Review by DandyQuackShot
"The Dead Are Rising. Knock Em Back Down!"
Capcom is no stranger to the zombie horror game. With one zombie series spanning three generations of consoles among other games to boast about you would expect to see some great things come around for a Capcom game produced for the next generation console. Dead Rising is definitely well on its way to becoming a series of games despite being a very basic game in terms of breaking new boundaries. Although produced for the Xbox 360 this game could have easily run on the Xbox and would do wonders for a console like the Wii. Dead Rising lacks a decent story even though it is based on an excellent premise that would have George Romero wondering if he should have made video games instead of movies. The graphics are from that short period of time when the new 360 games had that awkward transition to a new console when many fans of the Xbox were slowly making that next investment in gaming. Dead Rising could have easily been a port between both the Xbox and the 360, but it would definitely fit right in on the Wii in terms of graphics.
Frank West, an independent journalist, begins this game in pursuit of covering a story he believes will be the scoop of the century. The town of Willamette, Colorado is an out of the way town that has been sealed off and Frank is out to learn what the cover up is. Once again, this is an excellent concept for a game and finally we get a zombie game where you will be having to defend yourself from hordes of zombies, but the story goes the way of a wacky Resident Evil filled with psychopathic killers that take up residence that may or may not have anything to do with the main plot. Uncovering the facts of the zombie outbreak will be your mission so the story is not fully revealed until you have completed all of the main story case missions within the allotted time that you have.
Failure is a grand option to keep in mind with Dead Rising. You are given three days until your contracted helicopter comes back to pick you up and in the Dead Rising world, about five minutes equals an hour so you may be highly disappointed when you play through the 72 hour mode the first time. Dead Rising has an extensive level up system so you will not be able to actually beat this game the first time or second time doing this mode. Like the Resident Evil games, you are graded on your success or failure of the three day mode so with added incentive to survive a couple of times to get bonus prestige points to level up you can really get into this game when you are not stressing about trying to beat it with four little life bars of health.
The first time I played through the 72 hour mode I thought this was punishment. So the great minds at Capcom made sure you actually were prevented from completing the game thoroughly so that you could level up in the mean time and start to really enjoy this game. Because by the time you are a level 50 photographic journalist and part time pro wrestler with skills in karate that would have even Jean Claude Van Damme running for the hills you will be loving Dead Rising. Dead Rising is developed where it counts and because it lasts so long it definitely makes the cut for a next-generation game. Playing through the 72 hour mode will last a whole day and save points will only matter to you when you decide to finally get the scoop on what is going on. What I love about this game is this freedom to get to play through many times without being penalized or having to start over so you can build up your level and practice for getting the scoop and rescuing all of the survivors in one try. The achievements will also appreciate your time spent on this game as they depend mostly on how much fun you have with this game from killing over 50,000 zombies to stuffing traffic cones on their heads to doing stunts in a car. Of course, you also have your mission achievements as well, but you can get most of these unlocked very easily. All the achievement unlocking requires is to have fun with Dead Rising and with that you get a great buy with this game.
The biggest gripe with Dead Rising are the complex controls and graphics. I thought the graphics were worthy of having a twin for the Xbox and unless you are playing on a High-Def TV you will be thinking about getting your eyes checked. For some devastating reason during the game play dialogue will only be given through text boxes, which is a step forward and backward. It's a great step forward if you thought to grab a high-def TV to be able to read the text, but a step back if you were looking for a game of the 21st Century. The GTA like control and handle of Frank is very complex and annoying in dire circumstances. Your inventory is set up with your weapons and food for health and over time your weapons will break on you. So one minute you may be happily whacking away on a group of human flesh lovers when all of a sudden you find yourself enjoying a nice gallon jug of coffee creamer (chocolate milk). The only glitches are those annoying survivors you have to rescue. Thankfully they are not a main part of your mission, but are the best way to level up so you have make sure they are always close to you when you are moving to different areas of the map. Otherwise, it is more rewarding to watch them get eaten in disturbing cutscene videos.
The mall music gets repetitive but each boss has his or her own psycho song to get beaten to. There are great sound effects and the cutscene videos are numerous and help drive the story along as you move through the game.
At first glance Dead Rising may be a game that looks hard to get into despite the concept. And it does take awhile to finally get addicted to this game. The game play is very rewarding though and despite the glitches it is deserving of a sequel to at least fix the errors, but hopefully it will keep that same type of stress free gaming that makes this game so fun to play. Dead Rising is definitely worth your time as it can last a long time and it definitely does what the Resident Evil series never had-hordes of zombies. Dead Rising is a great bargain buy since it is one of those first 360 games and lacks a lot of what 360 fans demand of game these days. But it does not lack where it really counts and the long lasting fun of the 72 hour mode along with all of the perks make it a great game that is worth the time to play.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/03/09
Game Release: Dead Rising (US, 08/08/06)
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