The Most Gut-Wrenching Game Trailer Ever?
I’ve barely had my morning coffee today, and I’ve already choked up once.
The gorgeous, chilling trailer for the video game Dead Island has been ricocheting around the Web, and it’s a doozy. The game, a zombie shoot-‘em-up, is set at a tropical resort. The wordless trailer, which moves backward through time, follows one person’s experience during the melee.
I think the piece is benefiting a bit from lowered expectations (“Video games are capable of this? Get outta town!”), but I still think it’s incredibly effective.
Metaphorically speaking, zombies are a very flexible kind of monster; they can stand for a whole lot of things. But I think the real reason they’re cropping up so often in pop culture these days is precisely because of the emotional, narrative characteristics we see in this trailer: Zombies, with their ability to suddenly turn family members and loved ones against each other, stir up primal feelings like no other monster can. One of the most moving scenes I saw in the early episodes of the AMC zombie apocalypse show The Walking Dead involved a character and his young son holed up in a house that’s being circled by the revenant who used to be their wife and mother. You know what the man is going to have do — you can see it coming from a mile away as soon as you know he has a shotgun but his dilemma is no less powerful for that.
Meanwhile, for any gamers who find themselves seduced by this trailer, Wired’s Game Life blog recommends caution, as “this isn’t really a game trailer in the traditional sense. It’s not a series of clips from the game….Though the trailer is said to capture the game’s solemn tone and setting, it is not the same thing.”
I’ll just say that I’m looking forward to it, even though it likely won’t be out for another nine months.