Jimmyen. (jimmyen) wrote,
Jimmyen.
jimmyen

That trailer for Dead Island is really bad.

I'm talking about this thing.

I first saw this trailer a couple of days ago, and then I saw nothing but heavy praise heaped on it. But it's a terrible trailer!

1. Too complicated.
Reverse timeline + slow motion + time jumps makes a simple sequence of events difficult to follow. Look around for a recut version which puts all the clips in the correct order (why would anyone do that if it was easy to follow as is?). Here's one that preserves the heart-tugging soundtrack. I submit that the effect is not the same, because the events are not given additional significance by all the work you have to do to piece them together.

2. Bad CGI.
The characters all fall into the uncanny valley. The kid looks dead and lifeless whether she is alive or a zombie or in fact dead and lifeless. The slow-mo doesn't help. The shot of the mom freaking out when the kid goes zombie can't be intended to be hilarious but it is. The final shot of the dad reaching for the kid is supposed to be a tear-jerker, I assume, but the expression they've painted on his face makes me think he has down syndrome.

3. Actual experience not as represented.
Am I to take from this teaser that this game is an exploration of the tragedies that occur when zombie apocalypse interrupts one's tropical vacation? I will be generous and assume that something like this could work (or could have worked ten years ago) in the spirit of the original Resident Evils, where the focus of the survival game was on survival as opposed to mowing down everything on screen with increasingly ridiculous weaponry. Maybe I am cynical, but something in the vein of Dead Rising is the kind of game I imagine when I see the title graphic and am told this is a game about zombies overrunning a tropical resort. The added value is that the boss fights will also feature increasingly ridiculous Hawaiian shirts.

4. Nitpicks.
I have watched this thing forwards and backwards several times to make sure I did in fact hate it before writing this. Why is the little girl out on her own when there are flesh-eating zombies? Are we to assume this is the beginning of the outbreak? But what about fat Hawaiian shirt zombie, who is clearly in a more advanced state of decay than the rest? Where did the gash on the girl's neck come from? I see bellhop zombie going to town on her leg, but when dad comes to the rescue she's got a big gash in her neck. How? So many unanswered questions in this three minute video!

5. Manipulative.
The teaser is almost certainly a marketing ploy to generate interest in a game which is probably otherwise uninteresting (and hence not featured in the teaser). We'll manufacture a vaguely tragic sequence, jazz it up with a lot of flashy editing (no, not enough flashy editing, more!), add a slow piano and voilá! No one has ever thought of a family torn apart by a plague of zombies before! To the Youtubes!

The Internet appears to have fallen for this in the hardest way possible, and that is what makes me sad. Is everybody so uncritical?
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