Review by furiouspenguin
"Only Chuck Greene can kill zombies in daisy dukes and look so cool."
You've got three days till rescue arrives, thousands of zombies in the streets and a ton of materials to get the job done. Ask yourself this: What would Chuck do?
Chuck Greene is a man faced with a series of unfortunate events. First, his daughter is bitten during the Las Vegas outbreak. Without a daily dose from the drug "Zombrex", she will soon walk amongst the undead. Zombrex is not cheap by any means so he enters as a contestant on the show "Terror is Reality" which is much like "American Gladiators"... with zombifies. In Terror is Reality, Chuck must climb to the top by killing zombies in specific ways. Chuck steals the show but soon after claiming his prize Fortune City suffers a rather unfortunate outbreak in which the world think he is to blame. It's then up to Chuck to keep his daughter and everybody in the safe house alive while they wait for rescue. Before that can happen though Chuck must get to the bottom of the conspiracy that is plaguing Fortune City.
Much like the first, the story is told through cases and it's completely up to the player to do them or not. The story is rather interesting though and it'll shed some light onto why Fortune City suffered it's unfortunate fate as well as it's predecessor, Las Vegas. While it's incredibly fun to just kill thousands of zombies, skipping the cases and scoops may leave players feeling a little unsatisfied when they've finished their 72 hours in Fortune City. The story is much more personal this time around, Chuck isn't after a story, he's looking for a way to keep his daughter safe and out for vegence against those who wronged him. The story also has everything the zombie genre needs. There's the angry enforcer, a saucy news reporter and a pretty lady who watches over the youngling and massive hordes of brainless chuck fodder.
If you played the first Dead Rising, the sequel sticks to the basics and that's killing as many zombies as you can for a certain amount of time. There's a lot of zombies in Fortune City. As you kill zombies with whatever Chuck can get his hands on, you'll gain Prestige Point which allow Chuck to level up and learn new abilities and give him access to plenty of new combo cards. You'll gain a lot more Prestige Points however by venturing out into the wild neon yonder of Fortune City and pulling survivors out of the fray and putting down it's psychotic inhabitants. Thankfully the A.I. has received a much needed boost and your keeping your surviving companions alive isn't very aggravating. Chuck doesn't get the cool abilities Frank West did in the first game but the combo cards you'll earn are more than enough to keep you going until you hit the top. There's also plenty of unlockables you'll get for achieving certain milestones in the game as well.
There's a lot of zombies on the screen and you'll find the game does a great job at running smoothly as you slice and dice your way through them. There is some pop-in and screen tearing but you won't notice it very much, what with all the zombies you'll be hacking your way through. The psychos of Fortune City serve as your boss battles and they show how easily the mind can break when faced with a zombie horde. They are rather difficult and require a little more strategy than just mashing buttons. Like in the first, there's a lot of clothes Chuck can wear. Playing dress up has never been more fun as Chuck runs around wearing daisy dukes and a halter top. Not only can Chuck play dress up but with his help, so can the zombies! The mood does tend to stumble during of some of the cut scenes though when everything chuck is wearing also appears in them. Nothing like watching a grown man with a Serv-bot head administering drugs to his daughter.
Chuck isn't just a motorcross star but he's also a master of arts and crafts. Using his excellent skills and a lot of duct tape, he can make just about anything. A spiked bat? Simple for a man like Chuck. A flamethrower? Give the man the tools and he can get to work. Did you know that gems and a flashlight could make a beam sword? Chuck sure did. Combining items found in the environment is the most entertaining thing about Dead Rising 2 next to slaughtering hordes of zombies. Chuck can make some of the most absurd yet deadly weapons in Fortune City. Eventually he can even turn a motorcycle into a machine of death. This is also where the combo cards come in. Combo cards allow chuck to gain double the Prestige Points as well the special attacks of his tools of destruction. One thing this zombie apocalypse has taught me is that the masses of walking dead will meet their doom to duct tape and just a little bit of flair.
While we wait for the rest of my review to load, we can cover one of Fortune Cities faults, the loading screens. There's about as many of them as there are zombies in this game. Thankfully you'll eventually be given a shortcut to help cut back on them if you do your scoops. One of the more frustrating aspects of Dead Rising 2's gameplay is it's clunky and often unresponsive controls. Nothing is more annoying than trying to perform specific attacks or use certain abilities and instead, using an item, doing the wrong attack or maybe not even doing what you wanted at all. Chuck also tends to just kind of phase through zombies and psychos on occasion. The loading screens accompanied with the difficult psycho bosses can be extremely irritating at times especially at the end when you cross through multiple areas and watch plenty of load screen inducing cut scenes.
One new feature in Dead Rising 2 is it's multiplayer component. It sports a two player co-op as well as four player competitive multiplayer. In co-op a player can drop into his buddies' game with his Chuck all gussied up and drop out after a night of zombie slaying in the single player campaign. It might be a little silly at first but, it's a lot of fun when you've decided to replay the campaign. In the competitive multiplayer, four players go one-on-one in five rounds of Fortune City's "Terror is Reality". Players get to compete in rounds of "Zomboni" where they must harvest buckets of zombie blood using a Zamboni and "Pounds of Flesh" fashions players with a moose head then gives them a horde of zombies and a very large scale. The unresponsive controls and the fact that you can't keep playing without four players however makes it rather forgettable once you've gotten what you want from it. After playing through some ranked episodes, players can send the money they've won to Chuck in the single player and that can prove to be very helpful.
Dead Rising 2 offers the perfect equilibrium of a zombie game. It's got plenty of zombies for players to slice their way through and entertaining objects be it through cases, scoops or the game's hidden unlockables. The brutal and unique weapon combinations will give you plenty of entertaining ways to kill your brain-hungry enemies. It's certainly a game that will keep players coming back for time and time again.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/26/10
Game Release: Dead Rising 2 (US, 09/28/10)
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