The “How is this franchise still a thing” Award
Some gaming franchises are like zombies, lurching from game to game in a way that makes no earthly sense to the outside viewer. With more sequels and installments than the original idea deserves you begin to question if maybe there’s some higher power at work, guiding this unearthly lich of a series.
It’s with that in mind that the award for “How is this franchise still a thing” goes to the ever undead Dead Island
Being released to much fanfare in 2011, with a rather beautiful trailer that had nothing to with the actual game, Dead Island is a series that baffles me. Coming out at the height of the 4 player co-op boom that games such Left 4 Dead and Borderlands had helped generate. Dead Island took the rather brave choice to be a first person melee based 4 player co-op focused RPG. This was a rather flawed plan as the game couldn’t seem to do any of these elements at all well. The game was at times a bit of knockabout fun if you had a few friends, but in single player it was a slog that hurt to play and one which had the most jarringly awkward story that glosses over sexual violence in a way that not even Watch Dogs would dare.
By all rights Dead Island should have died there but for some ungodly reason, the developers thought it would be a good idea to make a sequel. Dead Island: Riptide wasn’t so much as a sequel as it was the model for what Gearbox did with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. A Carbon copy of the last game, with even less charm. But then the Dead Island story got even weirder.
With a next gen Dead Island 2 in the works, a MOBA in beta and a recently released 3rd person stealth game (That is by all accounts shit). Not to mention the series spiritual successor in the form of Dying Light. But who wanted these games? Seriously who? I’ve developed the theory that this entire series is just some money laundry scheme that has gotten seriously out of hand. That is why Dead Island has won this much coveted prize, for existing when no one else can guess why.