Banoi provides an open world paradise for the player to explore, with RPG-like quests and objectives to provide direction. As you traverse the island you'll encounter other survivors to rescue, many of whom will then offer side quests to complete. Completing story quests and side quests earns experience, and as your character progresses they will learn new abilities through a customizable skill tree.
Though there will be firearms, there is a heavy emphasis placed on melee combat. After all, according to traditional horror lore you need to remove the brain to truly kill a zombie. You will be able to customize your tools of destruction using components found in the environment, bringing to mind the combo weapons featured in Dead Rising 2.
Dead Island offers both single-player and multi-player gameplay, with up to four players working together cooperatively against the horde. There will be both regular zombies and "special class" zombies to combat, reminiscent of the Left 4 Dead franchise's enemies.
"The Ram" is a menacing hulk of a zombie, strapped into a straight jacket and muzzle. He charges at the player with great speed.
"The Drowner" is a fat, bloated zombie covered in slimy skin. Drowners vomit on the player to impair their vision.
"The Butcher" is missing limbs due to decomposition. In place of arms are simply sharpened-down bones, which he uses to slice and cut the player.
"The Suicider" is extremely disfigured and covered in pulsing boils. Shooting him will cause an eruption of disgusting pus, showering the player in goo if they are standing too close.
"The Thug" is stronger and more powerful than the average zombie, using its strength to both stun and knock the player to the ground.
Thanks for reading our Dead Island preview, and be sure to check back at Bright Hub for more in-depth coverage of Dead Island once it hits shelves and digital distribution services on September 6, 2011.