Review by GLAMPIRE

"Romero would be proud!"

So it finally arrives. The game I have been looking forward to since it was first announced (I am a huge survival horror fan and also a collector of horror films, especially the zombie flicks) so.... does it live up to it's name? Well... read on.

Story:

You are Frank West, a freelance journalist on a mission to find out just what the hell is going down in Willamette and the game starts you off in a chopper with your pilot.

What you see is streets filled with riotous carnage. This ain't normal.

You soon end up overlooking Willamette Mall, and what do you see? Is it a big sale going down? Judging by the amount of people fighting their way in through the doors it would seem like, right? Wrong... these people ain't alive. So... the story begins. Just what the hell is going on here? It is your job to find out.

9/10

Graphics:

The graphics in this game are absolutely astounding. This is what the next gen is all about, right here. Nothing at all to say bad about them so I will cut this section short. The graphics are simply outstanding for today's technology. Sure, some objects with writing on, when zoomed up close with your camera, won't show the writing too well, but hey... minor crap. I ain't griping over that when the rest of the game looks beautiful.

10/10

Sound:

A fantastic musical score throughout the game accompanied by above average voice acting. Some of the voice acting good, some bad. A mixed bag really, but overall, good enough I would say.

What I really love though are the sounds when you kill a zombie, squelches here and there, all sounding beautiful (Am I sounding like a sicko yet? Tough!) and also the zombies moaning and groaning sounds quite creepy, especially at night time when you have no lights. I am impressed with the sound overall.

8/10

Gameplay:

Okay, let me start this off by saying that a lot of people still haven't figured out this game at all. They whine how the game is too hard, or they haven't got enough time to do this and do that, or they moan about the save system, well... here I will explain.

First up... the difficulty. Sure it will be hard when you first start playing. What do you expect? You start off at level 1 for christ sake, go level some!

No time to get to a mission AND do a scoop? Just do one! This game was meant to be replayed a few times. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Want to play a game just doing the main storyline? Do it. Want to start another game just doing the side missions (Called scoops) ? Do that! Want to just go around trying on every item of clothing available to you in the mall's stores? Go ahead! Don't try and do everything at once and you will be fine.

The save system is one that I hate hearing people whine about. So... you have one save and one save only. You are constantly overwriting your only save in this game. I have no problem with that and I can manage time easily enough. I don't try and do everything yesterday. One save is enough and isn't a problem at all if you can learn how this game is meant to be played, and that is don't do everything at once.

The gameplay is fantastic. You can choose from a plethora of weapons, ranging from Uzis to katanas, handguns, shotguns, shower heads (Very gruesome), bowling balls, golf clubs, scythes, etc etc to defeat the undead and bosses in this game. I am still not bored with killing in this game.

Basically, you will get your main missions, and calls from a fella named Otis that will give you scoops, and as I mentioned before... these are optional to the main game and involve rescuing survivors. Very fun to do, even if the AI can be a bit stupid at times, still fun. Plenty do do in the game to keep you busy. Plus, there can be literally hundreds of zombies on screen with no slowdown whatsoever.

Sure there are parts here and there that could have used some work (Mainly to do with some of the survivors AI), but it's all minor and not gameplay hindering really so I won't harp on that too much.

10/10

Replayability:

Plenty. From trying to unlock all the achievements to rescuing survivors, this game will keep you at it for a while.

Going through JUST the main storyline will take you not far off 9 hours to complete (If you don't skip cutscenes that is) so not bad really for a game of this style. And like I said, you have all those darn survivors to rescue also, plus the psychos (Which are the bosses) which each one has a little bit of story to also. It's all fun. The game kind of reminds me of a zombified Metal Gear. By that, I mean the good storyline, the cutscenes and the way the bosses introduce themselves. Great to me :)

9/10

Rent or buy:

Well, to sum it up. I am a massive zombie freak. BIG fan of the Romero films ( The original Dawn Of The Dead being my all time favourite) and also all those old zombie flicks. I was dying to get my mitts on this game. It didn't dissapoint me.

However... if you are unsure about the save system still, or anything else, I would suggest a rental to see what you think. I won't tell you to rush and and buy buy buy just because I love this game, but just give it a try and if you are like me, and a fan of zombie films and survival horror games, then you shouldn't be dissapointed. Dead Rising is without a doubt the Xbox 360 must own title.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/15/06


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