Review by darklordonix
"Zombies huh... I had a feeling you'd show up..."
Some time ago, my friend showed up at my house for some good ole' fashioned video gaming. This time though, he told me about this new game capcom is making called Dead Rising. I had no idea what game he was talking about, but it apparently had hundreds of zombies on screen at anytime, and you could use any weapon. I had never been too fond of capcom, as atrocious controls plagued their early incarnations of Resident Evil and Onimusha, so I just shrugged it off as a average game with some potential. I figured I'd never hear of it again in the mainstream. Not long afterwards, my boyfriend came up with the same news. He has a certain way around him when a game will have great fun to it, so I kept it in the back of my mind for ages.
Then came the news: There was a free downloadable demo on Xbox Live! That produced hours of fun, and I couldn't wait for the real deal. We all discused the game. I said this statement: "I sure hope they keep everything like it is, and just Add to it... just make it better!"
Boy, they must have had a voice transponder in the room or somthing!
Dead Rising has some really great graphics, but in all respects, they are slightly drab compared to other games out on the 360 and PC. Though the graphics are top notch and great looking during a cut scene, nearly every effect, texture, shading, shadow, lighting, or anything else to do with its graphics, has been dumbed down for actual gameplay. Everything can be seen done better in other games. Character models, guns, and other weapons can be seen with better textures and meshing in countless games. Explosions, gunfire, lighting and smoke were done much better in Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.
But what almost no other game has, Dead Rising has. At the sacrifice of graphics, Dead Rising sports around eight hundred zombies on the screen at a time. Weapons, items, curatives, and vehicles also show up perfectly. All this together, and I have never experienced once frame of lag, and I have never seen fading in the background. As an added effect, the lighting and shadows change as time changes through the day and night cycles.
In cut scenes, the game really shows off some great craftsmanship. To an old gaming fogey, seeing mouths open up and actually having teeth and tongues is simply an amazment. Hair on people's heads look really nice. A clown's hair you meet later on is really bouncey and meshy like in real life. Characters eyes look real and glossy, girls with lipstick have shiney lips, females have breasts and jiggle around with physics (Although much more realistic than some games will have you believe). Overall, cut scenes are nice.
Overall, the graphics look great, but aren't perfect 10/10 material.
The sound in this game makes you go "meh". While in cut scenes, everyone is voice acted decently, even though, at times, there can be some cheesy lines. Nothing is terrible about it, and it works.
And then you get into the actual game sounds. You have your zombies, weapons, vehicles, and other sounds such as those. They sound pretty good, zombies moan, wood sound like wood would when smashes against zombie face. Lawnmowers sound like they would when turned on and off. All of the weapons and the likes sound great. But the game's downfall, in my oppinion, is the in game voice acting. When you talk to a survivor, or anyone outside a cut scene, the words come up like an old RPG, and it's not voice acted, but when they DO saything, or cry, it just sounds bad. Characters will only have one or two phrases and they are continuously recycled. hearing girls cry, with the same annoying sound over and over and over really just makes the sound department bad.
After the tragic failures at capcom's earlier control systems, I had braced myself for the worst, but RE4 gave me enough hope to play the Demo first. As I found out in the full version, the controls could not be any better for a game like this! The Analouge sticks control movement and the camera. X uses your equiped item or weapon. Y calls anyone with you to you. A jumps, and B perform actions like picking up weapons and changing clothes. The bumpers let you cycle through items, and the triggers operate your camera and take you into first person mode for throwing items and other uses. Clicking sticks, the D-Pad, and combonations do many other commands, but I'm not going to waste more space, as a list of commands may be gotten elsewhere.
The story starts out as you, Frank West, talented reporter, are helecoptered into a city which has been completely fenced off. You want to investigate, and become famous. All you know is the army has the place barricaded, and the town is supposedly in a riot. You decide to get dropped off in top of the mall, and tell your helecopter pilot to come back in 3 days at noon. Frank soon discovers the rioters are actually zombies, and he and the folks in the mall will nt get any rescue until his helecopter gets back. Now you have to survive, help people if you can, and find out what the hell is behind all of this and tell the world.
Not the best story. Not the worst. Works pretty well. On final readthrough of this, I changed the score to 8/10 from a 7/10, as I found myself enjoying thesotry more and more as it progressed.
For the most part, the gameplay is really great. The consists of you going through the mall and it's appendeges killing zomibies, saving people, and finding out whats going on. As you kill things, have survivors joined, and rescue survivors, you gain Prestige Points. The PP adds up until enough to level up is gained. When leveled up, one of many things can raise, such as attack, life, weapon slots, speed, and moves mastered. The new moves really add to Frank's arsenal, making zombie killing more fun.
At anytime frank learns about anything new thats important, an in game tutorial will give the player a quick rundown on how to use it, and the new moves he learns are about the only things the player needs to look up how to use or activate. Nothing is really left up to mystery, except how to get past the challangges. =)
The ammount of weapons and items available for use is phenominal, just about everything not tied down is usable, be it sledgehammers, benches, lawnmowers, or toys and comical hoods. Weapons can be found anywhere in the environment, and many zombies will drop them. Items include healatives, such as pies, bread, orange juice, milk, and cookies, and books tha add to your stats and raise abilities of items and your camera. Everything is useful and adds to the gameplay, making it nice and immersive.
Frank can also interact with his environment in a few ways. Almost all the windows can be broken by Frank, and all but those elading to a different area can be traversed through at will. Frank can run on treadmills, and use stoves for extra points. Items and weapons on the ground can be hit and shot by frank, making them move around appropriatly, as do dead bodies. Sometimes, you can make bodies glitch and spin in corners as you throw plates or CDs at them, thats always funny and comical to do to them.
Escorting survivors is fun, and it racks up a lot of points, but you WILL find out that the AI of the survivors is extremely weak, much like that of a Grand Theft Auto civilian. You can give them weaons, but you will find they will hurt you when trying to swing at zombies. To top it off, they WILL get stuck behind walls, doors, items and zombies. Instead of following you, they will try to run in a straight line directly to you, which will result in much headache. If there is more than one, they WILL get stuck as they try togo through doorways, and cant produce the common intellect to let one another through. They will get stuck on anything you have to crawl over, at times it is much more than a hassel than a treat to do.
Not much could get worse than eacorting survivors, and they turn stupid on you, but capcom decided to test the gamer's patience even more. The cases in this game usually involve missions and boss fights. Almost all of them are stupid, annoying, and an extreme pain to do. Not only are they hard, but exceedingly unrealistic. Show me a man who can survive 100 bullets to the face, and I'll call you a liar. The boss fights are seriously the worst part of this game. I can't understand what capcom was thinking. This game seriously has the most annoyingbosses I have ever seen in any game. We do not need to have to retry somthing ten times to realize how full of crap these parts of the game are.
This game has three modes. 72 Hours, Overtime, and Infinity modes. Seventytwo hours is the standard game mode, where you live for three days before being rescued. Overtime modes takes it farther, and you don't leave after three days, and infinity mode has no end. For killing endless zombies and having GTA style rampages when you're bored, infinity mode is a dream come true. Considering the horrificly high ammount of weapons in this game, you will be able to play it for ages.
This game also has fifty acheivments, so if you're like me, you enjoy collecting them, and unlocking them adds a new sense of purpose to the game.
++Frank West, is a great character to play as, overall.
++Soon after you start the game, you will run into a certain area. In the area, a rap song continuosly blares. Thank you capcom for making it a decent and palletable rap song, I thought it was actually a nice song at that to listen to.
--With fifty acheivments, you only gain 20 points with each one earned. Meaning the more excessive acheivments, such as killing 50,000 zombies wouldn't be worth it, when compared to easy aheivments.
--Although there are many other types of antagonists in the game, such as phycopaths, zombies only seem to be attracted to you and your friends.
--You would think that every single weapon was made in the poorest of sweatshops, as their lifetime is extremely short. I'm sorry, but a sledgehammer or a katana or a huge sword will NOT break after a few minutes.
--Zombies seem as if they trained under the great Luke Skywalker, after being infused with the demon king Piccolo's genes. You will find that zombies will unrealistically fly from no where and grab ahold, even though they shouldn't be able to.
--Very minor, but the zombie with the hard hat you meet sometimes gets saves by that thing far to often, sledgehammers, shotgunshells and machine gun bullets wont bounce off of it.
This game is a great time passer,and is fun to pass through the different game modes. But will piss you off tremendously at times. It might be a good idea to rent it first, or play a friend's copy before you dedicate yourself to buying it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/15/06
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