Dead Island: Epidemic Hits Closed Beta (With A Shovel)

By Nathan Grayson on March 1st, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Obnoxious screenshot banners!

Same-y MOBAs that can’t quite manage the raw mechanical majesty of League of Legends and Dota 2 are an epidemic. So how do we cure that pestilence of painful mediocrity? Well, Techland and Stunlock Studios are suggesting we fight an epidemic with an epidemic – a Dead Island: Epidemic, to be precise. It ups the ante with another of the gaming industry’s more rampant diseases (zombies) but also puts some fresh meat on the genre’s bones with a three-team dynamic and more open maps. Also ramshackle weapons galore, because that is – in the parlance of our time – how Dead Island do.

Dead Island: Epidemic is now in closed beta, and you can register for a chance to join right here. While no beta is eternal, this one will apparently net you items that carry over into the final game.

Here are the things that could, theoretically, set Dead Island: Epidemic apart from the shambling MOBA horde that’s slowly taking over the countryside:

  • Battle Royale: Epidemic’s core mode features 3 teams of 4 battling it out in a competition to grab supplies, hold key points, outsmart the competition and blast through hordes of zombies.
  • Booming Action: You have direct control over your hero. No Last Hitting, mouse-click-to-move nonsense here – it’s you, good ol’ WASD, and your trigger finger, making it easy to hop in, no muss, no fuss.
  • Craft Deadly Weapons: Fan favorite crafting is here from Dead Island, helping you get the edge (pun intended) on the competition and build an arsenal to suit your playstyle!

Not exactly revolutionary, but this sounds like an evolutionary step in an interesting direction, at least. It’s kinda weird that Dead Island of all series would head in this particular direction, but I suppose this is what spin-offs are for.

Is anyone in the closed beta right now? Is there a hulk zombie of an NDA threatening to devour your tongue if you talk about it? If not, what are your impressions so far?

On another note entirely, I just got that Dead Island: Epidemic’s acronym is DIE. I have no idea whether or not the game will be up to snuff, but look out LoL and Dota. DIE is a pretty killer nickname in a genre that lives and dies by them. (No, I don’t actually think Epidemic will fell LoL and Dota with its name. Internet jokes are hard, you guys.)

, , .

31 Comments »

  1. Secundus says:

    A free to play MOBA Zombie game? time for me to slit my wrists

  2. kopogtias says:

    I think the game is way too fast paced to be able to communicate with your team. This way everything goes overboard. I can recommend this game ONLY with friends via TS or Skype. Alone it is horrible

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    I played it, it isn’t really very MOBA. You run around taking supplies in the map and returning them to your base, competing with two other teams of 4 players, with zombies also present.

  4. SkittleDiddler says:

    Waitaminnut…I thought this was the FPS with all the parkour crap in it. MOBAFPSWP?

  5. skyturnedred says:

    NDA is in effect, though I did not read what people are (not) allowed to talk about.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      I put myself under a NRA. Nothing to do with Charlton Heston, I agreed not to read anything about the game. Some people talked about it, but I agreed to not read anything that had been disclosed against the terms of the non-disclosure. However I cannot say anymore because I am also under a NDOTIDRA which means I cannot disclose what I did not read when people broke their non-disclosure agreement.

      NDA’s don’t kill betas. People kill betas. IF they break the NDA and someone breaks their NDOTIDRA. And there’s a monkey with a gun.

      • TWChristine says:

        You don’t sound particularly amused..

      • The Random One says:

        How will you know if people are speaking things their NDA forbids them from speaking if your NRA forbids you from reading the NDA?

    • TWChristine says:

      I surprises me how many people just blow it off. With that said, I don’t read the 30 pages of legal junk that precede me installing a game, but I feel that this is a different case. In the one, I’ve paid to buy (lets not get into that discussion) the product, and the other, they’re deciding to grant me limited access under the rubric of helping them make the game better (although going by the amount of people in the Wildstar article that were desperate to get a code, I’m sure most weren’t so desperate to help so much as get a free demo).

      There was a thread on the forums discussing the Elder Scrolls MMO and through-out the whole thing there were several people relating their opinions while only one person was saying “You guys are still under NDA..” which resulted in them essentially saying they didn’t care. I just find that mindset kind of interesting.

      • skyturnedred says:

        The reason I don’t read NDAs is because I just assume I can’t talk about the game. Really, unless it is stated clearly somewhere what I’m allowed or not allowed to talk about, and not under all the legal mumbo jumbo, I just can’t be bothered.

        • TWChristine says:

          Oh I completely agree..I just skim to see what exactly I can’t do. I was referring to people that blow off adhering to the NDA period out of some kind of “rage against the man” spite. With that said I think we both misunderstood each other because I thought you were referring to not reading what players wrote about their experiences until the NDA was lifted. :)

  6. Turkey says:

    I already knew this was coming out cause my Dead Island pre-order torso fell out of bed, and the butt cracked open and inside there was a note that said: “Dead Island MOBA.”

    • The Random One says:

      Mine spoke the press release in ancient Sumerian as it tried to murder my family (it failed because it didn’t have arms, and as someone who’s bought a hundred-dollar dismembered torso memento I also don’t have a family).

    • derbefrier says:

      you sleep with your bloody torso?

  7. azrd79 says:

    So the male player characters are now monsters but the females are still nice and pretty…. and human, how’d that happened?

  8. Allenomura says:

    What even is this…Not even a trailer? Not even interested.

  9. shadowmarth says:

    No mention of Bloodline Champions at all? People should know, it’s the only reason to be excited about this game! Stunlock made the still-somewhat-active fast-paced MOBA game Bloodline Champions, which despite critically poor marketing and a bland art style found a niche large enough to continue to support tournaments and matchmaking. It’s very fast, very skillful, and has an extremely minimal component of luck, which is all part of their design philosophy. This sounds to be taking after it, so I am actually looking forward to it!

    • DatonKallandor says:

      They also completely ruined Bloodline Champions (by adding progression and adding user-assigned percentile modifiers everywhere) to the point where it’s a (how fitting) a mere shambling husk of what it was. Bloodline Champions as it exists now is a caricature of a once great game.

      • shadowmarth says:

        The core gameplay is as good as it ever was. The rest sucks but was only added to make the game more long-term playable. Wouldn’t have been necessary if people had latched onto it as well as it deserves.

  10. Ada says:

    That’s not ‘the parlance of our time’ that’s ‘AAVE…’ Don’t be so racist.

  11. ViktorBerg says:

    The ONLY interesting part is the fact that there’s 3 teams instead of 2. However, it being a MOBA/DOTA-like instantly makes me lose interest in anything else to do with it.

  12. RichardGamingo says:

    This game is awesome. It feels a LOT different from DoTA 2, League, Hon. I have some commentated videos of the major release patch that came thru to closed beta recently. Here’s a link so you can watch the video and make a more informed opinion of this game https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4vwpfLty8k