Escape Dead Island has a release date! The spin-off to the main Dead Island series will trap you within its zombie-infested confines come November 21st. There’s a new trailer below the fold as evidence of this fact, though it fails to answer another more important question: why does this game exist and who is it for? Perhaps you can watch it and let me know in the comments.
When this Fatshark-developed spin-off was announced, I assumed it was being aimed at a more general or casual crowd. It’s cartoonish in appearance, it seems a little more concerned with character development than the main series of wacky co-op chicanery, and I imagined it would aim to hoover up some of the same audience as The Walking Dead games.
Except that it’s still mostly about hyper-violent combat. The difference is that the combat, from what I played at Gamescom, is less satisfying, and less deep in terms of its various crafting-and-bashing systems, than Dead Island 1 or 2. Which sort of makes you wonder, if it’s targeting much the same audience, why people would buy this over and above it’s more lush and expensive cousin. Because they hate the very concept of multiplayer, and would rather its presence not even optionally grace their singleplayer adventure?
Perhaps there are mechanics and wonders within the game that we’ve yet to see. Fatshark are certainly no slouches, having created plenty of decent melee combat across both War of the Roses and War of the Vikings, and maybe the story of island survival with a single character – a documentarian named Cliff Calo – will take the series to interesting new places.
Someone at RPS will find out for you and let you know come November.