why can't Techland make the Dead Island game at least 2 player splitscreen with 4 player system link? I feel that the game is gonna be an ausome game. I've always wanted a game like Dead Island. But I also feel that people with/without online can experience the multiplayer gameplay Techland gave us. I would like to play offline 4 player system link just like with my friends/ family just like CoD: Black Ops. Why is is that game creators can't think about people with/without online? They should make games that will benefit both kinds of gameplay. Halo, Mw2, and Black Ops thought about these things and now they are best selling games and the companies are very popular. Because there are more people without online than with online wether they have a PS3 or Xbox 360. I hope Techland and many other creators of games read this message and consider doing these steps. If anybody know how to contact the Techland Co. please copy/paste this message and send it to them. Thanks.

whfreddy
whfreddy

@ExTernaL18 I agree withya 100%. And let me add that the original trailer for this game made me think, wow, finally a game that will take more time with story and character development; a game that will make me care what happens within it. But it just seems like a knock off L4D with less harrowing fighting and deadpan npcs who exist only to shuttle me around to the next npc. Damn marketing team is hot though.

whfreddy
whfreddy

Man, I just don't know. It looks like it could be a fun game for a few minutes, but I have a strong feeling that it will be entirely quest-based which just plain sounds boring as hell. The zombies don't seem too dangerous, which stands to reason I suppose. It just brings me back to what I've been saying all along, the more detailed and realistic the zombie experience, the less enjoyable the gameplay. I mean, what the hell does anyone really have to fear from a rotting corpse?

Jannradio
Jannradio

@Philthy101 That's all great, until a hacker steals your identity because PS3 network isn't even safe to play on.

Philthy101
Philthy101

@valdips3 Ps3 has a faster processor, and blue ray holds a lot more data then dvd on xbox. I play ps3 at my place an xbox at mates place. Every game looks better on ps3.

valdips3
valdips3

want this game so bad, but first i need to se some ps3 footpage, wonder if the version for it will be on par with the 360.

ExTernaL18
ExTernaL18

Its unfortunate that the company must borrow ideas from another fellow zombie infestation game, but it seems that the gaming industry lacks creativity and story development minus a few well respected organizations. Games that incorporate a good story and have fun game play create something dynamic, and games that lack a crucial element like a story telling and background information is frustrating and give bread to a bad video game. Thus storytelling is necessary

nyran125
nyran125

why do PEOPLE have to ahve a story in Left 4 dead? It IS the story what your doing. thats the only story it needs. The Story is zombies took over the areas you played the game through. Pretty simple sht and the story is if you get through or not, you dont need a cheesy story in Left 4 dead to go with it like Resident evil. Im glad they didnt put story to Left 4 dead. They gave you characters , the levels and your ending and its up to you and your team how you get there. Brilliant and FUN!!!

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

i fear that this game was just all trailer hype....

chyng85
chyng85

Oh I love horror style~!

AzatiS
AzatiS

Ill defenitly buy it. Though i really wondering if game is constantly top notch or after a while its getting old like Dead rising 2 was. We will see

Earth_Krish
Earth_Krish

looks like they are going to do an actual zombie survival game, which left 4 dead is not :P. The only thing that might "look" like l4d are zombies and 4p coop, I see no other similarities.

DavidJF
DavidJF

I was hoping this game would be scary, seems like all zombie games these days are about action, especially the latest RE games... I like that this is a survival game, may be the reason I buy it.

smiffy555
smiffy555

I hope certain HUD elements can be turned off.

iceuser
iceuser

looks like left 4 dead but with a better story and more realism. (lol zombies real)

chechak7
chechak7

remind of left 4 dead ...seams good game

ledzep26
ledzep26

it reminds me of oblivion + guns + a little fallout with the survivors and settlements + ZOMBIES! = and Gamegasm of tremendous proportion!

danielpyoung45
danielpyoung45

wow that did not tell any new information thanks gamespot, but the game looks amazing and def gonna get it.

Code135
Code135

I take it PC co-op will be via steam ? Or something lobby style ? Why am I even asking am gonna get it ASAP when it comes out -_- P.S. Contradictiong yourself = 1st step towards insanity ... and now comes my favourite quote for this year: Far Cry 3 - Have I ever told you the defenition of insanity ?

epicsephiroth
epicsephiroth

I am definitely getting this game. I hope for some co-op action and fun with multiplayer too after the game's out. ;)

MagicAD
MagicAD

Yeah, split-screen really does seem to be dying. Sad times. At least 'level or a life' won't be interfered with too much, now you just call it 'a mission or a life' and all is gravy.

Killzone501st
Killzone501st

The time of split-screen games is coming to an end. Such a damn shame. At times like this I feel Resistance 3 is more worth it. I'm still buying it though, good game by the looks of it.