Dead Rising Review
Posted March 25, 2009 by Jallen (123)
Dead Rising a game very much like, but legally different, from the George Romero movie “Dawn of the Dead”. Starring Frank West, Photojournalist, he likes to remind us of that fact. Set in a small American town plagued by zombies. He lands in a mall and proceeds to uncover what’s happen, how it happened and why it happened. Along the way he kills a load of zombies and saves the occasional person.
In game the zombie horde is a massive force of undead material bent on your destruction with unlimited numbers. In-fact killing more zombies than the town actually has in it, is an achievement. Within the mall you’re provided an assortment of weapons ranging from a baseball-bat, a Kanata, a “soccer” ball, ugh or even a shotgun. Making sure you can kill those zombies in new and interesting ways. You haven’t known joy until you’ve shoved a shower-head into a zombie and then bathed in the steam of blood tricking out, beautiful. Much has been said of the combat system and the joys of it and range of weapons at your disposable however most of this is aimed at the melee weapons as they are the best ones, the guns in the game seem clunky and it’s hard to see this comes for the same people who brought us Resident Evil 4. Maybe an intentional limitation on their part as getting endless head shots on zombies just wouldn’t be the shame joy as battering them over the head with a bench or slicing them up with a chainsaw. However no amount of weapons will make you forget you’re going over the same areas time and time again up against the same 10 zombies you’ve been fighting for the last 6 hours.
"Don’t worry, I know exactly what I’m doing"
Of course no matter how fun the carnage an endless stream of zombies, a game it does not make. Within the game you’re set tasks ranging from the vital case-files which reveals the story, helping save the survivors stranded about the mall or the boss fights, all these are completely optional and you could just spend the whole time slicing off zombie heads if you really want. You may be thinking well zombies wouldn’t make a very good boss fight, and you’re right. Each boss fight comprises of a living human driven mad by the zombies known as “psychos”. These survivors and psychos provide the needed challenge in the game along with time. The game has a strict 72 hour (game time not real time) and the missions have their own set time limit so fitting everything in one play-through means time-management becomes the biggest challenge.
Saving is also an interesting quirk of the game, using restrooms and save points which are scantly dotted around the mall but multiple saves aren’t permitted making saving another challenge because if you save at the wrong time you could potentially muck up your pursuit of the story meaning you might have to start from the beginning. The game knows this and rather than tossing you back to start you get tossed back to start with your current stats. Saving people, taking photos, killing zombies and psychos all award points which upgrade Frank with more health, item space and attacks.
The restrictions that provide the challenge of the game can also be very annoying which may put off some people that want a more open experience and the friendly AI. Well let’s just say you’ve got your work cut out for you. I can’t think of many people who would say escort missions in games are fun so when your game is a large percentage of escort missions the AI better be good. Sadly this isn’t the case with escorts getting caught in walls, bumping into each other and when armed with a shotgun run straight into the face of a waiting zombie and end up screaming FRANK!! Over and over again. Not to mention the back-stabbing, give a man a weapon and they can defend their selves but they can also shoot the hell out of your when you’re trying to help them. The issue is only compounded when you’re escorting more than 2 survivors and with the possibility of escorting a maximum of eight it can be very frustrating.
Overall the game is fun and if you’re a fan of zombie movies then you really should get the game. However it can become tedious regardless of the number of ways you can kill a zombie the potential repeating of the first part of the game and the limit AI means that it isn’t a must buy. If you want some mindless violence, marred with humour then this is the game for you.
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