Review by Cortolio
"A missed opportunity for complete fun"
In the real world malls are filled with thousands of brain-dead shoppers. In Dead Rising 2 you're stuck in a mall filled with
brain-dead shoppers. However, these shoppers are out to get your brains rather than butt in front of you in the line at Starbucks. Speaking of Starbucks, you might find your money better spent there on overpriced coffee than on this sometimes ridiculously frustrating game. On a side note, I know the game's setting is called Fortune City, but it really is just a giant mall with casinos.
I am a recently widowed man who has nothing left, but to save my only child. This is the story of DR2 and not only has it been done before in movies and tv, but has already become a cliche in the videogame world. It's plain and not very interesting. There are a lot of psychotic characters in this game who are actually compelling as they are much more sinister than the zombies that infest the mall. Without giving any of them away, this game has quite possibly the worst set of endings ever. Fail to complete a case file and expect a lackluster ending to your adventure.
Chuck Greene's character model is detailed and he has some great animations. Certain female characters are appropriately sexy without looking strange. Chuck's daughter, Katey looks wrong and maybe that's because she's supposed to be infected or something. Fortune City itself is bland and not remarkable in any sense. More outdoor settings would have been nice as you can feel hemmed in by the whole repetitive mall/casino atmosphere. Zombie models are on the boring side and that's most likely because so many of them have to be on the screen at once.
Leave it to the audio team to pick up the slack where everyone else falls behind. Sound effects are gruesome and crunchy. Some good work was done at giving each melee weapon its own distinct thud, crack, smack, slice, etc. Firearm sounds were lacking and that is where those two points were lost. The music was creative but at the same time fitting for those typical mall jingles we're all used to.
Do you like loading screens? Do you want them to be long, frequent and maddeningly pointless? Then look no further than Dead Rising 2 as it is absolutely a pain to play. Get this, the game loads each time you go from one section of the mall to the other. Sometimes you can even see into the area of the mall that is about to be loaded up and it's already full of zombies milling about. What is the game loading then in the first place? The game even loads before and after even the shortest cutscenes! GTA San Andreas, a last gen game over six years old, had a much bigger map that was much more detailed and full of moving vehicles and pedestrians and there was no loading in between areas.
Saving apparently has been improved over the first installment. Improved how? There is no autosave and you have to still find a restroom to save manually. In this day and age that's hardly acceptable. Most current gen games autosave after even the smallest achievements. The ability to at least save from the menu screen would have been nice.
The controls in this game are sometimes unresponsive and weak. Boss fights are a chore and we're taken back ten years in time for some horrendous hack n' slash, heal and repeat combat. Despicable. Escort missions are no longer the problem this time around as survivor AI is vastly improved. Survivors can be left almost completely unattended and easily fend for themselves. It's the main case file missions that really show how weak the controls can be and make you feel like you're playing a rushed title. Collecting Zombrex for Katey to put it briefly sucks. Who wants to be interrupted whilst slicing and dicing by having to go shopping for your kid? It is completely optional to do any of the main story elements, but it's still grating in the first place. You're always being nagged by messages and asked if you want to continue playing after you fail to attend to something critical.
Killing zombies with combo weapons is the game's strongest point and that is why it just passes. It's great fun to rip your way through a horde of the undead with nothing on but some Daisy Dukes and armed with a nailed bat.
Dead Rising 2 is not an entirely fun game. It has a lot of startling flaws and better left in the past game mechanics to it. If you want a strictly fun, no commitments game, I would strongly suggest picking up a second hand copy of the greatly underrated Just Cause 2.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/04/10
Game Release: Dead Rising 2 (US, 09/28/10)
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