Dead Island & Being Hypercritical
I’m kind of poor, so I can’t played a lot of games until they’re 20 dollars or less. Because of this, I finally started playing Dead Island and, much to my surprise, it wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be.
We are so hypercritical of things these days that one little thing sets us off and makes us call a product the “worst (blank) ever made”, when in actuality, 95% of the time the problem is our hypercritical view and not the product itself. I’ll grant you the serenity that there’s that 5% chance the product itself does suck (*ahem* read my Sonic 2006 rant, for example) I honestly don’t know exactly what the problem people have with Dead Island have is. Now granted-to play devils advocate-I am playing it late, so I wasn’t subjected to the games launch bugs and all that. But it’s basically a longer, more drawn out L4D, which I’m fine with. The gameplay is decent enough, the quests are-sure, nowhere near as interesting as they are in say, Fallout 3 or something similar-entertaining enough to keep me playing and there’s no real story to keep track of so it’s all about gameplay WHICH IS WHAT VIDEO GAMES SHOULD BE TO BEGIN WITH…so where’s the problem lay exactly?
I examined a bit closer and reached a conclusion.
We were shown this absolutely incredible trailer that is still to this day one of the best trailers I’ve ever seen for a movie, game or whatever. BUT, because the trailer passed itself off as something it wasn’t, and everyone got so hyped for the product they were presented, when they finally played it they were let down and understandably so. It’s a production and a consumer problem. On one hand, the product misrepresented itself in the trailer, which has happened in movies before (look at Drive for instance) so people assumed they were getting one thing and instead got something entirely different. However, the consumer also is to blame here because in a case like Dead Island…how else DO you market a game like that? You go the opposite route and create a trailer that’s more interesting than the game, obviously, because they understand that’s what sells units. As morally wrong as it may be, it’s true. Often times, movies and games are remembered more for their trailers than the product themselves. Because of the trailer, people expected the game to be what basically The Walking Dead game ended up being. They expected a heart wrenching, dramatic story about a family during an island zombie breakout and instead were given a sandbox type RPG with zombies. So the problem really is with the trailer, as fantastic as it may be, because it lied to the consumer and forced people to read too much into something that ultimately wasn’t there.
But in the games case…totally fine game, honestly, and this is coming from someone who generally doesn’t like RPGS and is completely burnt out on zombies. I have had no real problems with it, and I generally have a problem with EVERYTHING. Is Dead Island bad? No, not really. Like all games and products it has its flaws and its weaknesses, sure, but it’s not by any means “bad”. Bad is generally a subjective term.
“One man’s trash is another mans treasure.”
Is it boring? Well, that depends on the player honestly, which is why games are so hard to write about and report on because gaming itself is so subjective and so much more than books or movies because it’s such an interactive medium. We each want our own unique experience out of it (because unlike books and movies, people do not usually play a game the same way, no matter how linear it ends up being) so it’s really hard to tell someone something is so great when you don’t know if they’ll think that themselves, especially if they haven’t tried it yet. Dead Island isn’t necessarily bad; it’s yet another game in a long line of “good enough” games that just has a sort of shitty reputation because of the hypercritical community gaming has created, where we whine about every damn little thing in the world, and send death threats to people who create shit for us. Go ahead, click that link. I guarantee you you’ll be ashamed of the gaming community.
Either way, Dead Island is fun, if you’re into either RPG’s or zombies or just a game to pass the time in. It plays well enough, it’s entertaining enough and it’s not as bad as it’s been made out to be.
The problem often isn’t the product.
The problem often is the person.