There's no such thing as bad publicity. If people are writing about your stuff, you're doing well.
Anyway, back to your bullet points.1st person/3rd person
. I personally like 3rd person, but it does mean that you have to have a decent player model. Oblivion looked beautiful, but switch to 3rd person view and you're looking at a gingerbread man in a tinfoil suit who walks like a Thunderbird puppet. 1st person means that you have one less asset to worry about. It'd be nice to have the option to switch though, just in case you get some awesome art folks on board.Visuals/GFX
. It's all about the first impression. The guy who posted the Doom Warrior
stuff a few weeks back got a WOW from me because the screen shots look great. The game might play like a dead dog, but people will take a look because they're dragged in by the visuals.
You do need a solid mechanic to keep people playing, but if the visuals don't grab people, they probably won't stick around to find out.Zombie Theme
. It seems to me that everyone is doing zombie games these days. Almost every Games With Gold title I've grabbed has been zombie related. I'm probably not representative of the average gamer, but I'm bored of zombie games. Having something else as theme might be enough to capture people's attention.
That's enough braindump for now. Just my 2c, hope that helps.