Review by adawg555

"A Different, and Good, Zombie Game"

What is perhaps the most anticipated Xbox 360 game to date has finally hit store shelves. Dead Rising from Capcom (Who brought you Resident Evil) is a zombie survival game in which you take control of Frank West, a freelance photographer trapped with others in a mall full of the the undead flesh that is zombies. It is your job to uncover the mystery of the attack, and to make it out alive. But it wont be that easy.

Gameplay:

The controls are simple in this game, which is just right for it's style. You have your basic attack and jump, as well as your aim for shooting. Each of these will be used to throw down with the undead, and interact with the games many bosses. AN interesting concept is in the ability to take pictures. When taking a picture, you gain PP points. The more gruesome, funny, or erotic the picture, the more PP points you get. Accumulating PP points by taking pictures, bashing heads in, and completing tasks will allow you to level up your character RPG style, giving you access to more moves that can be unleashed on your foes. This is really nice because some later bosses can get very hard, and so can the zombies if you are not careful.
Two major parts of getting through the game are doing Cases and Scoops. The former of these are the main story of the game. You have 72 hours to complete all of the cases, but each one has its own time limit in between. If you are not in the right place at the right time, the "Truth Will Vanish into the Darkness" and the secret will never get out. The "get it done now" style of gameplay is somewhat disappointing. Some of us, like me, wished to be able to explore the mall freely, and while there are two unlockable modes, none of them let you do this without consequence. But other than the tedium of the time limit, the cases are creative and fun, and they will make you interact with many different characters in the game, and move along a good, albeit hard to believe, story.
The second set of missions, called scoops, is a different story. Scoops to not move along the story line in any way. Instead they are cell phone calls which tell you about some victims that need rescuing, or bosses that need ass-kickings. This would be fine and all, but there is one problem. YOU CANT READ WHAT THE SCOOPS SAY!Well if you don't have an HDTV you cant, unless you sit two inches away from the TV. This s a glitch or a mistake that almost ruined the game for me. I often found myself just sitting around waiting for a new case to start instead of doing scoops, which is really boring. Hopefully a patch will come out to fix that. Other than that, the amount of weapons you can use and stuff you can do with those weapons is great, and the game is just plain fun to play.

Graphics:

The amount of detail in this game is astounding. While the models of the characters are not as beautiful as some other games, you cannot blame the developers because they have succeeded in putting THOUSANDS of characters on screen at once. This makes it the true first Next Gen game in my opinion. Going into the tunnel and seeing 2 thousand zombies about to swarm at you is a site to see, and can really get the adrenaline pumping.
The mall itself is also very nice. I have never seen such detailed groceries on a store shelf. O_O. Anyway, each environment has its own unique look. The park looks like a park, each area of the mall is themed differently, and it just feels right. That is all you can ask in a game that is pulling such graphical power with its NPCs. The graphics are just top notch.

Audio:

The audio that is in the game, mainly the voice actors, are really good. Each character has a voice in cut scenes that fits them perfectly. This was a concern of mine, but they did a great job. The music sounds epic, but with a rock feel. It brings a new edge and adds to the already hectic atmosphere. The growl of the zombies feeds the ambiance with fear and the feeling of being trapped. Like I said, where there is audio, it is great. But where there is not audio is a major problem.

I mentioned a problem with the very small, unreadable text before. Now, this glitch or mistake wouldn't be a problem if you could hear what the characters were saying instead of having to read it. But guess what? Aside from cut scenes, characters have no audio! This is inexcusable. In this generation, I want to hear the people talk to me, not squint at little blobs on the bottom of my TV that re supposed to represent words. This ruins part of the atmosphere of the game. I would like to hear cell phone conversations, and conversations with NPCs, not rip my eyeballs out and put them in front of the TV to read them. Big mistake developers.

Modes:

Not much in the modes department here. You have 72 Hour Mode, which I have been discussing, and two unlockable modes that you can uncover by getting certain endings. I wont ruin these for you as I would need to post spoilers to explain them. I'll let you have the fun in unlocking them.

Final Verdict:

Dead Rising pretty much lives up to the hype. It has gone from the wacky picture taking game that we first saw a year or so ago, to this gruesome, yet beautiful survival horror game. It does have a few mistakes that bog the game down a lot, but is still a solid game. Capcom has released another good zombie game, but some unforgiving mishaps have forced me to give a lower score.

Score: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/29/06


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