Review by Grandstream

"Why didn't anyone from the George Romero movies work on this? They couldn't have done better."

We've had fun killing zombies before. Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Resident Evil...even the poorly reviewed Land of the Dead. But Capcom knows best when making something for this particular fashion. Dead Rising is the most recent Xbox 360 game to receive a high score, placing it alongside Dead or Alive 4, Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion...and a select couple of others as being a definite must-have for the 360.
The game follows thus: As aspiring freelance reporter Frank West, you travel by helicopter to Willamette, a town that is completely locked down on all sides by the military. You enter the Willamette Mall on a hunch for an opportune story, anticipating helicopter retrieval 3 days later. Entering the mall, you find more than you bargain for. This game, alongside Kameo and Ninety Nine Nights, is one of the few to utilize dozens of enemies on-screen at once for just plain fun. And when those enemies are the undead, what are you gonna do? Simple. Use anything. Everything. To keep their hands off of you. From chainsaws to can sodas, from nailguns to teddy bears, nearly anything in your environment is usable, if not as a weapon then as a throwing item.

Graphics: 8/10
It's Xbox 360, not a Ps2 trying to market current-gen graphics by ripping off game design based off of a great looking Ps1 game. Next generation games usually look good. In this case, the graphics are generally good for a 360 game. And the in-game cinematics demonstrate skilled character design when in motion.

Sound: 6/10
The soundtrack is rarely utilized in this game. Aside from the usual sounds of mall-elevator-esque music, it occasionally picks up for the usual boss fight.

Playability: 7/10
This score doesn't reflect that the game's controls are bad. It reflects that the playability is more challenging than it seems. Utilizing anything in your environment is easy, but using items like firearms or projectile weapons requires you to shift to a third person perspective with an aiming scope (like Resident Evil 4), and if you don't have a good vantage point to utilize said projectile easy would you think it would be to get shots off in the middle of crowds of zombies just to clear a path through if you're stuck on the same level as them?

Replay Value? Yes
Aside from surviving for 3 days, within those three days, you're expected to take quality photos (since stuff like horror and drama earn big points with ease), rescue survivors (yes, there's quite a lot of people to rescue), build up your stats (with taking photos, killing enemies, and rescuing people, you build up your health, item capacity, attack power, movement speed, throwing distance, and earn skills), and fight off both the undead and psychopaths (fighting stupid zombies aren't fun in a game unless you get something more challenging, like an enemy who knows what they're doing) all to get through the storyline. And with 72 hours to do all of that, the replay value is tremendous, but worth it. After all, who can get tired of killing zombies?

Worth the money? Yes
Just as Resident Evil 4 overwhelmed the shooter series with a good storyline, great control scheme, and just being plain fun, Dead Rising takes the similar reins for the 360. Also, when you beat the main storyline, you gain an opportunity to unlock bonus modes, such as Overtime Mode (which allows you to play beyond the story mode and explore deeper into it) and Infinity Mode (survival mode). With so much to do, and so much being fun to do, Dead Rising definity takes a spot on the Must-Have List for the 360. And if there's a sequel (which, there might be), it has nowhere to go but up, if properly worked on just as this one was.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/24/06

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