Something that separates games from most other media is the effort put into adverts – game trailers are almost universally unmemorable, and so when Dead Island came out with this catchy, speed-switching… thing, the world sat up and noticed. The trailer was either incredibly cynical or just incredible depending on who you talked to, but it seemed to promise a different take on the zombie genre; one that was less arcade slaughter of undead hordes and which instead focused on it as a bleak and brutal battle for simple survival. It hinted at an emphasis on close and personal combat, improvised weaponry, and terror-induced flight, and looked like it might – might – be the first zombie FPS to do it as a true survival horror rather than treating its undead menagerie as just another set of monsters to be shot in the face.
Then Dead Island was actually released, and… uh, yeah. It really didn’t.