Dead Rising Review

The long anticipated sequel to Capcom’s hit title Dead Rising hit the shelves not so long ago and I, like many others, couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

We had already been teased by the release of Dead Rising: Case 0 on the Xbox Live Arcade, and getting that first glimpse of the games new characters and features was enough to bring back the memories of the fun we all had with the first instalment.

Set a number of years after the first game, the zombie outbreak is “under control” and a new drug has been developed to stall the virus in the infected whilst protestors demonstrate against zombie-rights abuses.

At first I was sceptical of the addition of the main characters young daughter into the game. The idea of having an infected child that needs the life-saving Zombrex injections every 24 hours seemed like something that might detract from the mayhem of the first game. Once you start playing the game, the relationship between Chuck and his daughter adds a human element to the game that the first was missing.

In the first outing of Dead Rising our intrepid reporter Frank was little better than the psychopaths that we defeated over the course of the game. Chuck, however, becomes the doting father who’s doing everything he can to keep his daughter safe. By adding this element to the game, rather than hindering the gameplay, we suddenly care more about the major cast and are sucked into this terrifying world.

So what’s new about the game you say? What makes this more than just a reheated copy of its predecessor? We still have the amazing array of every day items that we can add to our arsenal; we have costumes that make Chuck look as crazy or as cool as we want… and plenty of zombies to pulverise, as well as a ton of psychos and survivors to aid or defeat.

However, we now also have the ability to combine weapons to create some of the most hilarious and cool looking creations in recent games. Imagine electrocuting a group of zombies with a Blanka mask strapped to a car battery, or wielding a light sabre (sorry “laser sword”)- all created via Chucks impressive skill as a mechanic and a ton of duct tape.

Capcom have also added a host of mini-games and Easter Eggs to the game, including Chuck’s reaction to watching screenings at the cinema, appearances of Mega Man characters, slot machines and a whole host of other goodies.

The most talked about new feature has been the addition of multiplayer content. Players can now compete in ranked global matches on the Gladiator-esque in game TV show “Terror is Reality”. Four players are matched over Xbox Live to compete in a series of games, much like the opening of the game itself- seeing Chuck slaughtering zombies on a bike equipped with two chainsaws on its handlebars to name just one such game.

Sadly my one issue with this game is that the “Terror is Reality” multiplayer content takes forever to get into- mostly because it forces you to wait for all four players to load into a lobby and a cut scene.

Another option is to play through the game with a friend over the network. In this co-op setting the players can either cleave their way through zombies or use items to create distractions and employ other such tactics.

Personally I truly enjoyed this series- and soon there will be another released on Xbox Live Arcade as an epilogue for Dead Rising 2, uniting Chuck with our former hero Frank West in one (apparently) epic showdown against those causing the outbreaks.

As with its predecessor the time based Case system uncovers a well thought out plot, with interesting characters, political intrigue and even throws in a dash of greed and insanity.

And let’s be honest- what could possibly be more fun in a video game than wearing hot pants whilst riding a child’s tricycle and bashing zombie brains in with a souped-up guitar and a giant pink… ahem… massager.

Certainly a must have game it has everything from the fantastic tongue-in-cheek humour, great dialogue, the heart warming dynamic between the major cast and did I mention zombies?

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