My fingers still feel a deep sense of slithering, shivering wrong in the pits of their tiny finger souls when they type out the words "Dead Island MOBA," but here we are. Dead Island Epidemic is happening because Deep Silver's so obsessed with zombies on islands that I think it wants to create an actual, factual epidemic of Dead Island (and Dead-Island-like) games. If that is indeed the case, it's well on its way, and Epidemic is without a doubt furthest off the previously established map. On the upside, it's being developed by Stunlock Studios, the talented team behind the Quinns-approved Bloodline Champions. Also, there's crafting and you capture points all over the map instead of dragging your weary bones through countless base-busting wars of attrition. Other highly unexpected features include zombies, zombies, and also zombies.
The self-proclaimed ZOMBA (not to be confused with Zumba, which I assume promotes excellent zombie fitness) will divide 12 players up into three teams of four. The shambling undead, meanwhile, act as creeps, and then nature runs its course. Well, more or less. Dynamically shifting capture points will apparently force teams to stay on their feet and adapt at the drop of an obnoxiously generic souvenir hat. That ought to at least spice things up a bit.
The real star of the show, however, will apparently be Epidemic's crafting system. Think vanilla Dead Island's arsenal of "don't try this at home" duct-tape-and-sawblade mods, and you'll be on the right track. Here's the gist:
“Epidemic features an immense crafting system where players can forge their weapon arsenal of choice. There will be hundreds of weapons, trinkets and items that players can craft, and once crafted, these weapons can continue to be improved to fully suit a player’s personality and play style."
“Combining weapons and their effects and perks will offer an enormous range of possible setups and a new take on gameplay in this genre.”
It certainly sounds interesting, but I'm not entirely convinced that'll be enough. The official RPS MOBA Count-O-Tron broke and exploded into a million pieces (still less than the number it had previously counted to) months ago. Also, it was Alec's hands. Now he must embrace his newborn child with soul-chilling metallic coldness. It is the greatest tragedy, except that his new robot hands are actually pretty awesome otherwise. I'm kind of jealous.
Anyway, there's going to be a closed alpha or beta test at some point fairly soon. You can sign up for a chance to join hereabouts. Do you plan on giving it a go?