We recently got an opportunity to speak with Sebastian Reichert, Producer at Deep Silver and asked him a few questions regarding Dead Island. We talked about how Dead Island may be considered as a role playing game, better platform versions and more.
Check out the full interview below.
GB: A lot of features have been announced for Dead Island so far, but surprisingly, most of them have a very heavy RPG feel to them. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate according to you, to call the game a Role Playing Game?
Reichert: I love that question. Thanks for asking. Yes, Dead Island has a big RPG part. But when we say RPG many people think about multiple choice storylines, huge story telling etc. Or: many people think you can’t hit the head because your aiming skill-level was not high enough.
In relation to those points we are a pure action game. But I’m looking forward to how the players will use the RPG elements to become the master of the Island. Many combinations are possible, especially in Multi-Player. And some can result in extremely powerful team builds. Folks, don’t let the zombies win! 😉
GB: A zombie infestation in an apocalyptic setting is not exactly a new idea. How are you looking to make things fresh and different in Dead Island?
Reichert: By moving it to an idyllic holiday Island we made a huge step into a sick direction. You look at the beach and your first thought will be: I need a vacation… but can someone please remove the corpses? The contrasts are just amazing in DEAD ISLAND.
GB: The trailers have all been given of a sort of discomforting, depressing feel. Does the game do the same throughout the playthrough, or will the players get a break from all the heavy stuff at any point in the game?
Reichert: Well as mentioned above the contrast is important. But we wanted to make sure players can enjoy the terror we’ve push them into. So don’t be concerned. It will stay an action game and it will be fun to smash heads even if it is horribly wrong.
GB: Do you think there is any specific game franchise or a single game you can compare Dead Island to, maybe draw likenesses?
Reichert: You know, if you want to describe in a jiffy what the game is like. Some of the RPG elements will remind you of Borderlands. The open world might draw some parallels to all kind of open world games. Many players were reminded of Dead Rising when it came to weapon upgrading/creation. We also have a strong Multiplayer focus that might remind you of Left4Dead. We really tried to get all the fun from different games into this one ultimate zombie slasher. The close combat has no comparison in my opinion. It’s just insane how good it feels to dismember an undead with your machete.
GB: So, the game is supposed to focus mainly on melee combat- how is that supposed to work, when we’ll be fighting hordes of enemies throughout the game? And do you think melee combat really works well in a first person view? Wouldn’t you be better off with guns?
Reichert: It would be easier with guns. And every time you found some ammunition you will agree that it is easy and satisfying. Thanks to the heavy ammo restrictions you will still feel the terror (how many bullets left? How many beasts in front of me?)
Nothing feels as visceral and deadly as looking an undead in the eyes before stabbing him over and over again to get rid of him.
Again a perfect questions because the difficulty to fight a horde in close combat will kick your adrenalin level up. It’s very tactical. Dumb button mashing will not help you.
To make sure players will understand it and grasp it quickly and easily we copied a lot of the shooter mechanics.
Instead of ammo you’ll have durability on the weapon, for reload you have a stamina bar that needs to regain before you can continue with your attacks. Aiming stays the same way you know it from any FPS, but the impact is much more satisfying.
With the Kick we added the secondary fire you know from other shooters. In DEAD ISLAND it will give you some room as it pushes the creatures away.
GB: Is there any specific part or scenario in the game that you would say is the most eerie, something that would freak out the players the most?
Reichert: I was surprised how amazingly gross the sewers became. In the beginning we liked the idea of sewers as a lot of contrast with light and dark was possible. But the way it turned out is just amazing. When you think you are safe and then this huge fat creature comes out of the water to puke at you… It’s great how creepy it turned out.
GB: Do you think Dead Island is inspired by any game/book/movie in general? Because I personally see a lot of similarities with The Walking Dead.
Reichert: Thanks. Yes, Walking Dead is definitely one of our favorite comics. But in general we put everything in we love about zombies. 28 Days Later for the fast ones, Dawn of the Dead for the slow ones. And many more. Hope you recognize more of the homage while playing the game.
GB: Trailers seem to be hinting at the fact that Dead Island might have some choice based parts that affect the story. Is that going to be the case?
Reichert: It’s an open world game. So you always have to make a lot of choices. But for the sake of Multiplayer experience we removed the choices from the main story. Would be awkward if you join your friends game and there a character gives you a mission, while he is dead in your game.
GB: Will Dead Island play out the same across all the platforms? Does the PS3 gives you more freedom to do more with all that extra Blu-Ray Storage?
Reichert: DI will play the same across all platforms. We did not need any additional space.
GB: Is there anything else you want to tell us about the game?
Reichert: Nope. You already asked the right questions.
We thank Sebastian Reichert for taking out his precious time to speak with us and KUDOS to Rebecca Jakeman from Koch Media for setting up the interview.