Review by CheesyPhil

"4 years ago came an amazing game. 4 years later, its sequel passes its predecesor."

4 years ago, an amazing game came out. That game was Dead Rising. I couldn't put it down for months, and even now, I still pick it up and play it on occasion. It was the game that persuaded me to buy an XBOX 360. Now, 4 years later, the sequel to that amazing game came out. Was it worth the wait? Would it live up to the glory of its predecessor? Oh, definitely.

The graphics are a huge bump up from 4 years ago. There is so much more detail in, well, almost everything. The zombie's faces, Chuck's model, the environments are all far more polished and well crafted. The only real reason that the graphics don't get a 10 instantly is the frame rate drops. The developers did something extremely bold and innovative for DR2. They decided that on screen, there wouldn't be hundreds, but THOUSANDS of zombies at once. Unfortunately, the game system cannot keep up, and suffers from minor frame drops. While major drops are few and far between, it does take away from the immersion of Fortune City.

The controls are picture perfect here. Chuck moves extremely fluently and often has no problem listening to what you are telling him to do. All the buttons are mapped out so that all the important ones are very obvious. You will literally get used to them in 30 minutes of gameplay.

STORY: 9/10
While not as innovative as DR1's story, DR2's story will keep an iron grip on you, making you want to keep playing just to see what happens next. I'll lay down the basics for you. You are Chuck Greene, a single father, who is a former motocross superstar. Your daughter suffered from a zombie bite several years ago, during one of the previous outbreaks. However, all the world's pharmaceutical companies joined together to make a very helpful drug, dubbed Zombrex, that will keep somebody from turning into a zombie if they are bitten. The catch is that the drug only lasts for 24 hours, so you have to get her Zombrex somehow. Now, this may sound like a boring fetch quest, which so many games are guilty of these days. However, it's not. You actually care for your daughter here. You WANT to get her the Zombrex. And that's what makes the story so great. Along the way are many twists, but I won't spoil them for you.

The gameplay is some of the most addicting and amazing that I have seen. You are trapped in Fortune City that is swarming with thousands of zombies. One of the big points in this game is creativity. You are stuck with no weapons. So what do you do? You find some. A baseball bat? Very useful for caving in some skulls. A handgun? Takes out 30 zombies before you run out of ammo. Poker chips? Bounce harmlessly off a zombies face, but fun nonetheless. It's that frantic creativity and humor that makes this great. Your surrounded by zombies, and your fighting them off with a barstool. But, in DR2, they step the creativity up by allowing you to make Combo Weapons. What are combo weapons? They are exactly what they sound like. They are weapons that are made by combining 2 simple weapons. A pushbroom and a machete? You now have a very long poking stick. Drills and a bucket? A contraption that when placed on a zombies head will completely reduce it to mush. Spray paint and a traffic cone? A loud speaker that causes that heads of all nearby zombies to explode! The ingenuity is endless. You will spend hours and hours slaughtering zombies in ways you have never imagined before. When you use these combo weapons, you gain Prestige Points, more commonly referred to as PP. PP levels up Chuck, so that you can take more damage, store more weapons, and maybe even learn a few new moves. This system works perfectly, as you always want to level up to see what you gain. Will it be attack power, or maybe moving faster? There are plenty of more ways to gain PP as well. You can escort survivors for instance. A major problem that many players had with DR1 was the survivors artificial intelligence, or more commonly referred to as, artificial idiocy. You could be mauled by zombies, and the survivors would stand there and do nothing. Well, let me say one thing. That problem is non-existent in DR2. The survivors are far smarter, and will easily take care of themselves. Simply put, the gameplay is amazing, and an experience that truly has to be played.

It is true, DR2 is built on single player. However, the developers stepped up to the challenge and created a multiplayer mode for this called “Terror Is Reality.” It is a gameshow where you compete with other players to slaughter zombies in an arena in many interesting ways. Plow through a crowd with motorcycles? How about running over them with giant hamster balls? Although it does feel tacked on, the developers did a remarkable job with it, and created an extremely fun online mode. There is also a co-op mode available. And it's not just a few missions. The WHOLE game is available for play in co-op mode. What could be more fun than slaughtering zombies than with a friend. I only have one minor gripe with it, and that is that co-op is plagued with glitches. Oftentimes, you will find yourself being booted for no reason, or unable to save your progress. And that is the only reason that co-op doesn't shine it's brightest.

Dead Rising 2 is not a game, it is an experience. An experience that simply must be played. You can spend hours and hours having fun with it, and you know what? I think I'll do just that.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/05/10

Game Release: Dead Rising 2 (EU, 09/24/10)

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