4 years ago Capcom released Dead Rising, its over the top zombie survival horror game. Well now they have released the sequel and have thrown in more zombies, ludicrous weapons and a cast of disturbing characters you won’t soon forget.
The protagonist is Chuck Greene, Motor Cross Champion, father and bad ass zombie killer. The game opens up with Chuck competing in “Terror is Reality”, a game show where the more zombies you kill the bigger your cash prize becomes. The activist group CURE opposes the game show and all violence towards the zombies that are infesting the United States. Chuck agrees but is forced to compete to sustain his infected daughter. He has to inject her with the drug Zombrex to keep her from “turning” and must do so every 24 hours. Inevitably the zombies escape and over run Fortune City, which is a thinly veiled representation of Las Vegas. Chuck is framed for the outbreak and has to clear his name before the military arrives.
To be honest the story is throw away and the game’s main focus is the side mission and the strange array of characters you meet along your journey through the city. Aside from the main story characters, you meet survivors, some of which are in need of rescue and others who have found the zombie infestation too much, causing them to become overly violent. These characters are the most memorable and are referred to as Psychos. They act as bosses in the game and each have their own interesting weapons and fighting styles. The boss fights themselves aren’t done overly well and you often find yourself hitting them a few times then running for cover. They have massive amounts of health and rarely if ever get knocked down. Psychos add most of the difficulty to the game, as the zombies don’t put up much of a fight. All of these characters are stereotypical Vegas characters: gamblers, singers, magicians and anyone looking to get lucky in the city of sin.
The game is played in a 3rd person perspective and relies heavily on melee, but includes a somewhat unusual shooting mechanic. The basic attacks range from a soft, fast hit to a slow but more brutal strike. The more gruesome the kill the more prestige points (PP) you earn. Once you fill up your PP bar you level up and earn more health, bag space and even special melee attacks, such as an elbow drop to enemies on the ground.
A new feature to the sequel is the ability to combine certain items to make combo weapons, these range from baseball bat+nails= Nail bat to more outrageous Bowie knife+boxing gloves= Wolverine like boxing gloves. When used these weapons earn bonus PP, so using them often is an advantage. Vehicles are few and far between in this game and other than the motorbike are never really necessary for progression through the game. Chuck can also dress up in different outfits, it can be hilarious having Chuck in a Borat mankini and A Blanka (Street Fighter) mask but on the other hand it can take you out of the story and setting. However my favourite moment in the game was when I found a pink child’s bicycle, that is much too small for a grown man and then began to mow down zombies at a snail’s pace. The missions are timed so they must be completed within a certain time or they disappear. If a story mission or your daughter’s injection is missed then the game ends and you are forced to load your last save. This could prove difficult if your last save was too far from the mission because you could end up having to start the game over. The missions generally involve escorting survivors to the safe house, killing psychos (bosses of Dead Rising), fetching items for survivors and of course the main story missions.
The multiplayer in this game is very disappointing. You can join a friend’s game and play cooperatively through the story with them, however, the guest does not progress in the story and only earns PP to bring back to their own campaign. Anytime during the game you may play in the game show “Terror is Reality” which pits you against 3 other human players in a range of games all involving the slaughter of zombies. There are a range of mini games you play through to ultimately reach the final round known as… Slyceycles! This sees the 4 players driving motorbikes around an arena filled with zombies trying to knock down as many zombies as possible within the time limit. Of course your bikes aren’t plain old Motor cycles, no attached to either side are chainsaws to slice through the undead horde. The money you earn in Terror is Reality can be sent to your single player save to spend in the pawn shops dispersed throughout the map.
Graphically this game is very mediocre, that said the amount of zombies they have managed to cram on screen at one time is no mean feat, supposedly they could have 7000 on at one time!
Having played through the game once this game has me torn. On one hand it is over the top zombie killing fun, but it feels like there is something missing. The controls are fairly clunky and the need to manually save constantly to make sure you don’t get stuck just doesn’t cut it in modern gaming. Nevertheless I am happy with the full price purchase and I encourage everyone to at least try the game. The campaign is very short but if you enjoy mindless fun, the occasional scared and gory display of violence, then this is the game for you.