Review by Vyascheslav
"Zombies, Psychos, and Bloody Weapons..."
The small low populated town of Willamette, Colorado. Home to one of the biggest malls in the state. Something big is happening here, people have gone missing, the streets are stalked with dumb-struck monsters with the taste of flesh, the military has blockaded the roads and openings of the town connected with the outside world. You are photographer Frank West, being flown into Willamette by helicopter with your pilot, Ed. As you fly over the town, you notice something is very, very wrong. The people are attacking each other, cars are crashed, buildings and vehicles ablaze, this is no riot, it's hell.
I had my eyes open the whole time in this game. The story is a twisting-turning series of cases and events that lead to the mysterious cause of the zombie outbreak. The missions (scoops) aren't that of what a military officer with a rifle would try to complete, it's what Frank, a careless paparazzi who just takes pictures would fulfill. Think of it as bad things happen to normal people. The plot is magnificent, so brilliantly planned out and slowly revealing is it, that your are on the edge of your seat every time something new and drastic comes up. Plus, like some other Capcom games, there are multiple endings that will keep you wanting more and retrieving more. This game is like turning pages in a book.
The graphics are quite nice, but you can see when quick movement is delayed and when solid objects or limbs pass through each other. But, the casual remarking and emotional movement of body language in the game is astounding. Frank will show it when he's annoyed, surprised, confused or angry. The zombies graphics and blood splatters are very nice and smooth, from the stock of items on the shelves, to the writing on posters and advertisements throughout the mall. One minor flaw...everyone's irritative...it's next to impossible to read the subtitles for the transmissions from your radio and the writings in the menu or scoop list, making it hard to know what to do next. I can't say you can complain about anything else like that though.
The sound is revolutionary, and music to your ears. There are tunes from the stores, splatter sounds from blood, grunts and moans from zombies, and brilliant sound effects from the pounding of different weapons, like a guitar. The music in the game isn't that bad, especially when you're facing bosses. The voices of people in the mall are phenomenally clear, but the gunshot sounds aren't the greatest.
I would give it an eleven out of ten. The idea of being trapped in a mall, A MALL, is pure genius, it's remarkable. The stores, and the items you find in them, the park, the renovation, and the selection of goods to use as weapons are all equally awesome. You get to enter every inch of the mall, from the attic catwalks, to the underground maintenance, and the heliport on the roof, it's genius.
It's a little different than capcom's previous games. You still get third-person view, but controlling of movement and turning is greatly improved. I can say though, that the harsh speediness of having to combo controller buttons to make cool moves, can be tough on the fingers, and shaking your control stick over and over again when you try to free yourself from a zombies grasp can sore your palms. All in all, the control over your character blocks out the bad, plus you have different ways to attack a zombie with a weapon by utilizing your controller rather than a simple old whack. Gameplay also configures with the infamous ability to use everything as a weapon, which is a horror videogamers dream.
PLAY TIME: 9/10
You're trapped in a mall and in seventy-two hours you'll be picked up (real time is 15 hours). Its moderate and sweet, but sometimes you have to race to scoops and squeeze in time for them. It's actually very nice the way they time the game, and you don't even have to follow the time limit, you can ignore it to switch endings. It depends on how long it'll take to complete the game whether you want the alternate endings, or if you have to continually reload the game to do something right.
You may not complete the normal 72-hour mode perfectly the first time you beat the game, which will make you wanting more. Rescue all survivors, complete all cases, kill all psychopaths, get every achievement and go into overtime. Replayability is very high and the game, addicting.
You can go do whatever you want in the mall. You can shop, cook, take pictures, change clothes or just kill yourself some continually spawning zombies. Like the environment, you can go anywhere. Go to the butcher shop, or the clock tower in the park. It's your choices in the game that make it fun. There are so many decisions...
The game is hard in a good way, because you always want to fully complete it and try stuff new.
I say buy the game, keep it, share it. It's fun, violent and something new.
The game is totally worth anything besides murder, to get your hands on it.
I give this game a nine out of ten. The flaws and irritants are small. The game is a change for the better and this is one of the best videogames I've ever played. The bosses are the craziest people I've ever seen on a videogame and the photography style is nice. This game rocks! Go play it!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/14/06
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