Review by getar1234

"OMG, A ZOMBIE!"

No one quite does Zombie games like Capcom, they know just when to put so many and when not to, and they know how to get the big scares. Capcom's golden success was Resident Evil, a horror game like no other, causing you to run around trying to survive against a army of zombie's be it in a mansion, a city or in a Spanish village. No one quite did it like Capcom. However, with the Resident Evil games, did you ever just want to have fun with the zombie's? Not that you probably having fun when you scored your first head explosion, but did you just want to run around with Dr Salvador's chainsaw, or throw one of those explosives back at them?

Capcom realized this, and in a surprising move, made Dead Rising, a game like no other, I can quite happily say, this is one of the most unique games ever. However, it does have a number of flaws which need to be addressed before you run out to buy this game, since they do limit the gameplay quite often.

STORY
Enter Frank West, a photojournalist. After hearing about a scoop happening at a small town called Willamette, Frank arrives by helicopter to investigate. He gets a bit of a shock though when he finds that the town's local mall, is over run with zombies and Frank has trapped himself in for 3 days. The game has a optional plot, but that I mean, you could actually go through the game without doing anything story related. It's a nice addition where you can just do what you want. In case you haven't noticed, this is extremely similar to George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead". Despite this, it's still a very original concept. What I like is how the plot is slowly revealed to you, and you might figure it out for yourself before you are told. There are a couple of twists and clues which make the story what it is. Beware though,the story will change your gaming experience, for example, at one point, a cult will invade the mall, they will be everywhere and they can be tough to defeat so you may get annoyed slightly.

GRAPHICS
Well, if you have seen any clip or image of the game, you will know the graphics aren't realistic, they are mainly cartoon like, but don't think for a second that makes this game for children, because there is one thing that makes this game for the mature only. Blood, lots and lots, of blood. Everything bleeds, if you hit a zombie with a knife, it will bleed obviously. However, if you hit one with a teddy bear it will still bleed, there is so much blood to see. Your eyes will just see a sea of red. This game is not for the faint hearted. One of the best things about dead rising is the games ability to fit hundreds of zombies onto the screen. Look into the distance and you will see nothing but a army of zombies.

I am afraid to say that there is a big problem which a lot of people have complained about. If your tv isn't HD, the subtitles will be tiny and the worst part is, there is no voice acting for these sections so there is no way of knowing unless you get off your seat and onto the floor to read. It can be a bit of a pain.

SOUND
I do have to say, I feel sorry for anyone that worked on Capcom's sound team. When you slice a zombie with a chainsaw, throw a teddy bear, drink some OJ, it all makes realistic noises no matter what you do, it will make a noise which in some cases will make you smile. Of course though, it is a zombie game, we do have the moans and aches of the zombies and the groans echo down the mall plazas in a creepy and eerie way. The voice acting is very good, if a bit cheesy and over the top at times.

GAMEPLAY
Dead Rising has a number of things which make it truly original and outstanding game, but at the same time it has flaws, big ones. But first, lets talk about the game modes. There are 3 game modes, the first one is only available on its own at the beginning, it's called 72 Hour Mode. This is the main story mode, and it's also the one with most flaws.

You ae told to complete cases within the game, and most of them include just being at the right place at the right time and then watching a scene play out, however others, might require you to kill a boss. During these, you will earn PP which is the game's way of saying Experience points. It's a strange concept to get your mind round, Resident Evil mixed with a RPG, but somehow, it feels right. When Frank levels up he will get upgrades to his current abilities like his throwing distance, speed or attack. Or, he can get more room for items, more health or even new abilities. Some of these abilities feel a bit awkward at first. But you eventually get the hang of them. However, you never tend to use them because your to busy with the game's huge list of weapons.

Don't think for a second this game is all, do the case, level up. The largest part of the 72 Hour mode is rescuing survivors and killing many of the game's bosses, known as Psychopaths. Some of the best moments in the game come from fighting these Psychos, you can tell some thought went into them. You will face a chainsaw juggling clown, a crazy gun shop owner (not a good mix) and even a fat cop. However, the difficulty of these bosses is a bit sketchy. Most bosses can be defeated in seconds by just hitting them a couple of times with a chainsaw but on the other hand, some bosses are just incredibly difficult. For example, you have to face off against a sniper, which sounds great, but you can get a aim or close to him because he keeps knocking you back.

One of the biggest side quests in the game are the survivors. Frank has to assist them back to the security room unharmed. On paper, this sounded fantastic, in reality, it sucks. There are a three main issues. One, there are to many, and it can be very difficult to help them all, and some of them can only be saved by doing the story. It's just to much to handle for one person. Two, The convicts. The who? These guys appear the first night in the mall and reappear at midnight no matter how many times you beat them. They drive around in a jeep and try and run you over, shoot you, or hit you with a bat. It can be very difficult getting across the park, let alone with a survivor. Three, The AI in this game is terrible. Not just for survivors though, on certain bosses, you have allies, but they run into the boss and die. The survivors themselves are ridiculous. You have to press the Y button to get them to follow you, the problem is they run to slow, they don't follow you and in some cases they ignore you and run right into a huge gang of zombies thinking they can do it themselves. Then they cry for help and in most cases I just got frustrated and left them. However, sometimes you can hold hands, or carry them which is much easier. However when you have to horde about 7 or 8 of them at once all hell breaks loose. Also, in order to save them you have to get them onto a ledge and in some cases, they just don't want to at all. It's tedious and annoying and I am glad it's only optional but it does give you loads of PP. Other ways of earning PP are taking photos with your camera and killing zombies.

Now, I am afraid there is one very annoying flaw, and I never found to much trouble with it but I did find my self getting very frustrated at times. Otis. Otis is the janitor in the mall and he never lets you forget it. Otis will call whenever you can rescue a survivor or kill a boss. But when you answer him on the phone, you can't use any weapons, jump, or attack. Otis will call at the stupidest of times like when you are running from the convicts, or in the middle of a boss fight. The worst thing is, if you get shot while talking to him, he rings five seconds later, repeats exactly what he said and tells you off for being rude! How ridiculous.

There is one very big flaw which is the only one you can't escape. The Time and Save System. I never had a problem with this, but I can certainly see why people do. The game only has one save. Now, considering this game is based on time, that sucks. Because is you have to be somewhere in 5 minutes and you save, you aren't going to make it there and you will have to start all other again. It can certainly be a pain, but if you always do the story missions when they first come up you shouldn't encounter this problem to much.

While it may sound terrible, these flaws don't always get in the way of gameplay, and don't think this game is horrible because it has many things which make it great. I love how the game manages to keep everything moving, because if you use a weapon it will eventually break or smash, which doesn't sound great, and no it can land you in sticky spots, but it means you use lots of different weapons rather than just stick to one thing, which was a nice touch. Also, the freedom of this game is just something to behold. Want to cause mayhem? Do it Destruction? Do it. It's great to finally have a game where you are free to do whatever you want with zombies. Also I loved experimenting with the weapons, a baseball bat and a block of wood actually do a very good job despite there look while a chainsaw will disappear or break very quickly. Some weapons are great some are useless. It's fun finding out for yourself.

The next mode is Overtime Mode. Basically, to unlock this you have to get Ending A on 72 Hour Mode (Do all cases and meet the helicopter). I won't spoil it but you have to do a shopping list, going around the mall getting items. There is one very big problem with this though. It might just be me, but at this point the army have entered the mall, and they are ruthless, they hunt you down and are very hard to defeat. You will die many many times. It is hard but a very nice idea.

The last mode you get is Infinity Mode. If you ever wanted to be in Dawn of the Dead. Now is your chance. Frank has his health bar, but it will decrease when he gets hungry. Survivors you helped are now enemies and there is a limited amount of food. It works well and it's a lot of fun, if a little tricky. I liked how they took what wasn't realistic with 72 Hour Mode and put it in here. It was a very nice idea and it works. The best bit is you can kill Otis. Yes!

CONCLUSION
Dead Rising is a great game. No doubt but it has flaws. If you can put up with these flaws and just go on a shopping/killing spree. You will have a great time. It's not the longest (72 Hour mode is seven hours, Overtime is two and infinity is however long you want) game but it is certainly one of the funnest. Just a couple of improvements could have turned this good game into a Outstanding one.

Pros:
- Just good clean fun
- Bosses are awesome
- Anything is a weapon

Cons:
- Survivors need work
- Otis needs to learn to shut up
- Difficulty issues (To easy or to hard)


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/21/10

Game Release: Dead Rising (Classics) (EU, 05/31/07)


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