Recommending Dead Rising is easy based on your reaction to the following statement: All you do in Dead Rising is run around a mall and kill thousands of zombies in hundreds of different ways. If you first thought is Wow, that will get repetitive after a while, you should probably rent it. If, however, your first thought is That is everything I ever dreamed of and wished for in a zombie game, then Dead Rising is worth a purchase. It really is as simple as that.
- Title: Dead Rising
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- ESRB: M for Mature
- Genre: Third-Person Action, Survival horror
- Pros: Huge world to explore, tons of weapons, zombies, good story, great gameplay
- Cons: Dumb AI, occasional glitches, some really obvious features and modes arent here, Otis calling on the radio every 10 seconds, tiny text
Dead Rising tells the story of a photojournalist named Frank West as he arrives in the sleepy town of Willamette, Colorado in pursuit of a story. What he finds when he gets there is that the town is overrun by zombies, so he heads for the local mall to try and find some answers.
The overall story doesnt really change the zombie formula much, but it is still pretty good. All of the typical zombie movie clichés are in here, which is a good thing if you ask me.
Make sure that you leave the game running on the press start screen for a while. A special intro scene will play that will blow your mind. It is a great, reassuring sign that Capcom really understands the zombie genre and wont ever steer us wrong.
The gameplay in Dead Rising is pretty darn simple, but that doesnt mean it isnt a ton of fun. You are trapped in a mall filled with thousands of zombies and can go in any store and pick up weapons, toys, food, and even change clothes. When you have a weapon, you just press the X button to have Frank start swinging it around or shooting and the undead start dying. Weapons include everything from potted plants to guns to knives to chainsaws and more. You also earn different attacks for Frank such as jump kicks, room clearing spin moves, and even the ability to pick up zombies and throw them. The zombies are limitless, and plowing through crowds of hundreds isnt uncommon.
Another aspect of the gameplay is that you can take pictures wherever and whenever you want. Snapping pictures of other human survivors, boss characters, or special stickers spread throughout the mall get you points so you can level up. You can also take pictures of zombies where the gorier and more horrifying the scene the better. The photography part can play as big or as little of a role as you want and it is completely optional.
72 Hour Mode
The main mode, and the only one open at the beginning of the game, is the 72 Hour Mode. You have 72 hours to get your story and then be back at the helipad on the roof of the mall to be picked up. What you do in that 72 hours is completely up to you. You can follow the storyline and do the case files that pop up, or you can just kill zombies, or you can try and save as many civilians as possible, or you can do a combination of all of the above. You have to finish the case files and see the story before you unlock the other game modes, but there is plenty of fun to be had even if you never see the ending and the other modes. One thing that needs to be noted is that while the case files and storyline occur on a strict time limit and if you arent in the right place at the correct time you fail, you have plenty of time to get where you need to go. You arent supposed to save everyone, fight all of the bosses, and do the storyline all in one playthrough because it would be impossible. Focus on the story first and everything else second and the time limit isnt a problem.
One feature that has been the subject of much debate is the save and continue system. As I said in my Dead Rising Save System Explained
article, it isnt that complicated and I highly recommend you read the article if you are confused. Basically, when you die you have the option of just loading your last save or starting over from the beginning with your accumulated experience and abilities. Starting over isnt some huge chore that ruins the gameplay experience. In fact, it makes it far better because on successive plays you know where everything is and how to beat tricky sections so the game gets better the more you play through it.
I do have one complaint about the save system and that is the fact you only get one save file. You constantly overwrite your previous save so there is no such thing as saving before a fun boss fight so you can do it over and over again. There is a lot to see and do in this game and it would have been nice to have several saves. I have about a dozen saves in Oblivion for just this reason.
Dead Rising review continued on Page 2 ...