Review by YamiYaj
"This Game is Not Dawn of The Dead! Itís immersing..."
Say what you want about me, but though Dawn of the Dead(the original) is a cult classic amongst all horror enthusiasts I have never actually cared for it. In fact, I could care less for the entire zombie plotline because I find enemies that move slow and aren't very intelligent to be rather boring. However, Dead Rising manages to take Zombies, whether it be for a cinematic reason, or for just immersing yourself in a somewhat comedic survival situation, and make them interesting with a few twists along the way.
In all honesty the gameplay is great, and innovative. In fact, it's worthy of a 10 out of 10. There are only four or so flaws in the gameplay that I will get into later. For the most part the game feels brand new, as you feel as if you're playing a sandbox type game with an objective other than shooting and driving. However, you also feel as if you're playing a survival horror game, as well as an old school beat-em up game too. The game runs flawlessly in terms of doing exactly what you want to do except for the aiming system when it comes to the guns in the game. The best part of the game is, undoubtedly, the fact that you can play three different game types, as well as the fact that you can go through the initial 72 hour mode without actually touching the story line at all. As for the aforementioned flaws, they are very minor, yet result in an imperfect score. The first of these is the simple fact that after a while, though fun, and with hundreds of different ways to kill and injure zombies, there are only so many times you can watch a zombie get killed, making the game repetitive. The other flaw is the fact that the boss battles feel as if, for the most part, they're unneeded, are unnecessarily hard, regardless of your skill level and just serve to frustrate you about the save system. If you're interested in playing this game, you have no doubt heard about the following technical issues in gameplay. Those being the limited ability to save and only having one saved game file. Though nice, it serves as annoying at some points. The final problem is that when you receive a phone call you don't hear a voice, but are simply treated to illegible text unless you have an HD-TV. However, those little things aside, you still have a great game based on gameplay alone.
Plain and simple, these graphics are only rivaled by the elite of Xbox 360 games. While the cutscenes themselves almost warrant a perfect score because of the sheer display of great emotion and realistic animation by those involved within the cutscenes, the fact of the matter is that the in-game graphics are great as well, and look just as good as the cutscenes. In a mall filled with over 56,000 zombies, and hundreds of stores, and millions of different objects, usable and not usable, everything some manages to still be rendered well and in real time. The only problem that I can find with the graphics is the fact that blood sometimes sprays in awkward directions, or I can watch as the blood disappears from my clothes rather quickly.
The story is not great, but is by no means bad. I say this because while I play through 72 hour mode, I often find myself diverging from the main plot and trying to get replayability out of the game by rescuing some of the survivors within the mall. For some reason, every individual I know does this, however they do this because the boss battles are very annoying and it serves as a way to get frequent play time out of the game without getting frustrated. Put into simple explanation, when you play this game you are dragged in very shortly after a few boring parts, and once you begin interaction with zombies you have trouble stopping. It is for this reason that this is one of the non-sports titles on the Xbox 360 that doesn't suffer from Xbox 360 Syndromeor rather short story line.
Simply put, Sound gets a high score because the game doesn't use anything up tempo and completely out of place, and rarely even truly uses music giving you a survival horror type feeling. The voice actors for the characters of importance all fit to the point where one may feel that they fit too much, however, that's a good thing. The music score isn't great by itself, because there is barely any music truly, at least not noticeable, however the voice acting and the fluctuation of true emotion within the character's voices save the sound score.
What Multiplayer? The only disappointing thing about Dead Rising is the fact that it's sole Xbox Live or Multiplayer integration is Leader Boards. It would've been great to be able to do something like use random survivors in some sort of Online random missions kind of like Saints Row, or heck, even to be able to smash zombies together just for no reason.
Plain and simple, whether you want to or not, because of the save system you will find yourself playing some of the earlier missions over and over again. You will also find yourself playing this game the first time through simply to bash zombies, thus making you play another time to discover the fact that the game does indeed actually have a story other than the fact that you want to survive. If this game had a multiplayer, then I would have no doubt in my mind that it would quite possibly have the highest replay value of any game to ever grace a console, and quite possibly a PC.
Put simply, a great game that takes Zombies and makes them much more interesting realizing that you should not just be dealing with Zombies, and that, in reality, if you're being attacked by Zombies, you would in fact use anything to survive. Throw in great execution from the gameplay, and amazingly good replayability, and you have a title that is a must own for all Xbox 360 fans.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/24/08
Game Release: Dead Rising (US, 08/08/06)
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