Dead-Island-meets-MOBA might sound like an outlandish pairing, but between the time it took me to write that headline and finish this sentence, it's all clicked into place. The two are exactly alike. MOBAs are, after all, everywhere, and each new series to be bitten by the battle arena bug begets a horde of lane-shambling brothers and sisters. I'm not knocking the genre or anything (LoL and DOTA 2 are both magnificent, among many others), but I worry that we might be coming up on a saturation point. But hey, if anything, Dead Island: Epidemic is proof that we're not quite there yet. I mean, how has no one paired MOBAs and zombies - the two most overdone staples of the current gaming era - yet? How did it take so long?
Deep Silver's announcement was bizarrely sparse, offering the barest of details and then throwing up an ominous "To Be Continued..." sign in Gamescom's direction.
"Deep Silver today announced Dead Island: Epidemic, a new ZOMBA (Zombie Online Multiplayer Battle Arena) game set in the ever-expanding Dead Island universe. Dead Island: Epidemic will pit three teams of players against each other in a desperate fight for survival. Dead Island: Epidemic is a Free-to-Play PC title that will feature all the trademark elements that are part of a Dead Island experience."
First-person? Electrified boat paddles? Depressing mediocrity? At this point, it's tough to say. Fingers crossed that the latter never made it through R&D (research and deadvelopment), though.
I know I sound down on this announcement, but I've got to respect a series that's unafraid to break out of its genre's creativity-stifling box, even if a MOBA isn't exactly the riskiest leap into the bottomless unknown. I suppose we'll hear more fairly soon, but until then, does anyone actually want yet another MOBA? Have you been sitting on the sidelines because the ever-expanding battle arena of battle arenas didn't have enough, er, zombies?