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A family is slaughtered during a summer getaway on a tropical island. That's essentially the narrative driving this astonishing trailer for forthcoming first-person shooter Dead Island. Told in a reverse, in a style similar to Coldplay's video for The Scientist, it's an unusually affecting and emotional experience.
But, centering as it does on the gruesome death of a young girl, it is also causing controversy. Some – including MCV's Ben Parfitt – are questioning whether scenes of a family being hacked to death and a girl plummeting from the window of a tall building should be considered marketing material for a zombie slash-'em-up. Parfitt later linked to this blog post, written by a father whose own young daughter died in 2007.
I would suggest that horror movies have always traded on the emotionally wrenching duality of the zombie figure – part monster, part recognisable human. A couple of years ago, when I interviewed Resident Evil 5 co-producer Masachika Kawata, he said that zombies are particularly resonant for the very fact that they were once fathers, sons and mothers. They speak to us about mortality; they are death. Kawata-san, too, knows a little about zombies and controversy – Resident Evil 5 was accused of racism for its trailer, which depicted savage-looking Africans attacking the white lead character.
Anyway, due out later this year on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, Dead Island is being developed by Polish veteran Techland, previously responsible for Western blaster Call of Juarez, for which the studio is also currently working on a sequel. It seems the plot to Dead Island follows a couple who crash land on a tropical island and find that it's infested with the undead. Players will have open access to the whole environment and can use any item they find as a weapon, a la Dead Rising.
Perhaps you've had your fill of zombies after Call of Duty: Black Ops, Left4Dead 2, RDR Undead Nightmare and Dead Rising 2, but Techland is promising a more thoughtful game with RPG elements. It is certainly hinting as much with this gut-wrenching trailer.
more update http://www.guardian.co.uk