Imagine that you've finally saved up to go on a big, expensive vacation. So you single out the Royal Palms Resort, located in a fictional spot in Papa New Guinea. After a wild night of partying you wake up to find out that this luxurious hotel has become infested by zombies. That's right, your relaxing getaway has become home to an army of brain suckers and if you want to survive this you're going to need to get creative.
Up to four players can step into the co-operative shoes of our protagonists, an ethnically diverse lot, that are immune to the infection naturally. While the details haven't exactly been elaborated upon Dead Island promises to allow these four poor schmucks to explore an open world via the first person perspective. As this is a tropical island you're not going to have much in the ways of guns to defend yourself with so these four are stuck using whatever melee weapons they can get their hands on.
The very first mission will serve as a tutorial to the game. Trapped in a hut on the beach with some other survivors you are tasked with going outside to help someone who is stuck outside with the zombie horde. Grabbing your pipe you head outside to help them out. Although you start with a pipe you're going to want to experiment with other equipment to take advantage of the advanced layering of the zombies. As their meat and muscle has been so meticulously rendered they take rather sophisticated real-time injuries.
Immediately setting the game apart from the inevitable Left 4 Dead comparisons are the RPG elements. As you play the game you will gain experience points that will be used to advance along a skill tree. On top of this there is a customizable weapon system although it's unlikely we can look forward to over the top Dead Rising 2 style equipment.
Going along with this is the announcement of a stamina bar. As you attack your bar will lower until you have to stop attacking to regain your stamina. This, paired up with the confirmation of a special class of zombie more powerful than the regular ones, are sure to cause the Left 4 Dead fans to cry "OMFG rip off!"
Seriously it's like Dead Rising and Left 4 Dead got together and made some sort of freaky, zombie love child. What more do you need to know?! Unless you're burnt out on zombies thanks to the running obsession with them this is a game to keep your eyes open for. It lands sometime in late 2011 on both Xbox 360 and PS3.