GAMERSYDE | X360, PS3, PC Friday, July 1, 2011 | 4:50 PM

First Look at Koch Media's line-up

First Look at Koch Media's line-up

It is now Koch Media / Deep Silver's turn to be in the spotlight on Gamersyde. Seth was able to get his hands on Dead Island and brought us back his impressions, but he also went to a presentation of Risen 2: Dark Waters, a role playing game that may be worth checking out on consoles too this time.

Survival of the fittest

Dead Island is an upcoming open world zombie game from developer Techland and publisher by Deep Silver. What makes this game unique among the myriad zombie titles is that it takes storyline, and not just mindless destruction, quite seriously. We were able to spend about an hour with the game in a hands-on multiplayer cooperative demo and came away impressed. The game takes place on an island where an outbreak has caused a zombie invasion. It’s typical zombie faire, with nods to all of your favorites, but it works well. The real heart of the game comes from your base of operations, which is a refuge for human survivors. That is where you will get missions and have the story fleshed out. All of the characters (both playable and otherwise) have well-developed stories that give the game a strong human element. In that way it reminded me a bit of The Walking Dead come to life.

Each playable character has a large skill tree, with some skills existing across all characters and others being unique; one is better with blunt weapons and another with blades, for example. All of the weapons can be upgraded and have to be repaired to remain effective. The game has a detailed weather system and also a night and day cycle but it will not happen in real time and will be linked to the storyline. The world appeared to be huge and while we only got to see one small section there are many types of environments to explore. Players online can jump in and out of your game without the need to restart a mission – it is completely drop in, drop out. Combat was also very satisfying. There are many types of zombies to bash and break apart and they each have weaknesses or unique attacks. One of the most satisfying moments comes when you first kick a zombie to the ground and then curb stomp his head. Violent? Sure it is, but they are technically already dead anyway. Dead Island is scheduled for release worldwide in September.

Pirate Rising

Deep Silver was also demoing Risen 2: Dark Waters from developer Piranha Bites. While the original from 2009 was more of a traditional medieval RPG, the setting has shifted to the open seas and the age of sail and pirating. In speaking with the design team however, they have chosen to steer clear of the actual seafaring and keep the gameplay and story focused on land. Their reasoning is that they didn’t want to delve in to side games or gameplay that would only serve as a distraction and preferred to focus development time on the heart of the game. You can once again expect a detailed story with a vast script of dialogue.

While development is still early there are many areas in which progress has clearly been made. The graphical engine has been through a complete overhaul and Risen 2 can now boast that it competes with the most attractive games available today. Also, while the Xbox 360 version of Risen was put into work quite late in the development cycle (and it showed), Risen 2 has been developed from the start with a multiplatform release in mind. The game looks very similar across all three platforms. Along with the change in setting there are a few fun gameplay additions. Gunplay is now available and you can even duel wield a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other. You will also have a pet parrot at your disposal which can be deployed against the enemy, though mostly just as a distraction to give you time to escape or get in a few quick attacks. No release date has been set but they expect to have the game ready sometime in the first half of 2012.

All comments

Commented on 2011-07-01 17:41:30
Im more insterested in Dead Island than in Risen 2 to be honest, not that Risen 2 look bad or anything but openworld zombie killing is more my style of game.
Commented on 2011-07-01 18:19:19
I know what you mean, but it'd be nice to finally have a nice RPG other than the typical fable/mass effect genre.

Either way, Dead Island does look as though it'll rule my life for quite some time hehe.
Commented on 2011-07-01 19:35:38 In reply to fr0sty
Posted by fr0sty
I know what you mean, but it'd be nice to finally have a nice RPG other than the typical fable/mass effect genre.

Either way, Dead Island does look as though it'll rule my life for quite some time hehe.
The Witcher 2 has been out for a couple months, and is probably the best RPG to come along in ten years.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is coming up in August, and all indications points towards WIN there.

Dark Souls, the spiritual sequel to Demon's Souls is coming up in October. And if it is anything like the previous game, a lot of WIN there as well.

And then there is of course the 800lb RPG gorilla of 2011, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, coming in November.

And if by chance you have not played it yet, Fallout: New Vegas is still a great RPG, which will likely be getting some form of GOTY Edition collecting all the DLC this fall.

Plenty of non-Fable, non-Mass Effect RPG love coming in 2011. And hopefully if games like Risen 2 turn out to be good, some more RPG love for 2012.
Commented on 2011-07-01 21:00:26
Between all those, I rather go with Skyrim.
Commented on 2011-07-01 21:20:57 In reply to Sath
Posted by Sath
Between all those, I rather go with Skyrim.
Who says you have to chose between?

This is what I don't get about gamers. Everything has to be a contest, even when there isn't a contest actually there or implied as being there.

It's not an either/or situation, brother. You see AAA games, you play them. Life is really simple. The only quandary is, which one do you get first?
Commented on 2011-07-01 21:26:35
I don't even know what Skyrim has to do with this game at all, and I mean at all.
Commented on 2011-07-01 21:49:15
I have Witcher 2 even though I haven't delved into it yet

I am excited for Skyrim and Dark Souls

I would group Deus Ex with being akin to Mass Effect though. I've played the leak and it's very similar.
Granted Mass Effect is very much a shooter now.
Commented on 2011-07-02 15:06:56 In reply to FreeSwag
I know what you mean hehe, but I was typing that message quickly on my new phone, not on my pc, so just wanted to put something quick lol.

I meant to say that it would be nice to have a traditional RPG that incorporated a nice medieval feel to it`s environment. I know that there are many RPG`s coming soon to consoles, but this one does look interesting from the screen shot provided.

Either way, I`m stoked to get my hands on Dead Island and can`t wait to chop off some zombie heads!
Commented on 2011-07-04 18:23:09
cannot wait for dead island, release it already :)
Commented on 2011-07-05 07:59:02
I heard witcher 2 is riddled with technical issues (just like the first one). True? :)

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