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Dead Island trailer reflects game - dev

"I don't want to cause any hate."

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Deep Silver has denied the accusation from many observers that the eye-catching Dead Island trailer that exploded upon the internet last month misrepresents the game it was designed to promote.

The Dead Island trailer, below, shows a reverse-time account of a young girl on a tropical holiday island being torn away from her parents, become a zombie and eventually be flung out of a window - backed by a poignant piano accompaniment.

It was a huge hit on the internet, trended on social networking site Twitter and sparked live action movie talk. Even celebrities, such as Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg, discussed it.

But some said the trailer didn't accurately reflect Dead Island, a first-person four-player co-op open world role-playing game.

"It gives you the feeling about the world we are in," Deep Silver producer Sebastian Reichert countered when Eurogamer asked about the trailer this afternoon.

"Our main approach is you have a realistic... I don't want to say sad approach, but due to the fact it's a harsh topic and you are forced to do awkward things, our game doesn't want to be funny. It's a gritty game.

"You have some characters who are funny because the way they handle their stress is over-the-top comments. But the feeling of the trailer is something we have in the game all the time.

Some felt the Dead Island trailer, produced by Scottish animation company Axis, suggested the game plays like David Cage's narrative-heavy thriller Heavy Rain.

This, according to Reichert, is the "wrong approach".

"The trailer catches the atmosphere of the game perfectly," he insisted. "But if people think they will get Heavy Rain because this was sad and Heavy Rain is sad, that's the completely wrong approach.

"We are an action game. We are forcing you to play fast, to be brutal. This is something the trailer shows. The father has to be brutal to save his kid. The trailer works great.

"A lot of people are pushing in the wrong direction. Like everything, if you present something the first time, it brings up some expectations. With a trailer so far from the game mechanically, those expectations cannot be matched."

Reichert confirmed the harrowing scene depicted in the trailer does form a part of the video game. "This is basically something that happened in this hotel," he said.

When the player visits the hotel they discover remnants of the carnage, Reichert revealed. "But let's not talk any further about this or else you'll spoil me my Easter Eggs."

Reichert said Deep Silver always knew the trailer would draw criticism from those sceptical about its relevance to the game, but it was a risk worth taking.

"Should we go for this risk and have this awesome trailer, or should we remove the risk and have a trailer like anyone else?" he asked. "It was no big question. You go for the risk because you're aware the trailer is not something completely different from your game. It's just a story on that island in this f***ed up world.

"I also heard there are people out there who hate the idea of the trailer because it lies to them. This is something we didn't want to do. We just want to say, 'Hey folks, we have a really cool zombie game,' - that's one of the core messages of the trailer. And we have a serious setting, so enjoy it. I don't want to cause any hate. It's just about getting the people to the game because it's worth it."

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